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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!!!

A year has passed since I started this blog and officially declared my desire to bring lacrosse to Des Moines. I never would have imagined that things would be as crazy as they are now. I never even thought about making a real website.
All I hoped for was that I could find a couple of guys that wanted to toss a lacrosse ball around. Eventually we would get new guys out and we would slowly build something. Maybe in a few years we could get a team together to play in the GPLL or something or at least have some short field box-style games.
Then things took off rapidly. I got hooked up with the then-recently established Valley/Waukee team (now officially Valley Tigers Lacrosse Club). That lead to a rapid education in the game and a gig as a volunteer assistant coach. Soon after a modest number of adults showed interest and I set up Toss Around events when Valley was not playing.
When summer came, we had enough guys to play lax on Thursdays and Saturdays for a while. Eventually schedules caused us to drop to Thursday nights only, but we still managed to get fairly decent numbers for most of the summer. As more adults came out, we saw more high school players and even some junior high kids got into the mix.
With summer turning into fall, the summer league wrapped up and Valley practices began in earnest. A rescheduled fall ball tournament in Lincoln looms ahead of us as does a scrimmage game at Valley Stadium. The city's first ever box lacrosse league launches in just under two weeks on November 5. Topping it all off, Wells Fargo Arena will host a National Lacrosse League preseason game between the Minnesota Swarm and Colorado Mammoth a month later on December 5.
Although I have had little to do with it, the women's game is starting to take off here as well. We will continue to support their efforts and may be able to bring the high school team into the Valley club program.
As we officially head into the second year of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association, steps are underway to improve the organization as a whole and continue spreading the sport through the community. With the help of the NLL game, we hope to further increase overall participation and are making plans for a potential middle school program. The field league should be more structured next summer, but we will also plan to have regular pickup games as well. If things continue at this pace, additional high school club programs should not be too far off...
Here is to hoping that 2010 is even more productive than this year was!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Random Update - Hockey League

My adult hockey league started at Buccaneer Arena a little over a month ago but I have been too busy with various lacrosse things (or lazy) to post about it.
In my first game on September 16, I could feel my long absence from the ice. Our whole team seemed as rocky as I felt and we fell to Yankee Doodle Dandee (Tattoo) Voodoo 6-3. On the winning team was my future box league teammate, Caleb Harrelson.
The next week I felt about 500% more confident on the ice and our team came together after the humbling loss in week one. We destroyed an utterly stacked Puck Hawgs team 8-3.
Week three featured the highly anticipated match up against a well established Alien team. League commissioner Joe Bafia loaded his roster with the best players available. It shocked everyone when we skated away with a 7-1 victory.
A large win was found again in week four against Red Alert, a team of mostly newcomers. We beat the scarlet skaters 8-1.
Spirits were high as we went into last week's game against Irwins. With only the initial loss to YDD holding us back, we figured our recent cohesiveness would easily carry us past the winless men in yellow. Yet we seemed to be lacking something as we went down 3-2.
After handing Irwins their first win of the season, our determination was high as we faced Caleb's YDD for the second time this season. When our bench was fairly full and theirs contained only three subs, we knew the game was in the bag. Unfortunately somebody forgot to tell them that. The game was a back and forth battle as we allowed too many shots from the slot and their defense tightened. I took a season high 12 (or so) shots - most of which came close to scoring from the face off circle - but came up empty. With a tie score in the closing minutes of the third period, it looked like a shoot out was imminent. However, a goal with 45 seconds left gave YDD their second victory against us.
Just like last week, we knew something was amiss. Both games were noted for the absence of sponsor/captain, Matt, and the team's heart and soul, Mike. Hopefully whichever man is the missing cog returns next week. Or both of them; yeah that works too.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Final Stages for Fall Preparation

1. The box league is all but ready to go. I deposited the cash yesterday and will be paying the Soccer House shortly. I sent out the rosters and schedule as they look right now. After I review the feedback, I should be able to settle on the final versions of each. My goal is to have the final versions sent out and posted by midweek next week. Hopefully no more last minute issues arise...
2. The Lincoln Rampage tournament was cancelled on October 10 due to snow. It has been rescheduled for Halloween. We have an earlier start time, but that means that we will be back home earlier. Preparing for this tournament has been frustrating for me since I have been unable to attend practice due to work (also a frustration for collecting dues).
3. Preparations are being finalized for an outdoor scrimmage at Valley Stadium in early November. This may be an Orange vs White game or possibly a Valley vs ISU game. Details forthcoming...
4. We are drawing nearer to the National Lacrosse League's debut at Wells Fargo Arena. I am still working with the Events Center staff to figure out how we will be involved. Various things ranging from a Swarm clinic to a high school tournament to Valley playing a short demonstration game have been discussed. Hopefully I will have more information soon. There was also a discussion about a Valley fundraiser, but that looks dead in the water. I do have discount coupons and many metro area companies are offering discounted tickets. Regardless, the game will be awesome.

By the way, here is the link to the Google Map to the Soccer House.

Tribe 7