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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wishing the Tigers & Bulldogs Luck

There are two big lacrosse events for metro teams today. Valley is playing in the Lincoln Rampage Mid-Fall Classic and Drake University is hosting the Cornfield Classic.

Valley will play five games in Lincoln, NE starting at 10:00 am. Click here for the full schedule.
Drake will kick off their event at 11:00 am with a game against Cornell College. Click here for the full schedule.
If you are in Des Moines today, stop by the Knapp Tennis Center to support the Bulldogs. After all, it is a gorgeous day for lacrosse!


Unfortunately I will miss both events due to work and family obligations. This is the first time that I have missed a Valley game since I started working with the team in 2009. I am extremely upset about it, but will be cheering the Tigers on from afar. Tyler plans to do his best to track the scorers for the website.
Since I knew I was going to be stuck in town due the family obligations, I hoped that I would be able to catch at least one game. Then I was told we are required to work tomorrow.
Regardless, I wish both teams the best of luck. I sincerely hope that Drake has a good turnout despite Valley being out of town.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Confirmed - Easton Will Have a Helmet!

While looking over Inside Lacrosse earlier today, I noticed this article. As I have been following Easton's progression into lax equipment, I found it very worthwhile. This article not only gives something of a projected launch date, it also confirms one of my boldest predictions thus far: Easton will make a lacrosse helmet.
You may remember my original prediction:
My biggest question revolves around Easton's corporate sibling, Riddell (former makers of Onyx lacrosse gear). Both are owned by Fenway Partners; keeping both brands active in the sport seems unnecessary. Although the Onyx line of equipment died, the Riddell helmets continue to be worn primarily by schools wearing Adidas. The helmets are regarded as one of the ugliest and bulkiest in the game. With the success of the Stealth helmet in hockey and the reset opportunity this move provides, I have a hard time believing that Easton will not jump a chance for a new lid. An subtly edgy design that incorporates the classic grace of Cascade's popular helmets - similar to the Stealth - adorned with the familiar diamond logo could be an instant success.
Here is the proof that not only is the company designing a helmet, but that actual physical examples already exist:

They’ve also been working intensely on a new lacrosse helmet that’s being designed with direct influences from the other sports Easton-Bell and Giro work on in Scotts Valley...
The trick with helmets is they need to be light and stylish but also safe — not the easiest combination to pull off. I got a sneak peek at the helmet Easton’s working on, and I can assure you it’s going to accomplish all three. You can see influences from their other helmets in the lacrosse model — props to designer Genia Harbunova on the look of the new lid — and it’s crazy how light it is.

The article makes no mention of Riddell's future in the sport. But one would think that Easton Bell would do I as previously suggested and discontinue the XR. The only negative side effect for the company would be losing schools like Notre Dame, Brown, and Michigan that currently use their helmet. It is quite conceivable that they would not adopt the Easton helmet due to its new position as a competing brand. Of course, Adidas and/or Reebok may have a helmet of their own somewhere in the pipeline...
So far no pictures have surfaced of the new helmet - or of anything other than the test shafts at the Bowhunter Cup. It looks like the production models will not be too drastically different from those used by Casey Powell:
But I can assure you that "EASTON" will be written big down the shaft, and the familiar Talon eagle will transfer over as the logo.
Speaking of Casey Powell, the article says that Easton has signed three laxers. I have seen no images of the other two as of yet. However, they will be officially introduced next week. It is also expected that the shafts and possibly the heads will be publicly unveiled at that time as well.I did not copy them, but there are some interesting pictures of prototype heads in the article. These heads were created in 2003 - long before the Talon purchase. Why they came about is something of a mystery, as is why it took so long for Easton to make a serious move into the lax industry.

Midwest Lacrosse Association.

At this moment, a group of Midwestern box lacrosse teams are working together to form a super league. This league will be a competitive travel league for men known as the "Midwest Lacrosse Association." So far, the league has accepted teams from Detroit, St. Louis, Louisville, Naperville, Evansville, and a team in Wisconsin.
Teams are encouraged to sell tickets, merchandise, etc. as a means of funding travel and facility time. This is strictly an amateur league, however, and teams will be responsible for providing a home venue, uniforms, equipment, and referees. All travel accommodations are the responsibility of the individual teams.
To answer the obvious question: Yes, I have spoken with the league's director. In fact, I was one of the first people he contacted. To answer the next question: No, we do not plan on participating during the league's inaugural season next fall. We still have the option, but major concerns with funding, travel, referees, and the facility are holding us up. The limited number of players with adequate experience who are willing to commit to the intense travel schedule is another hurdle. Unlike fielding a team in the Great Plains Lacrosse League, we would most likely not have the benefit of having college players available to fill our ranks.
As the league continues to expand, we may reconsider joining. The key factor will be the addition of teams closer to Des Moines. Right now St. Louis is the closest at 4.5 hours on the road. Throw in Kansas City (2.5 hours), Minneapolis (4 hours), Lincoln (3 hours), Omaha (2 hours), and the travel becomes much less of a burden.
We also need to continue to increase our player depth in the metro. We need to continue to acclimate players to the box game to build our skills and confidence level. Finding the number of guys that can commit will be vital as well. We will also need to build a referee pool (which we need to do any way).
As far as the facility issue, while the Soccer House may be inappropriate for a competitive travel league, we don't have many more options available. With the league running during hockey season, the MISF is undoubtedly out of the question. SportsPlex West and Champions (on the south side) both lack boards. Figuring out where to play the higher calibre games will be an major issue...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hendrix College Scouting Nebraska League

When the Lincoln Rampage sent out the information for their Mid-Fall Classic tournament, they included a note about scouts from Hendrix College being in attendance. The Warriors are located in Conway, Arkansas and are members of the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The SCAC currently sponsors five mens lacrosse teams, but will add a sixth next season.
While outside of our immediate region, the fact that Hendrix is actively scouting the Nebraska League is promising. This indicates that our teams are becoming more prominent in the Great Plains area. The Warriors are looking for players from Iowa and Nebraska may help improve upon their last place finish last season.
As a bonus, the Valley guys would not even have to change their color scheme!
If you are a high school laxer and are interested in playing for Hendrix, please click here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hockey Night In Iowa 2010 Edition - Game 8

After playing seven games this season, the Irwin's is slowly creeping down the standings. We nabbed two vital wins only to lose the next four games. We have been outscored 32-22.
Our biggest loss (8-2) was at the hands of the surprisingly good Puck Hawgs. We dropped a pair of 5-2 games to my former team, Cup O Kryptonite. In Week 1, Alien beat us 6-1. But we rolled Funky Pickle 7-1 and split our series with YDD Tatoo (5-2 W, 5-4 L).
Sunday's game was a heart breaker. The first period was neck-and-neck. YDD took a two goal lead in the second period. We had two guys in the penalty box (I was one of them) towards the end of the period, but our boys managed to rally and kill the two-man advantage. From there, one of our defensemen netted a goal to bring us within one. With a minute and a half remaining in the game, I managed to score the game tying goal only to see YDD pull it back seconds later.
Tonight we face Alien. Both teams will be featuring new goalies since our last meeting. Alien's long time keeper Bast moved to Texas while Todd Daniels, our goalie, is out with a major knee injury. Rich Pentitico is expected to fill in for us again. We are also missing three of our top defensemen tonight.
Will the changes in net prove to be the difference maker? Can we protect our end without Lasnek and the Radcliffs? Will I be able to score another goal this season? Time will tell...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Drake Fall Ball Games

The Drake Lacrosse Team is hosting Creighton University and Cornell College on Saturday, October 9. All three teams will play each other. All three games will held at the Drake University Tennis Center. Admission is free.
The team is also looking for referees to work the games. The refs do not need to be certified; they will primarily focus on the "big" calls, similar to our summer league. The refs will be compensated for their time. Contact the Bulldogs for more information. The team will also be selling their sick t-shirts for $10.00.
11:00- Drake vs Cornell
1:00- Cornell vs Creighton
3:00- Drake vs Creighton

Monday, October 4, 2010

Breaking News: Bucknell Goes Adidas

Adidas posted some pictures of Bucknell's new lacrosse equipment on their Facebook page today.
The gear is mostly white quite subtle. Navy blue serves as the primary trim on the arm pads and as the branding color on the gloves. The most notable features are the large plastic elbow cap on the arm guard (quite refreshing) and the metallic trim strips on the gloves.
Overall, I'd rate the equipment a 7 on a 10 point scale. I understand wanting to avoid large applications of orange and navy blue to minimize confusion with Virginia and Syracuse (although is that a bad thing?), but at this point white is fairly played out. With a strong color scheme, it would have been nice to see a bit more injected into the new gear.
This makes the Bison the second NCAA D1 lacrosse team to officially switch to Adidas lacrosse equipment. Can Bellarmine, Brown, and Denver be far behind?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hockey Night In Iowa 2010 Edition - Game 7

Special Sunday Edition!!!
This afternoon the intrepid players of the Irwin's Bike & Sports hockey team will once again grace Buccaneer Arena with our presence. This will be our second of three Sunday afternoon games. Last time we faced Cup O' Kryptonite in a 5-2 loss; we suffered a major loss to Cup again on Wednesday night.
Today we will play our second game against Yankee Doodle Dandy Tatoo. You may recall that we beat YDD 5-2 in our first meeting. That result is a bit skewed, however. YDD suffered from a depleted bench and we had the services of a player currently on leave.
We will be missing our captain/sponsor this afternoon, this means the responsibility falls on my shoulders. Goalie Todd Daniels is still expected to be out, so our net situation is foggy. We'll probably be missing a few key players due to youth hockey as well. Still, I am confident that we can repeat the victory, if nor the scoreline.
The puck drops at 4:00 pm. If you're in the neighborhood and want to watch some free (crappy) hockey, by all means come on out to the arena. The lounge will have beer and soda available for purchase.

Tribe 7