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Hey All Laxers, Well the news has finally been made public as we all have been hearing rumors for weeks upon weeks. With the MLL contracting from 10 teams back to the original number of 6, the 6 remaining are not all original teams. Chicago and Denver have survived expansion and now contraction, the remaining four are Boston, Long Island, Washington and newly relocated Rattlers from Rochester to Toronto. Toronto should be a really interesting location for lacrosse since the Rattlers already have so many Canadians on their roster. Hopefully Toronto will prove to have a better fan base then Philly, LA, San Fran, and NJ who all had to fold. It still astonishes me that LI and Baltimore who everyone calls the two meccas of the sport can’t get fans to their games, come on lacrosse fans!

Have you seen the rosters, one word, SICK! Every team is an All Star team. Lacrosse should be amazing this summer. Chemistry will as always be a huge factor. I am looking forward to the upcoming season, it should be a blast.

Coaching

Down here in South Florida, we find ourselves at 2-0 and winning ugly but a win is a win. We have lost some seniors to injury and academics this year. Leadership has been somewhat of an issue but I am hoping that our younger players will assume bigger roles as we move along. Tonight and tomorrow should prove to be a great learning experience for our team. North Broward Prep, a district opponent, comes to our house tonight at 6pm and St. Andrews tomorrow at 11am at their place. Just in case you have been living under a rock St. Andrews has grown to super star status and is currently ranked 12th in the country according to inside lacrosse. Wish us luck!

Hey All laxers!  I hope all of you are enjoying a safe winter.  The NCAA Lax season is in swing with practices and scrimmages currently happening.  It is always interesting to see who just might develop as the years Cinderella team.  As I am biased, Hofstra is my hopefull team.  I am also extremely interested to see what Coach Pressler is going to be able to pull off at Bryant this year with its first Division 1 schedule in school history.  I wish him luck.

On a personal note we have been practicing down here in South Florida for 3 weeks now and the process has been some what slow.  The stick skills to which I am used to are far off across the board.  However there are a few gems to which I can polish throughout the year.  The one thing Florida has to offer is alot of athletes; hopefully soon to be called lacrosse players.  But time will tell.  We have our first game in little over a week, so it will be interesting to see our development during that time.

A further look into the future,  we have huge games against St. Thomas and St. Andrew’s; who I believe is ranked in the top 10 in the country this year.  We have alot of work to do before that comes to pass. 

Wish us luck!

Shanny

Kyle Hartzell - San Jose Stealth

Kyle Hartzell plays for the San Francisco Dragons (MLL) and San Jose Stealth (NLL). He finished his rookie MLL season (2008) third on the team in groundballs. Kyle had a standout career at Salisbury State University where he was a third-team All-American and first-team All-League selection and was the team’s Most Valuable Defenseman as a senior. Won two NCAA Division III National Championships at Salisbury.

We’re excited to have Kyle blogging for e-Lacrosse. This is Kyle’s first Blog Entry


Hey everyone how’s it going? Everything is going well out here on the left coast in San Jose, CA. I just moved out here in the month of December and the weather is awesome compared to frigid Baltimore. I just started my head-coaching job out here and it’s going pretty well. I coach a High school varsity team in Palo Alto. The name of the team is the Tomahawks and what a great group of kids I got. I have a couple of difficult decisions to make by making my final team of twenty-six by this Friday, but other than that everything is going smoothly. Besides coaching I’m just getting my workouts in and getting ready for Edmonton this weekend.

This is gut check time this weekend. After our loss to Calgary last week we need to get a win at home here this Saturday. We have more than enough talent on this team and we just need to put it together and start to win games. We seem to come out slow in the first quarter and dig ourselves to big of a hole to get out of. When we put a full game together I think fans are going to see a completely different team then the 1-3 team we are now. Besides are game on Saturday it’s Super Bowl weekend!!!

What sports analyst or human being living here on this planet picked this game? If someone picked this to be the super bowl game, I’d say that’s very impressive. Who is going to win this game? I think the Cardinals are going to win because I have a deep hatred for the Steelers because I am a diehard Ravens fan. Lets go Cardnials!! I will check back in next week, have a good weekend!

Hey All Laxers,   Time for a new beginning in our Nation’s histroy as President Obama takes office, with that said on a personal note I am also entering a new age……..30 yikes, Today is the first day of the high school season for us here at Pine Crest. It is so much earlier than I am used, but that is what you get for living in a place with unparalleled  weather, plus high school spring football doesn’t help.   I am looking forward to seeing what athletes I have and will try hard to build some gems. The beginning of a season can be overwhelming as you look ahead at the grand scale of how much needs to be done.  The best thing I find to ease the anxiety is to take one day at a time. Wish us Luck!

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 11/04/2008

I hope that everyone has recovered fully from Halloween….It took me an extra day to get back to normal after a long Friday night.  For Halloween I dressed up as Paul Bleeker from Juno (picture to follow).  I didnt do anything special, just bounced around Federal Hill.

A lot has happened since my last post and I wanted to catch everyone up to speed.  For starters, I have signed to play indoor this year with the Philadelphia Wings and training camp starts this weekend.  Needless to say, I am not excited for training camp, but I am excited to get back out on the floor.  On top of indoor starting, I have signed a contract to coach the JV lacrosse team at the Gilman School this spring season.  I am excited about this opportunity to coach at the high school level and to have total control of the offense.

Other than that, everything is pretty normal.  I will repost next week to let everyone know how training camp was.  Unitl next time, have a good one….

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 10/31/2008

Whats up ladies and Gentleman!

OK so it has been what seems like AGES since I posted a blog…mostly because my MLL season took a FAST downward spiral…Apparently I was right all alone . . .I tore my laberum (some crap in my shoulder) in my second game of the season against Denver…played the rest of the season with it like that and needless to say I was less than allstar material!…I did have a few great moments and had a blast playing in the league, but to add insult to injury I tore my groin in the first Philly game…I actually tried to play through that sucker and ended up completely tearing it…not the way I wanted to end my career in the MLL, especially since the last three games were going to be the ones where I boosted my F/O percentage (Philly and washington would have been much easier games)….

Anyway I really enjoyed this season, I was the starter until I got hurt at the end and I learned that I still had it in me…I think that it is a good lesson for any young player…that if a man puching 30yrs old can get back in to shape and play in the MLL than certainly ANY young person with the right drive and work ethic can achieve any goal!

I am officially signing off as a MLL player, and retiring for good this time…but please look forward to my blogs in the future…I plan on reporting on alot of the Towson and Washington College seasons as well as many of the other teams acrosse the nation!

I leave you all with a picture of the next Towson All American in my family, my nephew andrew…please do not tell him that he is holding a womens stick…

Good luck to all

JB

aka  “AT30MYHANDSARESTILLFASTERTHANMOST”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 10/23/2008

Hi everybody (saying that makes me feel like the cheap doctor on the Simpsons who always seems to pop up and say that).  Anyways, I hope that everyone is doing well and excited for the week to come to an end and the weekend to begin.  I wish that  I could say that I had some exciting plans for the weekend, but I dont.  Last weekend we (Trilogy Lacrosse) had tryouts for our North New Jersey Middle School and High School club teams.  It was a huge success with almost 200 kids coming out to compete for a spot on our teams.  Although the weather was a little cold and I was severely under dressed, the turnout was great and the effort the kids played with was great to see.  The tryout lasted both Saturday and Sunday, but I was only there for the Saturday session, I had a tee time on Sunday (probably the last of the year) that I needed to get back for.  After a bad outing of golf (as usual) and a Ravens win, Sunday ended up being a great end to the weekend.

This weekend, I will make the trip back up to New Jersey only this time to the Jersey Shore where we will have our last day of our six week fall lax program.  This program was meant to spur some interest from some of the lesser experienced laxers on the shore and prepare them for our Jersey Shore club team tryouts that take place next weekend.  After a long day Saturday of driving up and back to NJ, it may be a mellow night Saturday with a blowout on Sunday for the Ravens game.  Its been a while since the boys played a home game and after this week, they are back on the road for 3 or 4 straight weeks.

Other then the Trilogy work and school, I have been trying to get myself ready for the indoor season.  I recently signed with the Philadelphia Wings and training camp starts soon.  I am not going to say that I look forward to the training camp, but I am looking forward to getting back out and playing.  With Haloween being next week, I may not check in until the next week, but I will be sure to have some stories for the next blog.

Any good Halloween costumes??  Unitl next time, take care everyone….

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 07/14/2008

Whats up ladies and gentleman?!…OK so some of you were probably thinking I killed myself, after getting dominated by Peter Vlahakis TWICE!…but I didnt.  I spent most of the week trying to forget that those games ever even happened.  In fact, WHO IS PETER VLAHAKIS?

anyway We played Philly this past week and I am happy to say I was MUCH better at the X.  I was 11 of 21 and I have to say it should have been more like 13 or 14 of 21, I pulled like three of them off the X and he was able to stand up and hold me until one of his wings would come in and take my GB…I was begging for some hold calls but apparently the refs did not think it was the case.  Anyway I was still real happy with my performance at the X.  I did make two mental mistakes after picking up the GB, but what else is new?!

As far as the game was concerned we lost, and I am not usually one who likes to blame refs, and I will not start now but I think it was awefull interesting that Philly had 6 EMO oportunities and we had NONE, and according to the refs I held/tripped andy corno twice and when he literally would put his hands on my chest and grab me if I pulled the ball out it is not a hold…(by the way I dont falt corno, he did what he had to do to win face-offs, and it is only cheating if they call it)…either way at the end of the day just as Peter Jacobs said, “you have to make your own luck”  and we did not on this day.

This week is Alex Smith again, and I presume I will be in the lineup, although it is inevitable that one of these weeks they will give this brennan kid another shot, I just dont think they will throw him to the wolf, named alex smith, I just dont see how that would benefit him.  Assuming I am in the lineup I plan on getting off the X quickly as I did with Corno.  If I let Smith tie it up at the X we are in trouble, his wings are too good and he is too crafty in a scrum, I must not let that happen.

So in the meantime I am going to do exactly what I did last week…I will watch no film of my upcoming opponent, I will not create some detailed scouting report and I will not overthink anything.  It is all about me this week and how Alex Smith is going to need to change for ME.

Until next time

JB
A.K.A.  ”THE WILEY VETERAN” (as our GM says!)

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/27/2008

Whats happening ladies and gentleman?  Last time I wrote you I was telling you abouthow I did against alex smith and that I was gearing up for San Fran.  As most of you know we won that game and I probably played the best I have yet.  I must say howeer that Guerenlian from San Fran also gave me a few free ones, since he was almost incapable of NOT getting called for some sort of proceedure…either way I will take it!

now on to Long Island…just like every week  I have been getting butchered in the media…lax United says that vlahakis will destroy me, major league lacrosse (website) says the same and I am actually getting used to it…even when I play well they seem to find something to talk about, but hey, i guess not everyone is always going to like you!  Its cool though, its humbling, and I am feeding off of it.  My goal is to win games, not have the best face-off percentage, and right now we are winning games…and if I might say so myself I am right there in the hunt with the rest of the face-off men, I have only had ONE bad game statistically and my coach was actually pretty happy with my performance even though the numbers were bad.  If you look at the rest of the league I am far from the worste in the league (but for some reason I am the only one who seems to get called out every week) and there are really only two guys who’s numbers stand out…SMITH and, well, VLAHAKIS.

I have watched more film on this kid that I did for most of my opponents in college, and I must say his wing play is realy good, but I actually think it is his wing play that comes through for him every week, it is really not him winning a tone of draws clean to himself.  If we can contain Cocchi(my old college wing man) and this Orsen Character I think we can win alot of face-offs.  Over the last couple of games I have noticed our team starting to “gell” , they are starting to understand how I play and what my tendencies are…it is a real shame that we  had to play half a season to get used to eachother, but I guess you just cant hlep some things.

Anyway I feel good about this weekends game, I am not sure why or what exactly I feel good about (whether it be winning the game or the face-off battle) but I feel good.  I will be taking SOFletes musical suggestions into consideration tonight when i make my playlist for pre game, although I already have some of those songs on my IPOD.  Wish me luck this weekend, Im looking to shock the lacrosse world…and show them the ol’guy still has some fire in him!

JB

aka “olderbutwiser”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/19/2008

Whats up folks?!?!?!?

OK so some of you have already started asking about last weeks game, and whether or not I am ready to hang myself, and the answer is NO, I am actually OK with my performance from last week.

Early in the game things looked good.  On the first draw I hit the whistle just right and pulled it out the front, except that the ball did not go very far and I over ran it.  the next two were violations on Alex Smith.  Then I left  the ball on the X twice and started to worry that I was not getting enough of the ball.  And for anyone who faces off they know that when you start to worry, you start to lose.  Because Alex was immediately diving down on my stick, I could not tell how much if any of the ball I had in my stick.  He was apparently doing this intentionally (we spoke after the game).  Accourding to Alex I was winning the draw but since he was able to dive down and cover my stick fast enough, I was unable to trust that I had enough of the ball to get it off the X.  he was then using his forearm to push my stick back and remove the ball from my stick (crafty, I know).  At this point I was actually abandoning my clamp and reverting to a swim move that would tie him up making it a 50/50 with the wings.  This was my ultimate goal anyway as the last thing we wanted to do was allow Alex to create offense with his fast breaks.

By the fourth quarter I was spent, I mean almost every face off was like a wrestling match, with his wings showing no signs of letting up (note his wings play is rediculous, they picked up at least 12 of  Smiths 17 wins).  This is when we brought in the fresh meat, and I mean MEAT.  As many of you already know NJ selected Stephen Peyser the Middie from Hopkins, and he is no slouch at the X.  In college he was able to win like 56% percent of his draws WHILE he was playing two way middie…that is rediculous.  SOOOOO when we asked him to spell me in the Fourth quarter, he was way more fresh than he usually is, and definately more fresh than Alex Smith (I seriously beat him in to the ground physically).  When Stephen went in we were starting a run and leading the game, 5 out of 6 face-off wins later we were up by 4 and looking prime to win this game.  I went back in completely refreshed and won the last couple of draws, and we won the game….SWEEEET.

Anyway although this was a tough one for my ego, I learned that you dont always have to have a great day statistically to help your team win…I had a job to do, and I did it for the most part, and as Peter Jacobs said, my numbers do not reflect how I played AT ALL.

This week I take on Greg Geurenlian and the San Francisco Dragons (oh and Lax Spots own Hunter Lochte)…Geurenlian is quite an interesting character…he is a complete steak and paints his face (HUMMMMM, I WONDER WHO HE LEARNED THAT FROM) yeah a face-off man who paints his face with eye black . . .WIERD!  and original

I’ve added a few pics, one is of Alex and I after the game last weekend and the others speak for themselves…I wonder if Mr. Geirenlian is a lax spot member???

Justin Berry & Alex Smith

Justin Berry & Alex Smith

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

Justin Berry on Inside Lacrosse

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