Last Saturday's Toss Around ended up getting rained out despite my best efforts to keep it going. Monday's practice started off chilly, but the ground was damp, so my toes froze at the Southwoods practice field. That horrible wench (Mother Nature) decided that a consistent drizzle of icy mist would fix us right up for the second half of practice. My gear was soaked by the time I got back home.
Tuesday and Wednesday saw little improve weather wise, but I could not make it to practice. Practice runs from 4:00 to 6:00 but my wife does not get off until after 5:00 (5:15 on Tuesday) which makes it fairly impossible to get to Southwoods with enough time to do anything. Considering it was under 30 degrees on both nights, I'm counting my blessings...
The scrimmage was originally scheduled for Wednesday night but ended up being moved to Thursday because of the ultra low temperatures. We started later than the original plan (8:00 pm), but under the lights it was hard to tell. Of course most us us dressed in layers (had on shorts, soccer socks, nylon Adidas pants, an Under Armour long sleeve, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt initially) and put either Under Armour or latex surgical gloves (little trick I learned from watching the Maryland Terrapins) under our gloves. By second half most had removed their under gloves and sweatshirts.
We played two 30 minutes (continuous run time) halves. Only the Valley goalie (we have an adult goalie lined up too!) showed up so we had the shooting tarp at the other end. Coaches Zach (White Team) and Tyler (Orange Team) did a school yard pick with yours truly being chosen last (they said it was because I'm a coach, but I'm man enough to admit that I suck!) and the d-poles and attackmen being spread as evenly as possible. For the first half, we only had two d-poles so I found myself in the back with a shorty. I'll be completely honest here, I was all but lost back there. We played man coverage and I let my instincts take over. Aside from a few solid stick checks, I felt as useless as a Ford Festiva at Baja. At one point I distracted our goalie and the White Team grabbed an easy goal. Still, the Orange Team managed to take a 5-3 lead into the half.
We managed to gain a d-pole for the second half and the goalie switched teams. I moved to attack and we now had to deal with the tarp as our netminder. Not good. With the White Team having the easier target, our defense seemed to fall apart. Coverage broke down and clears couldn't be made. I'm not placing any blame on them though because God knows that the attackmen, especially me, failed to do their job as well. I had a couple of chances that ended with me eating Field Turf and getting a bruised shin. I don't think I even manged one shot on goal.
The White team came out on top winning 8-5. Oh well, the game was super fun and the team got some much needed game experience. It was definitely worth it!
On another positive note, the Tigers are really coming together. Over the course of the last month, they have gone from a team that could barely throw and catch to a team that is running complex drills. Working on the basics indoors seems to have translated into fairly developed skills outdoors. Hopefully they remember everything in time for the first game on March 21. Next week is Spring Break, but Valley will still have practice for everyone that is still in town.
One more thing to draw your attention to: The Tigers' home games will now be played at Waukee Stadium due to schedule conflicts with Valley Stadium. This has been updated on the schedule and the team website.
I also want to remind everyone that there will be an open Toss Around at Southwoods TODAY at 12:00 PM. Feel free to bring anyone that is interested in lacrosse. We will do our best to arrange extra sticks, but I cannot promise anything. There is no seating at the Southwoods practice field, so spectators need chairs.