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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reminder MLL Championship

Remember that the 2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship is on today at noon (Iowa time) on ESPN2. Today's game is between the Chesapeake Bayhawks and the Long Island Lizards.
Anyone that doesn't know who I'm cheering for needs to go back to the first month of posts on this blog...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ready For Some More Lax?

The dust has barely settled from the Championship Game and people are already asking about the next opportunity to play. I decided to compile a list of opportunities that I know of in the near future.

Pick Up Game Next Week
Earlier this week I sent this email to all of the laxers in Des Moines:

A couple of people have asked me about potentially having a pick up game next week some time. I can honestly say that I will not have free time myself, but I encourage anybody that wants to get together and play to do so. Anybody that wants to play should reply with a couple of options for the day and time. I will include the most common response in my email/post. We will need to coordinate somebody to access the goals (I will not be on that side of town at all) and somebody will have to bring balls. Once everything is more or less figured out, I would be happy to post a
notice on the website and blog and send an email.

I have already received positive responses from roughly a dozen players. The consensus is to play at Indian Hills next Wednesday night at the usual time (roughly 5:45-8:00).
Valley Practices
Returning Valley players will begin fall practices on September 7 at Indian Hills. The start time is tentatively scheduled for our usual 4:00 slot. We will once again participate in the fall ball tournament in Lincoln, NE on Saturday, October 9.

Players are encouraged to bring classmates that are interested in playing for Valley Lax. Fall ball is a much less stressful time to learn the game than in the intensity of the spring season (which is why fall ball exists). We are trying to restrict the team to Valley, Waukee, and Dowling students, but are open to experienced players from other schools in the metro. We do not have much extra equipment, so new players need to have some of their own or at least have hockey gear to wear initially.

Contact me with questions.

Drake Lacrosse

Drake will be hosting Cornell College (Mount Vernon) on Saturday, September 18. Once I have the time and location details, I will post them. I strongly encourage all lax fans in Des Moines to attend and support the Bulldogs. The Drake guys have been participating in CILA events since last spring, including the Box and Summer Leagues.

Details on future games will be posted as they arise. Drake students interested in playing lacrosse or alumni interested in supporting the team should contact Ben Shoff.

Box Lacrosse League

I am currently in the process of finalizing the details for the second annual Central Iowa Lacrosse Association Box Lacrosse League at the Soccer House. The league will begin after Halloween, on either November 4 or 11. It will run through the end of January with breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. Although I do not yet have the final cost, expect it to be around $50-60 per player for 10 games. Those numbers are subject to change depending on how many teams we end up with.

Once I get the box information together, I will send out an email. Because we have to pay for the facility before the season starts, there will be a hard deadline. If there is room for players after that, they will be subjected to the full league fee. Teams will be capped at 15 players, including goalies.

The only real changes this year will be on the defensive end. My plan is to have proper box goals this season. The goals I originally considered are out of stock; the remaining funds from the summer league should cover them. Because we will not be using field goals this year, only short sticks will be allowed. Last year we allowed one pole per team to make up for the larger goals. This year the experience will be more like traditional box (barring cross checks into the boards).

This information will be included in the mass communication once I get the final costs and information.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Congratulations Team Lightning Wear

Last night was about as perfect as one could hope for during August in Iowa. The humidity was virtually nonexistent and the temperature was in the mid 80s. The sunlight was adequate for the duration of the night and everybody was in in good spirits.
Consolation Game - Clark Physical Therapy 13, Mi Casa Rustic Furniture 3
Clark came to play. They had all of their key guys and were playing with a chip on their shoulder after missing their chance to play in the the league championship. Their play was focused and intense, as always.
Mi Casa was missing several key players including Johnston, Aukes, and Blay. Goalie Burk suffered an injury (prognosis pending x-rays) early in the game which led to Kaufmann taking to the pipes. The rest of the team was focused and played their hardest, but it simply proved to be not enough as Mi Casa fell off over the course of the game.
Clark finished the league in third place and felt that they could have given Lightning Wear a run for their money. Mi Casa finished last.
Championship Game - Lightning Wear 11, Wellspring Parable 5
Both Couches were out for the Bolts, which resulted in the versatile McDougal playing goal. Nearly everybody else was on the field for Lightning Wear. After a slow start, the Bolts began to pull away early in the second half. The played a much more subdued style without Ben Couch on the field and set up some strong offensive schemes. The incorporation of a rudimentary wheel system worked well for the team and opened up an increasing number of shots.
The Tornberg brothers were out for the Young Guns, which took away their two most experienced d-poles. Dirk Arends and Kurt Sundermann did a great job in the rear portion of the field, but unfortunately fell victim to a couple of penalties. Taylor played will in goal and made several strong saves, but ultimately fell victim to the onslaught coming from the Bolts' midfield. Zielonko and Nielsen controlled much of the team's offense from the midfield and were involved with every goal. Gardner and Oberender continued to show their fearlessness throughout this game.
Ultimately Lightning Wear showed the dominance they brought every week. The Bolts finished the season with a perfect 10-0 record and the league championship. A team picture with the championship trophy will be posted once I receive a copy.
Team Lightning Wear roster (current team):
2 Ben Couch (Iowa State)*
17 Cam Bostwick (Missouri State)
18 Cole Griess (Valley HS)
20 Alec Sundermann
21 Jon Symons (Valley HS)*
23 Sam Arends (Valley HS)
28 Shaun Harrington
46 Bill Bostwick*
58 Colin Mundus (Valley HS)
62 Hunter Couch (Valley HS)*
69 Hunter Levis (Valley HS)
71 Tanner McDougal (Valley HS)
85 Patrick Shelton
90 Dylan Griess (Valley HS)

*Absent from last night's game

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CILA Summer League Predictions - Championship

Like all good things, the inaugural season of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association Summer Lacrosse League is coming to an end tonight. It's hard to believe that 11 weeks have passed since the first game. It's even harder to believe that one team went undefeated and another was technically winless. Nearly everybody in the league was excited to see the outcome of the tight second place race come to a head in last week's playoff game. Unfortunately that game was lost to Iowa's bizarre summer weather.

Amazingly, only one game was canceled and another was postponed due to weather. Early absences led to what proved to be a fateful schedule shuffle which saw our "free date" moved up to the fourth week. Had that not happened, it is entirely possible that last week's canceled playoff games would have occurred, albeit a week earlier...

Since that is not the case, the league is forced to use the final standings for the championship game. This created a somewhat controversial situation which saw Wellspring Parable chosen over Clark Physical Therapy. Although Clark does hold the goal differential advantage, Wellspring won two of their three games against Clark. Had the playoffs taken place, the entire controversy would have never happened. This is just one item that will be considered in future leagues (both field and box).

We are fortunate to be looking at nearly perfect weather for this evening's games. Clear skies, fairly low humidity and a day time high in the mid 80s create a recipe for a great evening at the lax field. Throw in the intensity of the championship atmosphere and you get pure excitement. No matter which team you play or cheer for, you cannot go wrong being at Indian Hills tonight.

Consolation Game - 5:45 pm - #3 Clark Physical Therapy vs #4 Mi Casa Rustic Furniture

Game Preparation - Clark Physical Therapy
Clark's midfield spent the off week training for this game by running nonstop from Waukee to Altoona on Thursday and from Ankeny to Indianola on Friday. Their Saturday consisted of a wall ball session from sun up to sun down. After a team counseling session on Sunday, Shoff decided to keep the rest of their training plans secret.
Game Preparation - Mi Casa Rustic Furniture
Mi Casa's preparation strategy was completely different. After last week's games were canceled several members of the team hit Buffet World. Still feeling competitive after preparing to face undefeated Lightning, the boys squared off in an eat off that would have put Kobayashi to shame. Thursday saw marathon sleep sessions and bedroom-to-bathroom sprints. My own preparation was augmented by a day at Adventureland on Friday and a weekend at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City. As part of my mental preparation, I have ignored the phone calls, texts, and emails from my teammates since Thursday.
Armed with a desire to enact vengeance upon the league commissioner, goalie Fitch is prepared to play at Brian Dougherty levels. Captain Shoff is looking to make a statement of his own by manhandling the Mi Casa attack and then making powerful runs down towards the net. Mi Casa plans to play a tough game despite the anticipated absence of Blay on the defensive end. The midfield unit is hungrier than ever and will work both sides of the field with confidence. Getting the right attack unit out and coordinated from the opening whistle could prove to be the key in this one.
Prediction: Anger leads to confusion. The Land of Confusion is where Mi Casa lives. Mi Casa by a pair.

Championship Game - 6:45 pm #1 Lightning Wear vs #2 Wellspring Parable
Game Preparation - Lightning Wear
After finishing fourth in the Nebraska High School Lacrosse League finals, Bostwick is determined to win this league. To meet that end, he called the entire Bolts team out to the field last Wednesday for a scrimmage in the heat. When his side lost, Bostwick scheduled a second scrimmage for Thursday night. After Shelton refused to lay out Ben Couch, Bostwick made the big d-pole do one handed push ups on his knuckles in his full gear with the Brothers Griess sitting on his back for the rest of the night. Hunter Couch was hooked up to an IV full of 5 Hour Energy in order to tap into his legendary "Sugar Rush" persona and fire up the team. The team booked weight room time on Saturday and Sunday. They spent the last two nights sprinting from Valley Stadium to Waukee Stadium while cradling.
Game Preparation - Wellspring Parable
To get the younger players ready for the championship game, Zielonko and Nielsen spent the last week reading various fables and fairy tales to them. Although I fail to see how Three Bill Goats Gruff or Goldilocks will prepare the boys for the battle ahead, I have learned to never question Zielonko's tactics. I figured scheduled wall ball sessions would be in order, but it seems Crites' 7:00 pm bedtime prevented the whole team from getting together. Benny Arends refused to wall ball at home out of fear of waking the Bogeyman in his closet. Straw spent the week building his tactical skills by playing Call of Duty on XBox Live.
Despite their completely different training tactics, both teams will be ready to play on game day. Zielonko is a hardcore competitor and will carry the team himself if required. Bostwick and both Couches are the same way. Shelton and Nielson always bring their A-games. This game will be a battle for the ages.
Prediction: This is a battle of confidence over pure determination. In this case confidence wins and Lightning Wear remains undefeated with a 3 goal victory.

*Note, not all of the training regimes depicted are factual. Ok, so I made most of that crap up...

Tribe 7