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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 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 06/19/2008

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

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 05/08/2008

What’s up ladies and gentleman?

I know it has been a while since I have written so I figured you were all getting worried about the ol’ dog…well good news, I am NOT cut!  In fact I cannot see how this could be going any better.  It is truly amazing what being in great shape has done for my game, and not just facing off.  Doing the power hour class and the training regiment that SOFletes sent me, I have actually turned into quite a decent defensive middie. . .I know, I know, you are all thinking I have taken some peodi (spelling???) or something, but it is true.  Since am in better shape, and my footwork is highly improved, I am actually playing good defense, which inevitably will be the part of my game that gets me on the field.  As I see it no matter how great at face-offs you are, in this league you will lose face-offs. . .it is a fact of life, every face-off man is good. . .the best ones however can win 50-55% of the draws and play defense for just long enough to keep the other team from scoring when they are on the field.  Therefore I knew that I had to get my butt into good shape and learn how to play defense!  And I did.

OK let’s talk about the team, and training camp.  I truly like the guys on the team, many of them I played with or against at some point in my lacrosse career, so the transition has been easy.  We are trying to change the way we play as a team this year, by getting up and down the field more and pushing transition.  Although many of you have probably heard that Hughes, Harrison and Hubbard all went to L.A. and Doneger Mollet and Haugen all retired, we are still optimistic.  we have a solid core and a ridiculous draft coming our way. . .5 of the first 12 picks and 9 overall, in a very deep draft (including the number 2 and 3 draft picks, I am hoping for Rabil and Peyser. . .note, Peyser is the best two way middie in the nation, and should be on the tawaaraton finalist list)…anyway defensively we have a real solid core in McClay, Peyser, Davis and Glatzel, our attack will likely be Urick, Unterstein, and Ford and Middie is wide open, but as I see it Rewkowski, Bolin, Yevoli, and  Peyser will be holding down the middie front, with guys like Chemotte filling in the gaps.

The team has taken on a new train of thought and winning mentality.  I cannot wait for our first game in Boston, I will be squaring off against an old rival in Dave Jenkins and an old teammate and friend in Ben DeFelice. . .should be fun.

Anyway, I’m keeping this one short (mostly because I am at work!), this is the last week of training camp and then we head to Boston. . .wish me luck!

JB

aka “DONTSLEEPONMYDEFENSE”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 03/05/2008

Whats up Folks?

Im in a pretty good mood today, as it is my birthday SWEEEEEET.  I started the day off with “Power Hour” and then hit the road for some client meetings, and got back just in time for a office lunch honoring yours truly.  Although it was a pretty awesome gesture, they surprised me with one of my favorite meals from BEFORE I started training…It was a sandwich called the Mayflower…16 inches of sub with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, BRUTAL.  of course I ate as much as I could as not to be rude, but man do I feel like crap!  The Ladies in the office dont seem to get the training thing, but none the less they are very thoughtful.

OK Back to Lacrosse.  I am starting to get the itch real bad, the other night at WAC practice it started to feel like everything was falling into place.  Im hitting the whistle well, reading my wing play, and getting the ball to the right people after winning the face-offs.  not to mention my intensity seems to have grown immensely, I actually think some of the younger guys on the WAC team are scared of me.  And why not? Im completely mysterious to them. All they know is that I used to coach at WAC, I used to play in the MLL and I am about twice their size, oh and my idea of mental training for the Washington college “x”men it to tell them exactly how much they suck (of course in a constructive yet blunt manor).  Either way it feels good to be more like I was in college, INTENSE.

A few weeks back Trey Reeder from the New Jersey organization sent me a few questions about who I am on and off the field, and today they were posted on the “Pride Website”.  This is when it really hit me…IM BACK.  New Jersey always treated me well, even when I was just out of college, because of this I promised Pete Jacobs (the head coach) that I would get into the right kind of shape to help his team to compete(face offs are an area of concern, as they should be).

I think today will end up going in the category of “set back” once my evening is over, since I am going to dinner with the family tonight and lunch was clearly not the kind of meal I would have normally eaten. However, as a whole I am on course, and cannot see any reason why I will not be ready for this season.

In the meantime HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!

Berry

aka “twentynineandmyhandsarestillfasterthanyours”

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 02/02/2008

Whats up folks, its been a few days since I posted, but today I get to write about what I am referring to as “stage two”.  As many of you may have read in the last post comments I am volunteering with the washington college lacrosse team, and today was my first day.

I started with another great workout in the gym, starting with some interval training on the bike, followed by another intense pump with the weights.  Again supersetting and or “tri” setting everything with no rest, except to move from excercise to excercise.  Now it sounds like I am doing a circuit, but it is more like several small circuits with very low weights and fast, high, reps.  I was SPENT when I left the gym…but my day was far from over.

Stage two: WHISTLES

I made my way out to the field and met up with the team, they were just starting stretching, so I had some time to catch my breath, but not long.  Coach Clarke asked me what I wanted to do and we both decided that I would get about a half hour with them to start, including the face-off warm up followed by live draws.  after that I would be taking whomever was not participating in certain drills and going live, one player at a time.

When we first started I grabbed the guys and requested their best effort, no matter how tired I looked I requested that they beat me into the ground, they were simply not to let up, I expected them to fight with me for every GB and make me earn every face-off.  you may think that should be what I expected however in the past when I took draws with them they would stop after I pulled the ball out.  to be honest as far as the draw goes I am far superior, I have more experience, have more training and to tell you the truth draw wise it is clearly a mismatch.  However as I get more and more tired these guys are more than capable of winning some draws.  With there being 4 of them and 1 of me I get tired quickly.  Anyway these guys got the picture, no draw was to be an easy one for me and I promised them when I lost draws I would make them work to get the GB. and make me work they did in dead…they are all smaller and quicker on their feet than me, and none of them like to lose, if there is one thing these guys will help ME with it is getting the ball off the ground.  history tells me that when I am hitting the whistle, my opponents have a tendency to get up and try to beat me to the ball, instead of doing a move.  Great face off men hate when people do this to us…and when these guys at WAC lose a draw they are really good at pressuring me to pick up the GB, needless to say these guys will make me better at this part of the game.

Man, that first 30 minutes was intense, these guys made me work, and I salute them for their effort, it felt real good to get physical.  after that the guys had to do some full field transition, while I did some stretching and some sprints.  about 20 mins later, coach clarke called for me again.  this time I would be taking draws with whomever was not in the current drill, that meant I would have one guy at a time take about 5-10 draws with that player and then the next guy would rotate in…I probably took 30 to 40 draws almost one after the other…BRUTAL

at this point i was SPENT, I got some water and rapped a bit with some of the recruits that were on campus for the weekend, one dude had a towson lid on, so he got the most of my attention…nice kid, good sense of fashion.

anyway to say the least this was a productive day, I got to hear some much needed whistles and got to reconnect with a team what I have alot of love for.

To sum it all up my training is in full swing, I have almost all the pieces of the puzzle in place, and month one is over, three to go!

until next time

OH SNAP, I almost forgot tomorrow is the big day, giants/patriots. . .i can hardly contain myself…lets go big blue!

CAPTAINQUICKWRISTS

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