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Friday, April 9, 2010

Living in Fantasy Land... Drake University

Even less of a fantasy than the Demons, Drake now has a club lacrosse team up and running. Regular readers will recall that the Bulldogs were born out of the inaugural box league this winter.Drake Lax already has a Facebook page set up. I have also added a Drake section to the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association website. Hopefully I can expand it over the coming weeks.
Forgive the crudeness of the logos; I only know how to do so much to make them work on the customizer. Hopefully you at least get the general idea. Also, the blues are a little off, but that is normal from one royal blue to the next. When it come time to print, it is assumed that the blues would be matched up. For the most part I wanted to see the uniform with the school's actual font and logo.

As Drake is a college team, I have included two full sets of uniforms rather than a single pair of shorts like the high school series. Applying the logos to the white set was fairly simple; the dark set took some attempts at recoloring.
The helmet is fairly straightforward. I chose to model it somewhat after the football team (shocker) and made it white. However, the football team uses the D by itself. I feel the lax helmet (and the football helmet for that matter) should use the Spike & D logo below.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Living in Fantasy Land... Part 8

The last post in this series featured two purple and gold teams from the suburbs of Des Moines. Today we tap a new market and return to the Cedar Rapids metro area. Coincidentally both of these teams wear red, black, and white. Oh yeah, both teams have "Hawks" as part of their compound nicknames too.

Mason City Mohawks

Sitting just one county south of Minnesota on Interstate 35, Mason City seems like a logical place to have a lacrosse team. Nearly the midpoint between Des Moines and the Twin Cities, the city could be a great host to interstate tournaments. Having access to the high level of competition available in Minnesota could give the Mohawks and early jump on instate competition.
Mason City is a well known hockey town and fields a team in the Midwest High School League. As has been evidence by Omaha and West Des Moines, hockey players seem to have a natural attraction to lax. Assuming somebody in the area is able to coach, it is not hard to imagine a regional team not unlike the hockey club.I based the Mohawks' look on the hockey team by using black as the primary color with red as the main trim and white as an accent. The "M" on the shorts is a stand in for the stylized version in the logo.I decided to go all out with the helmet. I included both vent and Mohawk decals. The goal was to make the red Mohawk pop more. Does it work or is it too much?
Iowa City High Little Hawks

Considering Iowa's MCLA team is the oldest team in the state (1977), it seems only fitting that Iowa City High becomes the third team in the Cedar Rapids area. After all, the Little Hawks are not only named after the Hawkeyes, but they share their Tigerhawk logo too.In a nice departure from the uniforms so far, I was able to incorporate the Little Hawks' logo on the shorts and collar placket. To further mix things up, I went with white shorts. I think it gives the Little Hawks a clean look and works well with their logo and color scheme.The jerseys have a traditional athletic font, which once again ties with the historic look of the Little Hawks. I did give it the "Flat Top" treatment which kind of frames the numbers.Red was chosen as the primary helmet color because of the football team and to offset the white on white home uniforms. The white chin and vent stripes contrast nicely with the red. The black visor ties the whole uniform together and pairs nicely with the black tigerhawk logo.

With the addition of these teams, the Fantasy Land League is now up to 16 teams. In other words, it is time to address the need for conferences. To keep things simple there will be four divisions with four teams each. These divisions will be somewhat fluid and may change as new teams are added.

-2017 Divisions-

North: Ames, Mason City, Ankeny, Johnston

South: Pella, Albia, Indianola, Southeast Polk
Cedar Valley: Waterloo, CR Jefferson, CR Kennedy, Iowa City High
Central: Valley, Waukee, Dowling Catholic, Urbandale

Since Fantasy Land is more about looking at how new programs might/should come into existence than how the league would actually work, I feel that establishing some sort of guidelines for structure will help keep the teams straight. Ideally every team would play 14-16 regular season games from March through the first week of May (like the Nebraska League). They would play two games against each member of their division and the rest would be open for games against other teams in the Iowa league and/or other leagues. All games would count towards the final standings, but the division winners automatically qualify for the playoffs.

Demons Fantasy Land

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Living in Fantasy Land... Demons

As I have been creating uniforms and helmets for the high school teams, it occurs to me that I have neglected the adult players. It is no secret that I really want to be in a position to field a Demons team in Great Plains Lacrosse League in the near future. Due to scheduling and time commitments, it was not possible this year. However, I expect more players to be around Des Moines next summer which means that we should (finally) be able to move forward.The designs I am unveiling are just as much fantasy as are any of those in the high school series. If I had buckets full of cash lying around, these jerseys and helmets are a fairly close representation of what I would get for the Demons.Originally I considered using the Warrior Sublimation customizer like I have been with the high school series. I tried a couple of different models but nothing really stood out to me. Then I realized that this is my Fantasy Land and I should design the uniforms that I want. So I chose Under Armour.You may be thinking that these look awfully similar to Maryland; you are right. It just so happens that the Demons' colors are red, athletic gold, and black - as decided by a vote last year. Of the two patterns available from UA, I like this one (Burnett) better.
I chose the "Lubbock" (based on Texas Tech) font arranged in a bookend style. It just looked great with both "Demons" and "Des Moines." Obviously I scrapped the "Demons" wordmark and there are no logos showing anywhere. The "D" on the shorts is a stand-in for the official logo pictured above; it would also appear on the helmet. One of the alternate logos would be on the jersey's sleeves.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Waukee HS Girls Lax Update

The Waukee High School Girls Lacrosse team is getting ready for its first official season. Practices are already underway and final preparations are being made for the team's first tournament. The team will be travelling to Omaha on Saturday, April 17 to face teams from Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri. They will host their own tournament less than a month later (May 15) at Indian Hills.
The team is not adding players for this season, but everyone involved is definitely interested in expanding participation in the near future. If you are interested in playing or coaching girls lacrosse, contact Coach Jaacki for more information.
To read the full story at the Des Moines Register, click here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Morning Tiger Report - Week 2

Sorry for the delay. With yesterday being Easter and some problems getting my new router up and running, I did not have a chance to do a proper write up of Saturday's games.

By now I am sure that you have at least heard about the games and how Valley did. After finishing 3-1 last week, the Tigers set their sites on grabbing two wins on Saturday. Standing in their way was defending state champions Millard West, who were coming in with an 18 game unbeaten streak.

Game 1 vs Millard West
13-10 Win
Millard West has played in every state championship except for one (2008). They won the 2009 championship by beating Creighton Prep 8-7. They came to Clive with an 18 game unbeaten streak. Valley knew the odds were against them.
It was clear from the get go that Millard West expected to win this game. It also seemed that they received a scouting report from Creighton Prep as they focused on locking down Dylan Griess. Luckily for the Tigers, the whole team was ready to go against the Wildcats and Griess knew how to move the ball.
In what can only be described as an epic battle and one of the best games I have witnessed in this league, both teams played spectacular lacrosse. The scoring was back and forth throughout the game with constant adjustments coming from both benches. The officiating, despite some complaints from both teams, was fairly even. In the end it came down to Valley's ability to work as a unit and create better offensive opportunities. Only committing one penalty helped a lot as well.
Lax Power did not have a line for the game before scores were reported. Oddly they now show Valley being two goal favorites. Despite the win, Valley is still ranked third, behind Millard West. West Side Lax now has Valley in second behind Prep; the site is now giving the Tigers more respect. Head Coach Zielonko was contacted for an interview immediately following the afternoon game.
Game 2 vs Millard South
10-3 Win
The winless Patriots looked to capitalize on the disruption caused by Valley when they faced the Wildcats at 12:30pm. South held West within a couple of goals for most of that game before finally falling behind to lose 12-5.
Despite the cursed long break between games, the Tigers came into the South game still riding the win over West. But it did not take long for Valley to get lazy. Mistakes were made and play was sloppy. Penalty minutes were racked up at an alarming rate. All four coaches gave a massive pep talk during half time and managed to wake the boys back up.
Coming alive in the second half, Valley was able to go deep in the bench and get more experience for the JV guys. The Tigers exhibited more discipline and kept their heads in the game. Hunter Couch's ferocity in the net kept out around 70% of the shots on goal.
Perhaps the coolest thing about this game - and the second-best highlight of the day - was when the Clive Fire Department rolled up in a ladder truck and ambulance. A whole crew of on-duty emergency personnel came out to watch the lacrosse action and cheer on Valley with the large group of fans already in attendance. Thanks guys! Your support gave the boys the wake up call they needed.
JV Game vs Millard West
4-5 Loss
After most of the team saw considerable time in the South game, we knew the JV squad would be a little winded. Leading face off man and JV captain Goertz was out because of injury. LSM Boyd rolled an ankle during the South game. Regular goalie Stoakes was gone because of job responsibilities. In net was varsity LSM McDougal.
Despite only working in the cage for about 30 minutes on Thursday and briefly during the lunch break on Saturday, McDougal stepped up in a big way. He worked hard on his positioning and stepped to the ball. The defense relished the fact there was relief on the bench and worked hard to limit the shots. The middies and attack worked together well and executed the offense. Everybody played hard and continued to fight throughout the game.
Despite the loss, the boys showed improvement over last week. Once we have a full and healthy line up, we should have no trouble winning these games. Surprisingly, endurance seems to be a non issue.

This weekend we head to Lincoln, NE for two games on Sunday. At 10:00 am we face fourth place Lincoln. Last year the Rampage went winless. With the addition of a new coach from the University of Nebraska, they are surging. It should be another epic game against a strong team.
After that we face Papillion-La Vista at 12:30. Papio have fallen off their usual form and will no doubt be looking to step up as giant killers during our game. As long as we stay focused and execute our game plan, we will be fine.
The JV does not play this weekend s the Saturday game has been cancelled.

Tribe 7