No, this isn't a Warrior shoe commercial. But those awesome ads depicting a near future where lax is a major sport did inspire my choice of year for the final (as of now) post in the Living in Fantasy Land series. In those commercials, lax is no longer relegated to fringe status and superstars like Nicky Polanco are shown with sweet cribs and half naked girls (although Polanco will be well beyond his playing prime in 15 years; heck he'll be 30 this August). They are a definitely a step up from their "All Hail" commercials and a vast improvement over their other juvenile ads.
The shoes hold a lot of promise. They boast New Balance's legendary comfort, fit, durability, and technology without the old man mall walker reputation and looks. Their designs are fresh and appealing in a very similar way to Under Armour shoes. They are on my radar when I need new kicks.
But enough about the shoes. Let's get down to business. In the previous posts, I made mockups of helmets and uniforms. I gave varying descriptions of why certain areas and/or schools were chosen. Unfortunately that will not happen here. It is possible that I may add that in the future, but I feel that is getting stale and it's time to move on.
In case you did not figure out from the title and the earlier rant, we are fast forwarding 7 years (from the last post) to 2025. At this point lacrosse has continued to establish itself in Iowa at both the high school and college levels. The quality of play will still be rocky in some levels, but more established teams will make it a point to play in tournaments against teams in Minnesota, KC, StL, Chicago, etc. to improve their abilities.
While I am only assuming one level of play at this time, it is not a big stretch to see multiple levels develop as the sport continues to grow. To keep travel costs at a minimum, I have increased the number of divisions and placed four teams within each. These could be lumped together into larger conferences like football and basketball are. Right now they serve more as an illustration of how things could look 15 years down the road. The new schools are listed in their official color and include their mascot names.
North: Ames, Mason City, Fort Dodge Dodgers, Webster City Lynx
South: Pella, Albia, Ottumwa Bulldogs, Knoxville Panthers
Mississippi: Davenport N, Hempstead, Assumption Knights, Wahlert Golden Eagles
Cedar Valley S: CR Jefferson, CR Kennedy, Iowa City High, Mount Vernon Mustangs
Cedar Valley N: Waterloo, Waverly-Shell Rock Go Hawks, Cedar Falls Tigers, Aplington-Parkerburg Falcons
Sioux: SC East, Storm Lake Tornadoes, MOC-Floyd Valley Dutch, SC Heelan Crusaders
West: CB Lincoln, CB Jefferson Yellow Jackets, Atlantic Trojans, Harlan Cyclones
Central: Valley, Dowling Catholic, Urbandale, Johnston
Capital: Ankeny, DM Lincoln Railsplitters, DM Roosevelt Roughriders, DM East Scarlets
Metro East: SE Polk, Marshalltown Bobcats, Newton Cardinals, Grinnell Tigers
Metro South: Indianola, Carlisle Wildcats, Norwalk Warriors, Winterset Huskies
Metro West: Waukee, Adel-DeSoto-Minburn Tigers, Perry Bluejays, Dallas Center-Grimes Mustangs
Obviously not every one of these schools would field a lax team in the real world. But remember that this is fantasy land where magical dreams come true and lax is king. Plus, we are talking about 2025 where lax is a prime time sport with players living pro lifestyles.
From this rough outline, you can see how simple it would be to add new programs to the 12 conferences above. Some shuffling may occur from time to time and I did not address three of the four corners of the state. Given its proximity to St. Louis, it is not hard to imagine Keokuk getting in on the action, for example. To make things simple, a new conference could be added once four teams existence in an area, or teams can be independents like NCAA teams.
Existing conferences should cap at ten teams to allow plenty of non conference games while still playing everybody once. From there the league could move into a bracketed tournament for the state championship, with conference champions seeded based upon their records.
That concludes our journey through the Iowa High School Lacrosse Fantasy Land. Perhaps someday it will be a reality; we can only hope. But with dedicated laxers popping up around the state, maybe someday will be sooner rather than later. I am hopeful that we can reach 6 teams by the 2015 season, but that will require more coaches and players in Des Moines.
I am curious to hear your responses to the series as a whole. What schools did I include that I should not have and vice versa? Which uniform combinations worked and which did not?
Somewhere down the pipeline I will take a look at the Iowa colleges and their place in Fantasy Land. Existing clubs will remain where they currently reside, but new programs will be looked at and their potential leagues discussed.