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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Living in Fantasy Land... Part 7

Pardon the long break since the last post. The lax season is definitely in full swing which means I am busier than Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Since I cannot do my much needed work (updating stats, building player pages, etc) on the Valley team site while at work, I have some time to play on my blog. So let's get to it.
Today I am focusing on two more of the suburban purple and gold teams in the Des Moines metro - one on the north side and one on the south side.
Johnston Dragons
With the whole town situated between Saylorville Lake and Interstate 35/80, Johnston High School is tucked out of the way. Only a couple of east-west roads connect Merle Hay and 86th, the town's principle north-south roads. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Johnston is often the forgotten suburb.The Dragons have an up and down athletics history with no little consistency from one year to the next. But they do have the population and money to build a strong lax program and pose a threat to the more established teams right away. Considering the high level academics associated with both the city and the sport, this should not be too much of an issue.For the Dragons' lax uniform, I utilized the available flame insert. It seemed appropriate given their name and current adoption of flames in their official logos. As a result the large insert strip on the shorts and both jerseys is purple.With the helmet I too a less is more approach. The Vegas mohawk recalls the glistening back of a dragon. The Vegas chin seems to balance the bucket.Johnston was an early adopted of Vegas gold and I have to admit that it works well with both their dark purple and the "Dragons" name. Although I have to admit that I find their flaming J logo to be too generic; I am not too fond of the European style dragon logos either. For some reason I always picture an Asian style dragon contorted into a rough J shape. Kind of like this one from the school's website:

Indianola Indians

When posting about two teams in the metro with very similar color schemes, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing the same exact thing or trying to make the changes too drastic. In this case I tried to minimalize the differences to reflect the different schools' mascots and gold hue.Much like Johnston, Indianola is often overlooked as a suburb. The high school is tucked away on a minor highway about a mile off the main drag. Their athletics program is spotty at best, but the Indians have produced professional athletes in the past.Like Waukee, Indianola wears athletic gold. I chose to minimize gold in the helmet by applying it only to the chin and chin strap. The vent covers are also gold to represent feathers worn on a headress.The school's official logo is an I (usually purple) within a circle with two feathers attached representing a Dream Catcher. The I on top of crossed sticks is merely a stand-in, although it is not the worst logo I have ever seen (if I do say so myself). Including lax sticks on a lax uniform is often frowned upon...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

World Championships Groups Announced

The Federation of International Lacrosse has announced the groups for the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England.
Canada, USA, Australia, Iroquois, England, Japan
Ireland, South Korea, Slovakia, Switzerland
Germany, Spain, Hong Kong, Norway
Finland, Denmark, Bermuda, Poland
Italy, Czech Rep., Sweden ,Mexico
Scotland, Latvia, New Zealand, France
Netherlands ,Wales, Argentina, Austria

The round robin stages of the 2010 Championships will be played between the 15th and the 20th July. Each nation will play each other in their division over this period.
The top team from each of the six groups (excluding Blue), plus the two best runners-up, move on to a play-off. The four winning teams play-off to produce the two sides that make the play-in matches. One winner faces the third place team from the Blue division, the other winner faces the fourth place team from the Blue division. The top two Blue division teams get a day off before facing the winners of the play-in games and eventually the championship.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Something I am Looking Forward To

Totally not lax related, but I have seen every movie in the series at the theater. i still remember seeing the original Arnold movie at Fleur. I did not even know this movie existed until earlier this week. Enjoy!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Morning Tiger Report - Week 1

Saturday, March 27
It was nice Saturday morning when the team got to Indian Hills. The wind was brisk and the temp was cool. Definitely a nice way to kick off the lacrosse season.
Game 1 vs Millard North
12-4 Win
Despite being a morning game, Valley came out strong. The Tigers never let up and easily won. Lax Power had Valley winning by four prior to the start of the game.

Game 2 vs Creighton Prep
13-7 Loss
While Prep defeated Millard North, Valley took an extended lunch break. The players got a little too rested. I was told by one player that the break was just long enough to realize they were tired. Six of the Tigers' seven goals came from D Griess, who made awesome individual efforts despite his fatigue. This game was an eye opener for the team. It provided a learning opportunity for both next week's game against defending champions Millard North and our rematch with the Blue Jays in May.
Lax Power gave Prep a two goal advantage.
JV Game vs Millard North
6-5 Loss
With no reserves and the varsity loss to Prep still in the minds of the JV players, things started rocky. The cold drizzle did not help. The boys played hard and fought for the ball. It was good loss, if there is such a thing.
Sunday, March 28
Game 1 vs River City
12-2 Win
Lax Power gave the Tigers a 10 goal spread on this game and the Tigers delivered. This was a great opportunity to work in more bench and JV players. There was a definite improvement in play by the Black Knights over last year despite the scoreboard.
Game 2 vs Burke
12-8 Win
After going down four goals early, it began to look like a repeat of Saturday. A quick time out and regrouping saw the Tigers answer back with four of their own. The game was back and forth after that through the first half. After the break, the Tigers put up four more and held on for the win as predicted by Lax Power.
Losing starting defender J Tornberg to injury for most of the first half did not help matters. The bench was already short two poles upon arrival. JV midfielder C Mundus answered the call and made instant contributions despite never using a long pole before.
JV Game vs Burke
4-3 Win
Despite being winded from his varsity d-pole duties, Mundus jumped to attack - another foreign position. Lead face off man M Goertz injured his knee during the first draw to leave only two subs on the Tigers bench for the first half. The boys came together and executed the fundamentals while controlling the pace of the game.
Goertz jumped to attack for the second half to aid Mundus and JV captain J Crew. Starting attack Q Straw moved to midfield. The effort of the team working as a solid unit led to the win in this back and forth battle.

Lax Power now has Valley in third place overall in the Nebraska League behind perennial powerhouses Creighton Prep and Millard West. West Side Lax has Valley ranked fourth behind West, Prep, and Lincoln.
Valley faces Millard South and Millard West on Saturday at 10:00 and 3:00, respectively. The JV faces West's JV at 5:00.

Tribe 7