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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

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/13/2008

Whats up folks?!

OK I am a day away from the rochester game and I feel like I did in college going into the final four…WHY?  Well like I said this is a big match up for me this week, not just because I want to play well and I want the team to win.  Alex Smith is more than just another oponnent to me, he is a friend and many people call him my protege.  As complimentary as that is, it is also a bit on the nerve wracking side.  There are high expectations for both of us in this game.  My coach and team knows that I have a detailed scouting report on Alex and should be able to couter everything he does.  His Coaches expect him to beat up on his OLD coach, having youth on his side.  Well which one of us has the advantage??? I sure dont know, I would like to believe it is me though!

Alex and I have been talking and texting eachother all week…we have said anything from “who do you think will win the NBA championship?”  to “Justin, are you going to take your wheelchair out to take the first draw?”…yeah its been like that.  Anyway last night after a series of texts back and forth about how he is now and always will be my &!%@#, I finally told him I had to stop talking trash and start focusing on this weeks match up.  I do not like to get too caught up in the talk, it makes me forget my goal, and this week my goal is to kick the crap out of “The Alex Smith”.

We usually trade scouting reports on who we are playing from week to week but this week he did not respond to me when I asked him for a detailed report on Alex Smith…WIERD.  As I said before I actually have more information on Alex than anyone in the league, I coached him for two years and taught him everything I could (yet not everything that I know).  He sure has evolved into a great X man, but I am not sure I am buying all of it.  I just cant stop thinking about him as the 17 year old that I used to beat up on in 2001-3.  I mean he was pretty good then, and was better than most College guys in high school, so can he really have gotten THAT much better?  I like to believe I have evolved a good bit as well over the years, my Face off I.Q. is off the charts and im in pretty good shape.

Anyway like Rage says “Know your enemy” and I believe I do, problem is so does he!

For those of you who have CN8 check out the game this weekend at 7:30p or if you are near a computer it will be live on ESPN 360, Check it out!

Thanks again for reading(and as always sorry about the spelling and grammer!)

JB           a.k.a. MIAGISON

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