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Originally posted on LaxSpot on 1/25/08

I hope that everyone is doing well.  I know that I usually post on a Monday following a weekend game, but I am not traveling to Toronto this weekend, so I figured I would send a blog out today is preparation for the weekend.  Even though I bummed that I am not traveling to Toronto, I am a little happy because I get to have a weekend in Bmore for the first time in a while.  We have been practicing pretty much every weekend since the first weekend in November.  It is going to be nice to catch up with some friends that I haven’t seen or hung out with in a while.

Even though I am not going to be busy with travel this weekend, I am still going to keep myself busy.  After school today I am going to take the dog to the park, go to the gym, eat some dinner and go out for a little.  Saturday is a big day, I am going to go to my first yoga class at 930 in the morning.  I have heard nothing but good things about it for athletes and I figured with the weekend off, why not torture my body giving it a shot.  After that I will probably relax for a little before heading out to Christie’s little sister Molly’s 16th birthday party.  Let me tell you how much I am looking forward to that…..

Sunday is a big day.  The Terps are going to upset another top team in Duke this weekend (I cant stand Duke basketball).  Its also a big night, the new Wire is on and I cant wait.  I am addicted to the Wire.  I never got into it until Matt Striebel started talking about it a few months back.  He kept going on and on and wouldnt shut up about it, so I decided that I would check it out.  Luckily HBO was playing all of the seasons over OnDemand in preperation for the last season.  I watch four seasons of the Wire over the next 3 months getting ready for this final season.

Lastly, I wanted to give a shout out to Justin Berry aka THEFASTESTHANDSINTHEGAME?  I am siked to see that he is getting back into shape and giving the MLL another run.  He was hands down one of the best FOGO’s, and I mean FOGO, that I have ever seen.  Justin, good luck getting back, but for your sake, work on bending over and picking up a ground ball….

I hope everyone has a good weekend….

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 1/21/2008

Hey everyone, I hope that you had a great weekend, mine had some ups and some down, but all in all, no complaints.   Ill start with the ups….How about the Terps pulling off the huge W versus the Tarheels?  What a game.  I only got to see the first half and got the update of the final score from my roomate Trey (he graduated from UNC last year), but what a game.  I have been a Maryland fan forever and beating Carolina is a huge step for this years team.  The NFL Championhip games were good games to watch, but in the long run rather dissapointing for me.  After watching a hard fought game in New England which saw the Pats come out on top, I watched my Packers take one on the chin from Eli and the Giants.  As for the Super Bowl, lets hope that the Giants put up a showing like they have on the road (10 straight road wins) this year and in week 16 vs the Pats and not Giants that got spanked by the Ravens in Super Bowl 35.

Anyways, on to Buffalo.  Our plane left Baltimore at 540 on Friday.  This was nice because I got to get through a whole day of school and didnt have to take any time off and the flight only took an hour, so by the time we got up in the air, we were on our way back down.  Once in Buffalo, which was cold (not as cold as the Green Bay/Giants game), we headed to the hotel, dropped off our stuff and made our way to practice.  We had a relatively good practice, but it was really tough becuase we were playing on a roller hockey rink with no turf.  The ground was slippery and the lights made it very tough to see the ball too.  After practice, we headed back to the hotel where we got a quick bite to eat and got some sleep.  We had flims at 8 am and than were off to our shootaround at 915.  The HSBC center is a pretty cool arena, but it had a lingering smell of stale beer.  After shoot around, it was back to the hotel for team lunch and nap time.  At 5:00 we were on our way back to the HSBC to get ready for the Bandits.  The game was a disappointing one, but I did get to see history in John Tavares breaking Gary Gait’s all time goals record.  After the game we went back to the hotel and hung out there for a little while before heading out to see what downtown Buffalo had to offer.  Did I mention in was freezing cold.  530 am wake up call and it was off to the airport to head home.  The early flights are tough, but getting home early is nice.

Today starts another week, but a short one for me.  We have no school today because of Martin Luther King’s birthday, so I am going to take some time to relax before going to the gym, cleaning up the house and taking Mason to the park.  We head to Toronto on Friday, so check back next week for updates on how that trip went.

Have a good week everyone and I be back next week.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 1/14/2008

I hope that everyone had a great weekend and their week is off to a great start.  I figured with the first game of the season in the record books, I would give you a recap of my first weekend in the NLL.

Bryan Barrett, Erik Miller, and myself took off Friday afternoon from BWI on our way to Portland.  We had to stop in Atlanta which still seems odd to me that we had to go south before making the northwest cross country flight.  The flights werent too bad, actually the flight from Atlanta to Portland was pretty neat.  Each seat had its own touch screen TV and it had a variety of movies and a trivia game that the whole plane could play agaisnt each other.  My mini DVD player wouldnt work (I think I forgot to charge it), so I played trivia for a while before switching over to PTI and Sportscenter.  After Sportscenter, I rented “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry.”  I found it hilarious and Jessica Biel is pretty easy to look at too.

We got into Portland around 730 and had to wait for the rest of the team to get in so that we could catch the bus and go to practice.  We finally got to practice around 9-930 and had a really good one hour practice.  After practice, we ordered some pizzas and hit the hay.  Game day is here and we have flim and scouting report at 9 for the O guys and 930 for the D guys.  After that, we are off to the Rose Garden for a shoot around.  Following the shoot around, we had some time off.  Barrett was my roomate, and we ended up sitting around watching the Packers (GO PACK) beat up on Seahawks before we ate lunch and got ready to head out to the game.

We left the hotel and made our way to the Rose Garden at 5.  Once at the Roses Garden, we had our informal warm-up, followed by our offical warm-up.  Game time is fast approaching and the team is getting ready to play.  I didnt play in this game, but the excitment in the locker room was amazing.  Game time is here and Barrett and Anthony (A-train) Kelly and I head up to a suite to watch the game.  What a game it was, the team played great and we pulled out a victory and shut up a lot of the naysayers that were out there.  Following the game we went back to the hotel to drop of our stuff and headed out to see what Portland had to offer.

Sunday, 415 am the bus departs and we head to the airport to head home, so much for sleeping.  I am guessing that  the flights home were good, all I remember was getting on the plane and waking up as we were landing in Minneapolios and doing the same from Minneapolis to Baltimore.

Once I got home, I had a few hours to watch the Giants vs Cowboys game, cook some dinner, and hang out with Christie and the dog.  Another work week is upon me and its time to get prepared for Buffalo on Saturday.

I hope that everyone has a good week and I will check in again next week to tell you all about our Buffalo trip.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 1/7/2008

I hope that everyone had a safe and exciting New Years, and their 2008 is off to a great start.  My New Years was fun.  The party that Kyle and I threw at Mad River was a big success and everyone really enjoyed themselves (some a little too much, but who really remembers).

Today is my first day back to school since before Christmas and I was not ready to come back.  I was starting to get used to getting a few hours more of sleep everyday and not having to shave, but I am happy to be back.  I am not the type of person who can have too much time off, I start to go stir crazy and get bored way too easily.

With school being back in session, I figured that I would give you a look as to what a typical day is like for me.  If I am lucky, I wake up to the alarm clock at 6:20.  Typically my dog, Mason, wakes me up a little before that.  I take Mason for a walk, come home grab a quick bite to eat or drink a protein shake, shower, shave, get dressed. and am out the door between 6:55-7:10.  I get in the car and enjoy my 15-20 minutes of Mike and Mike in the Morning before I get to work.  When I get to work, I fill up my water bottle (I dont drink coffee) and I go to my classroom to get everything organized for the day.  My morning classes run from 830-1115 and I teach second, third, and fourth grade math.  After my morning classes, I get to go to lunch (our cafeteria is awesome), and have a few minutes to prepare for my afternoon classes.  I teach two classes of kindergarten science in the afternoons.  I know, your probably wondering, what kind of science do you teach to kindergartners???  Believe it or not, they learn a scaled down version of a lot of different topics from the human body to dinosaurs, space, and plants.  After my afternoon classes, its off to practice (I coach football, basketball, and lacrosse at Calvert).  After practice, I head home, take Mason to the park for about 30 minutes and than it is off to the gym for about an hour and a half.  After the gym, its a shower and dinner time with Christie.  We usually cook a nice meal together or go out to eat.  After that its some TV time and than bed.

This is a big week for me.  Other than coming back to school, we open up with the Portland Lumberjacks this weekend in Portland.  Other than the 10 hours it is going to take to get from Baltimore to Portland (via Atlanta, why…Im still not too sure about) I cant wait.  We had two really tough but good three hour practices this weekend that closed out our six weeks of training camp and the team is really coming together (Watch out Portland).

Any thoughts about the first round of NFL Playoffs?

Whos your pick in the NCAA National Championship?  Mine is LSU.  I like OSU, I went on a recruiting trip there and it was amazing, I got to meet and get a tour from Archie Griffin (only two-time Heisman winner), see the football facitlites, and watch a game in Ohio Stadium.  Throw in the game featured some of the best college football players that year (Arrington, Courtney Brown, Katzenmoyer, Vrabel, Boston, to name a few).

Until next time, have a good one and I will talk to you soon.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 12/28/2007

I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas.  Mine was good, busy, but it was nice to spend time with family.  Being a teacher, it is nice not having to go back to work until January 7, but even with the days off its still busy.

The last few days have been spent returning gifts, cleaning up the mess that the holiday season has made of my house, working out, and hanging out with my girlfriend (Christie) and dog (Mason).  This is something that I dont get a chance to do a lot.  Working everyday and traveling every weekend can put a real strain on a relationship, so these past few days and next week have and will be nice.

The indoor season starts tomorrow night for Colorado and Edmonton.  With the NLL strike, our first game was supposed to be this weekend, but we now have to wait until January 12 when we travel out to Portland.   I cant wait for the season to begin.  We  have been practicing for what feels like forever and we still have three more weeks to go.  The next three weeks are going to be very important to us, we still have a lot of work to do as a team to get ready for the seson and to show the naysayers that even though we have a lot of Americans, we can compete with the rest of the league.

Anyways, I hope that everyone has a happy new year and I will catch you agin in 08.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 12/21/2007

I hope that everyone is having and had an excellent holuday season.  My break from school just started and I cant tell you how excited I am about it.  I havent had much free time for the past three months, so it is much needed.  Before I can relax, I have to get through the next few days that are jam packed with events.  I head out tomorrow morning to New Jersey for Trilogy’s NJ Club Team tryouts.  Those go on all day and from there Boyle, Alrich, Mitch Belisle, and I are off to Titans practice.  After practice it will be a quick bite to eat and bed.  We practice again at 9 Sunday and have to go back to tryouts after practice.
From tryouts I will drive back to Baltimore, pick up my girlfriend (Christie) and head out to my cousin Skip’s house for the 3rd annuall Lochte Family Christmas Party.  It is pretty much a debachle, but it is good to see the family at the holiday.  After the party, its home to bed.  Monday (Christmas Eve) is Christie and mines Christmas morning.  We will wake up and exchange presents, have breakfast and than she will go back to bed and I will head out to the gym.  We will go to my parents house for dinner than head out to Bel Air to spend the night so we can wake up with her two little sisters (Maggie (11) and Molly (15)) Christmas morning.  From there I will go back to my parents house so my mom can make me breakfast and I can hang out with them for a while.  I will than go back to meet up with Christie and her family for Christmas dinner.  After dinner, its bed (finally) and my break can finally begin.

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 12/21/2007

Welcome to my blog, this is a first for me, but I am excited to let everyone into my life.  Let me start by telling you a little bit about me.

I grew up in Baltimore, MD and went to Boys’ Latin (one of the best high school lacrosse programs in the country).    I left BL and went to Towson University where I was a four year starter at midfield and attack and majored in Marketing.  I stayed in school for a 5th year to help Coach Seaman (hands down one of the best coaches and people that I have ever met).

After graduation, I bounced around to a few jobs before taking a teaching job at the Calvert School in Baltimore.  I teach kindergarten science and math to second, third and fourth grade (kids are amazing).

Beside teaching, I play professionally for the San Francisco Dragons and the New York Titans.  I also am a part of Trilogy Lacrosse (check us out…(www.trilogylacrosse.com) with Ryan Boyle, Rob Lindsey, Matt Alrich, and Matt Striebel.  We are the leaders in lacrosse education.

I hope that you learned a little about me and I look forward to letting you get to me.

Hey All Laxers, I trust that the New Year is treating you all well. It has been an event full past couple of weeks with the holidays, camp, and the first ever professional lacrosse game in Florida.
Between Christmas and New Years I conducted my first ever Florida Camp. I have been running camps for 8 years in Ilinois and New York but I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was my first winter camp, although it was 80 degrees. The camp turned out better than I hoped for with good camper turn out and a great staff.  Guys like Bo Lamon, Kevin Finneran, and Josh Etzion a two time HS All American who currently plays at Dartmouth help round up the staff.

January 3rd at the Bank Atlantic Center was a great night for lacrosse as the NY Titans battled the Toronto Rock in South Florida. The game was great as the Titans were nipped by the Rock. The game seemed to be a success as there was over 5,000 reportedly at the game. Perhaps with a little ground work you could see an expansion team in south florida.

Next up the season, start Jan 20th

These blog posts were originally published on LaxSpot in 2008

Thanksgiving

Hey All Laxers, Happy Thanksgiving. This is the time of year when families come together from all parts of the world to be with loved ones and celebrate the holidays. Thanksgiving to me is the celebration of all good things in your life past and present. The ability to recognize and be greatful for the people, experiences, family and friends that make your life what it is, is  important. So with that said I would like to say “Thank you” to my family, friends, and fans for being apart of my life and contributing to my happiness.
I am currently celebrating Thanksgiving in Key West, Florida, with my daughter Riley and my wife Jessica. We are enjoying the beautiful weather while we are staying with her parents and her brother Michael’s family. It is great because Michael and Sarah have two young daughters Riley’s age. The day should be great spending time with loved ones. I hope you all enjoy a happy and safe holiday.

OH, I almost forgot…..I am Thankful for being apart of a great close nit community of LACROSSE fans, coaches, teammates, and players who help make our sport what it is. THANKS

Dedication

Laxers, for those of you interested in paying your respects to Will Barrow the family has posted a website with information about the services.

http://williambarrow.tripod.com/

Barrow

Hey All Laxers, It is with a heavy heart I am writing to you on this Monday morning. Over the weekend the news circulated the lacrosse community like wild fire that Will Barrow had passed away. The news was of course  a shock to us all and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, teammates and loved ones he leaves behind. For those of you who didn’t know Will, he was fun loving, energetic and played lacrosse with a great passion. I only briefly had the privilege of getting to know Will  and he is already deeply missed. I ask all of you to say a prayer for Will and his family as the coming time will be very difficult. Rest in Peace Will Barrow, you will be missed……Shanny

Flamingos…

Hey All Laxers, The holidays are quickly approaching and many fall sports are coming to an end, this past Friday was the final game of the year for Pine Crest. Less than 12 hours later I was in a car packet full of other laxrats headed for St. Petersburg, which is just south of Tampa. I was fortunate enough to find a solid club when I moved to Florida. The Fort Lauderdale Flamingos run Coach Rich Barba are a solid bunch of guys. The ride was long but was full of laughs. Once we reached the west side, we had only a few minutes since everyone knows when you take a group trip someone is always late to the rallying point. Thankfully it was me, when we arrived it was beautiful out a great day for lax. With two games on Saturday and one on Sunday it was fun filled weekend of lax. It was great to get out and move around and play with a new bunch of guys which is always interesting. The weekend finished with the Flamingos going 3-0 and finishing with a barn burner 23-22 victory over Hogstown.

Rules Changes

Hey All Laxers, I hope the fall season is treating you all well. With the latest release in rule changes by the MLL it will introduce the LSM back into the game. The LSM has long been missed by many goalies and coaches who routinely see middies run by short sticks. The rule change will bring about little change in my mind, there are so many talented middies in the game. On any given week a middie can light it up and each team has several middies who are worthy of drawing the pole. I do however believe it will increase the coaches role in the MLL by bringing so more defensive strategy into each weeks preparation, regarding slide packages and personelle decisions. It should be interesting to see how coaches and players adapt to the added LSM and an extra spot on the game day roster.

School Back in Session

Hey All Laxers, Congrats to Rochester on winning the Championship!

School has officially started down here in Florida, and our first football game is right around the corner.  In fact we have our first contact scrimmage versus another opponent tomorrow. Should be exciting to see how we do. I have been in Florida for over a month and experienced so new things already. I have even made it through my first tropical storm (FAY), which came right in the middle of our two a day football camp. I am looking forward to re-establishing my relationship with Kevin Finnernan who originally drafted me to Chicago, and by some strike of dumb luck we both moved to Fort Lauderdale in the same week, weird…

Post Season

Hey All Laxers, Congratulations to Philly, Rochester, LA, and Denver and good luck to those teams in the post season. The Machine finished 3-9 on the season, with many new faces throughout the year and improved rookies we were much more competitive this year than last year. We again will have the 1st overall pick in next years draft, with that we should become even more competitve.

With the MLL season over, I have already started my next season. I am living in Fort Lauderdale now and working at Pine Crest. In florida football is known as king, so two a days have already begun.  I can’t tell you how much I have missed football, which I truely didn’t realize until I started coaching. It has beens 6 years since I was with the Jets. Time truely does fly.

Last Game Preview

Hey All Laxers, entering the final week of the MLL season the Machine find ourselves out of the playoffs and with a 3-8 record. This week we face the best in the east, the Rochester Rattlers. Last year the Rattlers hammered us at their place, this game will be played on our home turf were we seem to play better. The Rattlers roster is full of All Stars and will pose many matchup problems for us. Personally this will be the first time I go against Smith at the “X’ for a full game. Everyone  seems to believe that he is the best, so I looking forward to the challenge of competing against him. He currently has the best face off % in the league that is over 60% which is pretty sick for the MLL. I had a chance to watch him go against Valhakis this past weekend, who is second in the league in %.  Both a very good so it was hard really to pick anything up, plus the coverage on tv often misses the face off. Wish the Machine Luck this week as we have a chance to effect the seedings for the playoff and get the most wins in our franchise history.

Bye Week

Hey All Laxers, In week 11 the Machine have a bye week, which is probably good since our next opponent in Rochester. Rochester is the best team in the East and it looks like there is a great chance of Denver and them meeting in Championship game in late August.  The Machine have a chance to get to 4 wins by winning which would be the most in any one season but it is going to take a serious effort to accomplish that.

In the past two weeks I have finally relocated to Fort Lauderdale where I am pretty much all moved in. The crazy thing is I have already starting doing the summer workout with the high school football team where I am teaching at. Everything starts a bit earlier down here than up North but I am looking forward to starting a new chapter. Thanks

Finally!

Hey All Laxers, We WOOOOOOOONNNNNN! and beat LA for the first time in our franchise history. We were getting killed in the first half by like 8 but managed to cut the lead to 4 by half. Then in the second half our D and Gabel shut it down.  Offensive began to feed of the defense. There were some crazy hits in this game, Bigas, Rob Smtih, and Whittenberg were laying the lumber all day.   As for me I did my part and played my role 17-30 against A train and 1 goal.

San Fran

Whats up Laxers, Well we now are 2-7 with 3 games left. At this point in the season we are playing for pride. The Machine are still without a road victory in our franchise history, I know not good. That was our motivational tool going into the San Fran game but it still wasn’t enough.  Looking ahead to LA this week, this team seems to be playing the best lax of late. They have the most athletic midfielders in the game and provide many difficult match ups for any team. With that said we have been competitive both times so maybe 3 times will be the one we break through.

LA to San Fran

Hey all Laxers, for those of you who didn’t follow the scoreboard the Machine managed to squander another game after being up late in the game. We are now 2-6 with 4 to play, playoff picture is looking real bleak. This year really seemed like it was going to be the year where we were going to make a push and change the moto of our franchise but it seems to be going totally opposite of what I had hoped.

Looking ahead to San Fran, this seems to be another great opportunity for us to get a “W”….the flight to San Jose where the Dragons now play is going to be brutal. I leave Islip NY, where I am for mly camp, thn make stops in Chicago and Las Vegas all before landing in San Jose. Wish us luck!

2nd Win

Laxers, Hope this July 4th holiday weekend finds everyone doing well. My brother is currently spending his first fourth of July in Afghanistan, so this is a special fourth for my family and I. He has been there since mid March of this year.

Getting back to the season we put another “W” in the win column. It is only our second win but it was a big one against league leading Denver. If we hope to get back in the mix of things we need to get another “W” this week against LA.  Should  be a good challenge for us and me personallly to go up against the West Respresentative in  the All Star Game at the Face off X, Anthony Kelly.

Congrats to Levielle, Gabel, and Brooks who all were announced to the All Star Team this week.

Update

Hey ALL, It been awhile since my last update with you all….I have since moved from Illinois and I am on my way to Fort Lauderdale Florida in July. I have made a pit stop back in Long Island for some family and Camp time until we complete the move.

The Machine, we find ourselves in familiar territory as a franchise….1-4 not good…we have had a few heart wrenching losses in OT this year and lost another 1 goal game earlier to LA.  I have been pretty much relagated to face offs duty this year…some time you gotta due whats best for the team and since Danny Kallaugher broke his hand last week, this were I am need most….should be a good battle this week against Denver if we hope to turn our season around we will need this one…..Wish us luck

Stupid Pipes

Hey, Hope everyone enjoyed the final four and championship game… I know I watched a total of 5 minutes of all the games. Between getting to the airport and flying back and forth to Los Angeles most of the Machine guys didn’t get to see much. Unless your name is Leveille who managed to fly in and out of LA all in one day from Boston and play in his own game after watching his brother beat Virginia in double OT. Not a bad weekend for that family…

The Machine game was another great battle this weekend we just fell a bit short, I know I hit 3 pipes on the day…..so annoying.  Our defense and Gabel in the net have been awesome this year we just need to find our swagger on “O”.

The draft tomorrow should be exciting for the Machine, with the #1 pick overall we have so many options that we could go with and plenty of talent to choose from, also heard about some possible trades for our # 1 pick so it should be interesting.

1st Game Review

Hey, Sorry for the late post report on the 1st game of the year but I was in Fort Lauderdale all week. I have taken a job down there and was looking for a place to live. I have already told the team at U of I that I would not be returning next season.

So by now everyone probably has checked the stats and win/loss column for the MLL. It was a great game that we pulled out in the fourth quarter. The scoreboard see sawed back and forth, I was 6-14 at the X with one assist. I look to improve those numbers this week at LA. This is a huge game for us to see where we are really at as a team. LA is loaded with talent but that doesn’t always translate to a great team. Chemistry is a huge factor in the MLL and everyone’s ego has to mesh. So far this year the Machine have seemed to have found a good balance but it is early and anything can happen. Plus the college draft is next week so there is a great chance that the roster will look tremendously different. My money is on us grabbing Danowski…but wouldn’ t be shocked if that changed to Rabil or Levielle.

Here we Go…

Well, its time to officially put down the coaching whistle and strap on the helmet and #26 jersey for another adventurous season in the MLL. The Machine open up this Sunday at home in Toyota Park  against the San Francisco Dragons, it should be an action packed game and hopefully an opening day win which the Machine have yet to accomplish in there short tenure in the MLL. Feels like a good weekend to get it done…..Wish us luck!

MLL Opening Weekend

Hey All Laxers, This past weekend the machine opened up our training camp for the season. It was a great first weekend, however the numbers were a little low because some players are still playing in the NLL. It was great to be back on the field with the team and getting after each other.

What a Weekend

First I must apologize for one of my earlier blogs in which I wrote we were playing two games down in Disney but in fact we only played one against DUKE.  Before I get to the weekend itself let me tell you about the horror show that went on while traveling to Disney.

This past Thursday morning my wife jess, my 18 month old daughter Riley and I all woke up at 3:30 am for a 6 am flight out of Bloomington Illinois. We arrived in plenty of time for check in but for some reason the line wasn’t moving at all, and we had only 3 people in front of us, a half an hour goes buy and we still haven’t moved. Now it is getting pretty close to the cut of time to check in luggage which is usually about 45 minutes before take off.  Finally the people in front of us moved, we get to the desk and they tell us that the cargo hold on the plane is sealing right so they can’t take any of our bags. The light bulb should have went off right there, but in our haste to get down to Disney especially traveling with a infant we decided to push on. The airline said our bags would be on the next flight. We get to the gate after all the trouble of getting checked in and another bomb shell the airline wants to take our stroller and send it down later, anyone who travels with kids knows a stroller is a necessity since we also had a lay over in Atlanta which is Delta’s hub, and is a huge airport. No way was this going to happen, after a few bloods cells popped in my wife’s brain they let us take the stroller directly on the plane since it wasn’t full.

Just when we thought it could not possible get any worse, I mean how could it. We almost missed the plane at check in, we don’t have our bags, almost lost the stroller and we are traveling with an infant who is not happy about waking up at 3:30 in the morning. So we take off with out a hitch, and get in the air but something doesn’t seem just right. We have been flying for like 15 minutes but not really gaining altitude. Finally the Captain gets on the PA and announces that our flaps are not working and that we needed to make a emergency landing…you have got to be kidding me! That is rated G version. Here is the kicker we can’t land at the same airport we took off from because the runway is not long enough, that right there should tell you everything you needed to know about how serious this was. I went on to later find out that the flaps control the airspeed after we had safely landed in Peoria.

We finally make it to Orlando after basically wasting a whole day in the airport, and the nightmare was over. We had two solid practices on Friday and Saturday, for our game on Sunday which US Lacrosse held a huge clinic for about 100 kids which turned out to be alot of fun.  Before the game I had a few minutes to catch up with Coach Danowski, and also talk to Matt about his injury. He is well on his road to recovery but felt it best not to play in the game.

The game itself was a blast and Duke has a great team, Matt Striebel played outstanding and had a great day shooting the ball.  We had a three goal lead going into the finally three minutes of the game but let is slip away. We managed to hold off their last push of the game and won 13-12.  Duke should be well on their way to competing for a National Championship.

Recruiting

Hey All, This upcoming weekend all of the U of I coaches will be attending the Chicago Machine high school recruiting combine.  This will give us a great opportunity to evaluate the Chicago land talent. The combine will be held at the McCook Center which is an exceptional facility, equipped with plenty of playing space.

The hard aspect of recruiting in the MCLA is the absence of scholarships, then thrown on top of that U of I is an extremely challenging school with high academic standards. So recruiting is not all peaches and creme.  I expect it is tough at any program trying to evaluate talent and then deal with admissions. The biggest thing we can sell as coaches, which is a great thing, is the education you receive at U of I, which many parents and athletes know and understand.

Feedback

Hey All, Thanks to those of you who have been reading my blogs, much appreciated. Also thanks to those of you who have been living feedback and asking questions.

I will do my best to be interactive as long as continue writing blogs, instead of writing several different responses back individually I have decided to do a general responses  in the blogs since other people may have the same questions. So here it goes, this question is from Glen:

Q: Doug - I’m curious who’s on the US roster for these games. Was an invitation extended to the entire 2006 US World team? Who’s filling in for guys that are playing in the NLL and not able to make it?

A: When a player makes the USA TEAM is commitment is not just for the year of the World Games, it actually last until the next team is picked. Each player is expected to be present at a certain amount of events whether it be clinics,games,etc, things of that nature. When tournaments are put together obviously the invitation is extended to the current team first, after players have decided if they are going to play or if they can play; then US Lacrosse sends out secondary invitations to players who were not on the USA TEAM in 2006 but are still held in the highest regard, such as MLL players or perhaps club players. Here is the roster for Florida:

U.S. Men’s Team Roster

Attack
Nicholas Bonacci (Long Island Lizards/Dartmouth ‘07)
John Christmas (Boston Cannons/Virginia ‘05)
Tim Goettelman (Long Island Lizards/Loyola ‘01)
Sean Morris (Chicago Machine/Massachusetts ‘06)
*Joe Walters (Rochester Rattlers/Maryland ‘06)
Midfield
Stephen Berger (Long Island Lizards/Washington College ‘04)
Ben DeFelice (Boston Cannons/Towson ‘04)
*Kyle Harrison (New Jersey Pride/Johns Hopkins ‘05)
Sean Lindsay (Los Angeles Riptide/Syracuse ‘04)
*Blake Miller (Long Island Lizards/Hofstra ‘96)
*Doug Shanahan (Chicago Machine/Hofstra ‘01)
*Matt Striebel (Philadelphia Barrage/Princeton ‘01)
Defense
*Christian Cook (Washington Bayhawks/Princeton ‘98)
*Ryan Curtis (Washington Bayhawks/Virginia ‘00)
*John Gagliardi (Long Island Lizards/Johns Hopkins ‘97)
Zac Jungers (Denver Outlaws/Princeton ‘07)
Brett Moyer (Philadelphia Barrage/Hofstra ‘07)
*Todd Rassas (Notre Dame ‘98)
Goal
*Chris Garrity (Washington Bayhawks/Penn State ‘03)
Michael Levin (Rochester Rattlers/Brown ‘04)

* Member of 2006 U.S. men’s team

Mark asked….
Q:
How do you guys look this year in the MCLA? Any predictions? Who will be your biggest opponents in the league?

A: Being that this is my first year of college coaching in the MCLA I was pleasantly surprised with the talent of our team. I believe that we have a very positive outlook this season. We have plenty of tough games on the schedule such as Michigan, Lindenwood, Simon Fraser, Arizona, and Arizona St. just to name a few. We will be battle tested come the end of the year, hopefully we will be on the upside our tough games. Our toughest league opponent is Lindenwood, there is no lose of love between these two programs as I quickly found out this fall during a tourney in St. Louis. Lindenwood beat Illinois last year in the league championship game in OT. Look for a rematch this year again come May. As for predictions, look for us to be competitive in everygame and to compete for a league championship. That is the most I can say without giving teams posterboard material.

USA TEAM ALL STAR CHALLENGE

Hey All, With the USA TEAM ALL STAR CHALLENGE a little more than a week away anticipation is beginning to build. After being out of the college for 7 years now I wonder how, if any the game has changed. Obviously I have been playing in the MLL and with TEAM USA since college, but the rules have changed some and I wonder if the athletes have continued to improve. I assume since we are playing Duke and Hopkins we will be playing by the NCAA rules, which right off the bat gives the college teams an advantage. Plus they have had all of fall ball to become a close knit group, and obviously the most important they all will be in shape. We as a team (USA ALLSTARS) arrive in Disney World next Friday were we will have two days to prepare as a team, then play that Sunday.

The challenge is clear, adapt to new rules, new teammates, new coaches, oh and use brand new equipment/sticks against the two top rated teams in Div. 1. I always like a good challenge, plus the chance to get to play alongside some of the games best is always a great experience in and of itself.

Entering the last week I have been preparing for the task ahead as I hope all of the team has been, with 2 games against the best they have to offer at the college level we all will need our legs. Most of you know it is much easier to train when you are in the team atmosphere, the challenge is being self motivating especially those of us who work on a daily basis, or have kids.

Only time will tell if we have all prepared enough for these tests ahead. Remember we are going out there as a representative of the best in America. It would be a shame if we went out looking flat and out of shape.

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