Best Place to Find Low Prices - Discontinued Gear

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Iowa State at Iowa Preview

Every fall the Cyclones and Hawkeyes battle for supremacy on the football field. The rivalry continues on the hardwood every December. Unbeknownst to many, spring brings us yet another chapter in this storied battle - this time on the lacrosse field.
I mentioned the big game in
Thursday's post, but I wanted to discuss it a bit more. Really delve into what makes this yet another great in-state rivalry. Break it down a bit, if you will.
Although lacrosse has just started making inroads in the Des Moines area, the
University of Iowa lacrosse club was founded in 1977 and the Iowa State University lacrosse club was founded not long after (I am unable to find an exact date). In celebration of the annual football game, the clubs face off every fall as part of a rivalry weekend. The clubs are both winding down their seasons; this is Iowa's final game of the season and ISU will have two more to go. Both clubs have losing records, unfortunately as Iowa is 3-9 and Iowa State is 1-5.
2009 Statistics for Both Teams

Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference Division 1 - Currently 13th out of 13 teams
Average goals per game: For- 11.17 Against- 11.67
Best Score: 19-1 Win vs Palmer College 2/27/09
Worst Score: 20-11 Loss vs Nebraska 4/12/09
Leading Scorer: Alex De La Pena (So) 6.33 ppg, 32 goals, 44 assists
Starting Goalie: Nolan McGowan (Sr) 52.5 save %, 83 saves, 75 goals against
Iowa State
Upper Midwest Lacrosse League Division 1 - Currently 5th out of 8 teams
Average goals per game: For- 5.5 Against- 17
Best Score: 10-9 Win vs Marquette 4/4/09
Worst Score: 29-1 Loss vs Minnesota-Duluth 2/7/09
Leading Scorer: Not updated
Starting Goalie: Not updated

As much as I would like to see the Cyclones grab a win, I'm saying Iowa will win this game. De La Pena leads the entire Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association in points per game. The Hawkeyes' ability to score puts them ahead of ISU whose firepower has been lacking all season. While ISU has failed to score 1/3 of the goals they've let in, Iowa has been about even. However, the loss to the fifth ranked Bulldogs to open the season may have damped the Cyclones' spirits and destroyed their confidence. Iowa has not played any nationally ranked opponents, so ISU does have that advantage. Regardless, I predict that Iowa will win the game by at least five goals.

Alex De La Pena

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Would You Attend a Clinic?

Well, it looks like I know who my readers are, at least the ones in high school. Half votes in the Where do you go to high school? poll were cast by Valley or Waukee students. Four people were out of high school and I have a really good idea of who two of the remaining votes belonged to. I'm curious about the "other" that was selected...

The results of that poll suggest that we will not be getting a second club team going any time soon. However, we are hoping to have both a varsity and a jv team for the Valley/Waukee club next spring. Given our participation, success, and our current players' recruiting efforts, this should be doable. In the meantime I will continue to work on spreading interest, getting coaches, and hopefully getting a few officials going. We will have some sort of combined adult and teen league this summer; I just need to finish tweaking the details.

Part of our lacrosse problem in Central Iowa is the utter lack of knowledge. Most have had very little exposure to the game. Holding our Toss Around events is one way that we are trying to teach lacrosse. Spreading the word about the Valley team and its upcoming home games (Waukee Stadium) on May 2 and 9 is another; for the first time ever, Des Moines area residents will have the opportunity to see a local high school lacrosse game.

In addition to the activities we already have and the league we are planning, I am hoping that we can get some instruction from more experienced players. Recently, I had hoped to get a NCAA Division I lacrosse camp going for the Valley players and the rest of the Nebraska league set up this summer. Since circumstances prevented this, I am looking at one of my original ideas - setting up a miniclinic with Iowa and/or Iowa State laxers.

Unlike the DI camp, the clinic would be fairly informal and could be opened to interested adult players. Just like the Valley boys, the adults in the metro are very behind in terms of lacrosse experience. Any chance to increase our knowledge and ability should be taken.

The latest poll focuses simply asks whether or not you would be interested in attending such a clinic. If I get enough of a positive response, I will go forward with trying to set something up. Like I said above, I plan on arranging instruction for teens and adults...
Remember that the big Iowa State vs Iowa lax game is at 2:00 pm on Sunday 4/19 in the Bubble at the University of Iowa! Admission is FREE! This is the final regular season game for the Hawkeyes and the final game in Iowa for the Cyclones in 2009! I plan on being there...

***Full results of the "Where do you go to high school?" poll: Valley/Waukee - 8, SEP/East - 1, Carlisle/Norwalk - 1, Lincoln/Roosevelt - 1, Other - 4***

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Who Wants to Go Camping?

To improve one's ability, one must generally work at it. In school, this is known as studying and in sports it is known as practicing. Most people are not naturally endowed with the ability to step into a classroom or onto a playing surface and dominate from the get go. While some have more natural gifts than others, skills develop over time. This is true for virtually anything one does in life.
One way to dramatically improve in the sports world is to attend a camp. Most Iowans are familiar with camps for football, wrestling, basketball, and even band camp (thanks American Pie!), so it should come as no surprise that lacrosse has its camps too. Primarily concentrated on the eastern seaboard, the sport's nationwide growth means that more and more camps are popping up all over the country (click here for a list of lacrosse camps).
So, why don't we have a camp in Des Moines this summer?
The simple answer is time. With this being Valley's first year of league play, time has been a limited and valuable commodity. I did not participate with the club until February of this year and had only know of its existence since last November. Still, there is a possibility that we may have a day long clinic if not a full blown camp at some point this summer. A clinic? Who will be involved?
At this point I cannot say for sure. I am trying to talk with players from MCLA programs in the state to set something up. There are experienced players at Iowa and Iowa State that are from the Des Moines area and others that are staying on campus this summer. Hopefully a few will be willing to help us out. I'm sure a reasonable fee will be involved to make it worth their time...>I heard rumors about the University of Denver coming to Des Moines for a lax camp this year. What happened with that?
The rumors do have some truth. I was contacted by an assistant coach at The University of Denver, Jon Torpey, a couple of weeks ago. Torpey has a lot of interest in Iowa because we are one of the newest areas for lacrosse in the US. Des Moines makes an ideal location because we are centrally located in the Midwest which allows Torpey to not only work with our players, but players from Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri with ease.
When I originally started speaking with Torpey about the possibility of a lax camp in Des Moines, I mentioned bringing in guys from the Nebraska League (where Valley plays) and also the fledgling Kansas league. At the time, they were the only email contacts I had. Should we go forward with the DU camp in 2010, we will extend invitations to surrounding states as well.So The Pioneers may come to Des Moines next year?
Hopefully. Once again time was our biggest hurdle this year. Torpey found this site by chance and contacted me immediately. I spoke with the Valley coaches and a few parents while I waited for cost and other information from Torpey. As soon as I had it, I sent it to our team's players and parents as well as the coaches (at least the ones I could find email addresses for) from teams in Nebraska and Kansas. Ultimately, it was the small window of available dates that hindered us. Because of the timeliness of the email, most kids in our region will be hitting football and marching band practices or attending camps for other sports and activities.
Rest assured that I am working on setting something up for the early summer in 2010. As soon as something develops, I will get it posted! In the meantime, let me know if you are interested in attending a lax camp in Des Moines next summer.
Although I cannot divulge cost information at this time, the Denver camps are very reasonable and a great alternative to traveling to the East Coast. Playing NCAA Division I gives DU an advantage over other camps in our region as most are run by lower levels of college lacrosse. DU plays with the best and Torpey knows how to teach new players to get to that level.
So would the Denver camp be open to adults?
Unfortunately no. The DU camp, like any camp run by an NCAA coach or program, will only be open to high school players. Camps like this serve two purposes. 1. They help the players learn how to perform at a higher level and become better at the game. 2. Coaches can get a flavor for local talent and use the camps as a recruiting tool.
However, we may consider making any CILA run clinics available to adult players. Since the clinics will be taught by current MCLA players and not affiliated with a school or program we will have the flexibility required. For the most part, this will come down to the interest level. We will most likely do it on a Saturday or Sunday depending on what works best for the player(s) putting on the clinic and the needs of the attendees. If you are interested in attending a lacrosse clinic put on by a local college club player, contact me.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fifth Toss Around Was a Blast!!!!

Yesterday was gorgeous! The sun was shining and the grass was green. We ran around in shorts and t-shirts. What a spectacular day for lacrosse!
Having no Valley games this weekend, I had already planned on having the fifth Toss Around this weekend. I knew that we would be short on players due to Easter, but I figured there were enough eager players to get something going. Just in case I made sure that we got the keys to grab the goals.
We ended up having twelve guys total including three Valley players, five guys from last week, two newbies, myself, and the head coach of Iowa's other high school lacrosse team, the River City Black Knights (Council Bluffs). One of the newbies, Mike, is a former (and hopefully future) hockey teammate of mine and the other is Jim's son, DJ. Mike took advantage of one of the Great Atlantic Lacrosse deals by picking up the $20 Warrior Outlaw.
Parker (RCBK Coach) and Hunter (a/k/a Sugar Rush) geared up to play in the cages while the rest of us divided into teams and laid down rules. We decided to play a short field with five on five and modified rules. Since a few guys didn't have helmets, we decided light contact and stick checks were ok, but nothing else. That didn't stop the over zealous Sam from playing hard on Ben and me.
I don't know when we lost track of the score, but I know that nobody really cared. There is just something that is infinitely more fun about running, making moves, cradling, passing, and shooting. Other than the lack of hitting and pads, it was pretty close to an actual game. We had a blast and ended up playing past the scheduled 2:00 pm top time. It didn't really matter because nobody was using the field anyway.
This will be the last event that I will schedule for the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association for the next few weeks because Valley has games through May 9. We will be in Omaha for the next two weeks and will finish our season with two weeks of home games on May 2 and May 9. Regardless of where you went to school, or where you kids go, please come to Valley's home games (at Waukee Stadium) to help support lacrosse in our community. I need your help to make this sport grow.
In the meantime, some of the other guys are still wanting to play while we are out of town. The best way to join them and get in the game is to join the Des Moines Lacrosse League. Email updates and event notifications are sent out as things develop. At the very least, I plan to have a Toss Around or another event on Saturday, May 16...
Thanks to everyone that came out to play yesterday!
Have a happy Easter!

Tribe 7