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Monday, July 4, 2011

Movin' On Up!

Today officially marks the end of new content on Central Iowa Lacrosse & Sports Ramblings...
But don't be too sad! 
Effective immediately, Lacrosse Iowa is the newest member of the Lacrosse All Stars network!
All of the vital information regarding lacrosse in Des Moines and throughout the state of Iowa will now be found on the Internet's premier lacrosse destination.  I am excited at the opportunities this brings including increased exposure and familiarity within the international lacrosse community.
Thank you for your continued support!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

DM Lax Store in 2012?

Absolutely, or so I've been told.
I cannot divulge too much information right now, but I have been speaking with a local proprietor for quite a long time about getting some proper lax equipment in the metro.  Based on the brief conversation we had last night, the plan is to have actual lax equipment - sticks, pads, gloves, and helmets - in stock next spring/summer.
The store in question plans to carry Cascade, Warrior, and another company that I am not allowed to name at this time.  Their stock will be limited at first, but will expand in step with our lax community.  We are working on cross promotional plans to increase lax participation (and their business).

No longer will laxers in Des Moines have to drive to Omaha, Minneapolis, or KC for their gear.  No longer will they have to wait for the UPS man to bring their online purchases.  No longer will the uninformed head to Scheels only to find crappy Outlaws or head to Sports Authority to find nothing.  We will finally be able to refer them to the city's first lax store!
Oh happy day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Omaha World-Herald Article

The Omaha World-Herald posted an article today about the recent growth of lacrosse in Nebraska.  It is a nice summary of how our neighbors got to where they are, which influenced a lot of our development.
Lacrosse is not yet a sanctioned sport in high school, but schools can participate at the club level. Eight teams took part in the Nebraska High School Lacrosse league this spring. No Lincoln school alone was able to fill a roster, so players from multiple Lincoln high schools converged to form the Rampage.
In case you are unaware, Valley was one of those eight teams.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Growing the Game

Gargoyles player, Shawn Harrington posted this earlier today.  Shawn has been actively promoting lacrosse on Des Moines is Not Boring since ;last summer.  He has also gotten a local publication in touch with me about covering the Summer Lacrosse League.  Through the power of the press, Shawn continues to help us in our mission to Grow the Game in Central Iowa.

Thank you Shawn!

***

I can officially announce that the local girls' lacrosse will grow by one more in five weeks.  We've known she is coming for a while now, but the doctors gave us an official inducement date earlier today.

Jr Buddha's Ballers

As all Summer Lacrosse League players know, we will not be having league games next week due to several absences stemming from the Vail Lacrosse Shootout
The Jr Buddha's Ballers are the successor to Team Nebraska, and represent the Nebraska High School Lacrosse League in tournaments around the country, including Vail.  Here is a list of returning and former Valley players listed on the Jr Buddha's Ballers roster:
Sam Arends, Cam Bostwick
Hunter Couch, Ted Crites
Cole Griess, Dylan Griess
Tanner McDougal
Zach Zielonko and Tyler Nielsen as assistant coaches with the team.  Both also play for the Master's level team, Buddha's Ballers.  Other Des Moines area laxers will be traveling to Colorado to witness and/or participate in one the country's most prestigious tournaments as well.
Conference opponents for the Jr Ballers include Western Colorado Maveriks, Brady's Bunch, and national powerhouse FCA.  Depending on their conference performance, the Ballers could face such storied clubs as the Baltimore Crabs, True Lacrosse, and Team Colorado.
In addition to Vail, the Jr Ballers competed in the Dick's Sporting Goods Midwest Cup over the past weekend.  The winner of the Midwest Cup qualifies for the national championship (Tournament of Champions) in Florida.  Unfortunately, the Jr Ballers narrowly missed this opportunity by a single goal in the championship game.  All in all, finishing second in the Midwest Cup is a great result.
The Jr Ballers will follow up Vail with the Pipe City Lacrosse Classic in Vernon Hills, IL on July 16.  Like the Midwest Cup, the winner of this tournament books a ticket the the Tournament of Champions.
In November, the Jr Ballers will participate in the Lonestar Shootout in Dallas.
As the results come in, I will do my best to keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Glimpse of the Future

A massive change to this blog is coming in the near future... 
Here is your only hint.
We are entering a new era this day!
GTG

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Appreciation for MLL Players

One of the biggest criticisms about Major League Lacrosse is the lack of team play.  This is largely attributed to the professionals' inability to practice together more than once a week (if that) rather than the athletes themselves.  The best only way to build strong team skills is by playing and practicing together.
Players on teams other than the Lizards and Bayhawks generally do not live near the city their team is located in, which means traveling to any required team functions.  Unlike other professional sports, very few MLL players are "full time" professionals, meaning that they tend to carry "real" jobs outside of lacrosse.  While their employers are fairly flexible, no reasonable company should be expected to accommodate the full rigors of a professional athlete's schedule.
This results in many teams hobbling sessions together once a week,  often times the day before games.  As the season wears on the teamwork improves, but never to the level we see in the NCAA or even in high school games.  Unfortunately this creates the impression that MLL players are a selfish lot, determined to carry the ball through the defense instead of moving it around the offense.  In some cases this may be true, but for the most part it is evidence that there is a lack in confidence among teammates.
***
Our Summer Lacrosse League is not unlike the MLL in that aspect.  With a wide range of ages, we have players in different stages of their lives.  Everybody has different commitments outside of lacrosse.  Considering that this is a primarily recreational league, nobody should ever expect that practices would supersede personal obligations (though making time for games may be another story).
Our philosophy is that teams can organize their own practices, under their own conditions and on their own time.  Unlike high school and college programs, players cannot be punished for not attending practice since this is not part of the league set up.  In that, we are like the adult hockey leagues in Des Moines (and I would imagine most other sports leagues as well).
Although I draw some comparisons between our league and the MLL, I am not suggesting that we are competing anywhere near the same level.  I am really just drawing parallels.  Unfortunate parallels, in regards to the way the professional league is forced to operate...
***
But my real appreciation for MLL players comes from their ability to balance lacrosse with their "real" lives.  These are men that hold professional careers completely unrelated to lacrosse, own or rent homes, and in some cases support families.  They are at the age in which weddings and babies are abundant, and obligations seemingly exceed time.  Yet they find a way to play professional lacrosse against the best athletes in the sport.  I applaud them for that.
Our Kintamani
I may not play in the MLL, but I understand how difficult such a balance can be.  My regular readers know that in addition to serving as an assistant coach and organizing our recreational programs, I recently bought a house (and a dog!) and have a baby on the way (August - right during our playoffs).  I work full time (with mandatory overtime lately) and have a side venture that I've been working on through the years.  Despite my work load, I make lacrosse fit.
In the midst of coaching, moving, two major deaths in my family, and taking baby classes, we have launched (with a lot of help from Coach Zach and a few others) our city's first Youth Lacrosse Program this summer.  The planning mostly fell smack dab in the middle of the busiest period of my life so far, yet everything is ready to go.  The structure is in place, the equipment is together (thank you Henson Group), the volunteers are set up, and the kids are registered.  Unfortunately we had to close registration early due to limited resources (especially volunteers) and a desire for a soft launch.  When the program begins tonight, it will all be worth it.
Compared to launching the Youth Program, preparing the second annual Summer Lacrosse League was cake.  Still, it was not without its own hurdles - everything from people never reading their email (problem with the Youth too) to everybody waiting until the last minute (probably a symptom of not reading) to ordering jerseys to securing fields to balancing the schedule to accommodate the majority effectively to realigning rosters.  My wife will be the first to tell you that between the start of registration through the first night of our leagues I am a volatile mix of frustration and excitement; it is in these times that I remember why I no longer work in customer service...  Still, like the Youth Program, everything will be better once our opening face off occurs tonight.
***
Looking at how hard I work to ensure a couple hundred laxers in Des Moines have a good experience really gives me a nice perspective on the work being done by MLL players.  Those guys are the emissaries of the game to millions across the country.  They are the autograph signing heroes future laxers look up to.  I am merely a guy with a computer, a stick, and a dream.
Thanks for reading.  Thanks for playing.  And thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 Valley Team Awards

Congratulations to the following Valley Tigers players for their outstanding work this season:
  • JV MVP: Myles Goertz
  • Most Improved: Hunter Levis
  • Freshman of the Year: Ted Crites
  • Sophomore of the Year: Cole Griess
  • Junior of the Year: Nick Harrington
  • Senior of the Year: Collin Mundus
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Tanner McDougal
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Dylan Griess
  • Team MVP: Hunter Couch
  • Team First Award: Colin Cook
I want to thank all of the players for their contributions this season.  I look forward to improving our record and post season success again next spring.

This information will be posted on the Valley team website when I next have the opportunity.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

2011 SLL Warm Up

Last night was the official start of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association's 2011 Summer Lacrosse League.  To kick off the new season, we continued the tradition of the Week 1 warm up game.  Last night was a semi-competitive pick up style game geared towards brushing the rust off of guys that have not touched a stick since box wrapped up or longer.  Rather than jumping in cold, players are able to re-familiarize themselves with the game and meet their teammates and opponents.
About half the league (around 30 players) came last night, including two of the four goalies.  Teams were split into Demons & Gargoyles vs Aces & Crease Monkeys, with a few from the former joining the latter due to the absence of the bulk of the CM team.  The split was fairly even and gave everybody a chance to assess the talent they will be playing with and against this season. The level of adult talent moving to Des Moines is pretty strong, and quite a few of these gentlemen have opted to join the league this summer.  Having made the rosters beforehand, I had to guess at their ability levels to make fairly even teams.  After last night, I have to say that the 2011 SLL will be significantly more competitive and higher quality than last year.
Following the game was a captains meeting.  Unfortunately due to other obligations Harrington and Sundermann were not available for CM, but both will be forwarded the specific information.  The items discussed include absences, cancellations, referee commitments, and captains' power.  Unlike last year where Zach and I ran everything, we are utilizing captains to help run the league and regulate their respective teams.
At this point, everybody in the league should familiarize themselves with the rules (available here).  Our guidelines this year should ensure two referees and two bench officials for every game.  The refs will each work half the field and monitor a sideline.  Trailing refs will watch for offside players and support the lead official's decisions regarding goals, out of bounds, etc.  Referees have been instructed to focus on severe and obvious infractions and to make calls at their discretion, keeping the game flowing as much as possible.  Respect them as they are mostly untrained as officials and are volunteering.

Quick notes:
  • Competitive SLL games begin next week.  The Demons face the Crease Monkeys at 5:45.  The Aces face the Garoyles at 7:00.
  • If your team does not have enough players (minimum of of 5, including goalie) within 15 minutes of the schedule start time, you will be penalized.  If at least five players are available at that point, the game will start in the second quarter with the opposing team up by two goals.  If there are not five players present, then the opposing team wins be forfeit and a scrimmage may be held for the remaining time.
  • We are officially at Valley Southwoods for all games.  Based on the reactions last night, this is a major improvement.
  • I literally just got off the phone with our supplier (The Total Athlete).  Our reversibles are being shipped today from Michigan and should be in my hands Monday.  I will be at the field around 5:15 on Wednesday to hand them out.
  • The Youth Program begins next Wednesday at 4:00 pm.  Zach will be coordinating volunteers.  This will also be at Southwoods, immediately preceding our SLL games.

Monday, May 30, 2011

2011 Summer Lacrosse League Preview

It's Memorial Day Weekend.  The Nebraska High School Lacrosse League season wrapped up last week and the NCAA season is finishing later today.  In just over a week and a half (June 8, specifically) the 2011 Summer Lacrosse League will be underway.  This season looks to be even better than last year with four teams boasting competitive rosters (on paper anyway).  Here's how they break down.
Gargoyles
The rechristened defending champions boast a back line built around captain Shelton.  The big man returns with a loaded offense consisting of the Brothers Griess, Bostwick, Ben Couch, Harrington, and others.  Shelton can choose between the Tornberg and Mundus brothers on defense and has the added security of Valley's former varsity keeper Hunter Couch in the cage.  With their roster depth, experience together, and attitude, the Gargoyles have a solid shot at the 2011 title.
Aces
After running a team of Valley's youngest last summer, Zielonko gathered up his coaching staff to build a more competitive team this season.  Based on the concept that the organizers should be able to play with their buddies too, nearly everybody on the team is involved in the coaching, organizing, or operations of Valley Lax and/or CILA.  The strong midfield and attack options are somewhat hindered by myself, but the upcoming birth of my child may keep my from being a nuisance in games down the stretch.  Goalie Fitch joins the team after spending 2010 with a bunch of Drake guys.  His understudy will be newcomer Abbott, who will also see time at the other end of the field.
Demons
While the Gargoyles and Aces may be the early favorites, the Demons should not be counted out.  With three Iowa State players (DiGangi, Van Dyke, Catron), Drake's former captain (Shoff), a former Wisconsin Stevens Point Player (Blay), and a host of guys with some level of experience, the Demons have the potential to leapfrog the favorites.  DiGangi is a solid and intimidating goalie and will be a strong leader from the cage.  Shoff proved his leadership abilities when he formed and ran the Drake team; he is also a very capable defender.  Blay was one of the toughest d-poles in the league last season and is also vocal from the back.  Swailes is rapidly developing into a quality attackman and Dyke continues to improve at midfield.  Kaufman is the epitome of a solid journeyman utility player.  The rest of the roster is largely unknown, but loaded with potential.
Crease Monkeys
After reading about the strong players on the other teams, it would be easy to overlook the Monkeys.  However this team packs a deadly mix of youth, experience, and skill.  Captains Harrington and Sundermann have a strong offensive arsenal at their disposal including the Arends brothers, Crew, and a host of up-and-coming players.  Taylor will share net minder duties with the versatile McDougal, who will also contribute to the defense and midfield as the team's needs dictate.  With a good number of players able to fill multiple positions, it is conceivable that we will see different line ups every week.  This might be the key to the Monkeys finding their way to the early game on August 10, something that this team is entirely capable of with focus and communication.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Texas Christian University?

It's not substantiated, but Lacrosse Playground is tweeting that TCU may be adding NCAA D1 lacrosse very, very soon.  TCU is the newest member of the Big East Conference.  The Big East happens to sponsor lacrosse and fairly recently welcomed Marquette to the lax world.  The implications of adding the Dallas based school are mind boggling, especially with the Frogs' growing national presence and intimate relationship with Nike.
Oh, and by the way...  The formal announcement is rumored to be coming tomorrow.
Stay tuned...

Thanks 412 for the tip!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Huge Announcements That Will Rock the Lax World Today

First: Under Armour officially announced their upcoming product line today.  You may recall that some products leaked earlier this month.  Contrary to my previous report, the UA gear was not designed by Gait/DeBeer but  was made in conjunction with Vertical Lax, Inc, making this deal sound similar to the recently failed marriage between Adidas and The Henson Group. I was less than impressed by the initial gear, but the pics of the new shaft look great. Connecting with the company's roots, the shafts incorporate the Flag of Maryland in their design

The UA website does not yet have any pics of the gear, but they should be coming soon.  No word on how this deal affects Paul Rabil's endorsement deals with UA and Maverik Lacrosse...

Second: The University of Michigan will be making a major lacrosse announcement today.  Of course all of the speculation indicates that we will finally get confirmation of the school's move to NCAA D1 lacrosse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Valley Finishes Third in NHSLL

Season Recap
The Tigers started the 2011 season with victories over Wisconsin Lacrosse Federation team Westside (Madison) Regents.  Minnesota Boys Scholastic Lacrosse Association members St. Louis Park (2010 champions) and Delano.
They followed this with three massive wins in conference play.  Losing by a single goal to defending Nebraska High School Lacrosse League champion Creighton Prep was but a minor speed bump.  Valley beat their next four opponents - including the team's first varsity win over Lincoln - by a combined score of 52-11.  When the Tigers met the Blue Jays for the second time, first place overall was on the line.  Unfortunately Prep prevailed, but Valley maintained third place in the league with their second win over (Omaha) Westside.
The Tigers met up with the Warriors again the following week in the first round of the playoffs.  From here, the Tigers once again drew Prep for the semifinals.  Hopes were high that the third meeting of the season would favor the Tigers, but First Team All State attackman Ted Crites was missing due to a back injury.  Spirits fell when the Blue Jays completed their sweep, again by three goals.  Saturday offered some redemption for the Tigers and a nice closure for the seniors as Valley defeated Millard West 12-2 for third place.
The Lincoln Rampage became the first team from outside of Omaha to win the NHSLL championship.

All State
Valley had five players named to the All State teams, as well as two honorable mentions.
First Team - Ted Crites (9, A), Dylan Griess (12, M)
Second Team - Hunter Couch (12 G), Hunter Levis (11 A), Tanner McDougal (11 LSM)
Honorable Mention - Ben Arends (8 A), Nick Harrington (11 M)

Roster Changes
Of the 25 players on the varsity roster, only 6 were seniors this season.  Hunter Couch (G), Dylan Griess (M), and Jamie Tornberg (D) have been with the team since its inaugural JV season.  Griess and Tornberg will be attending the University of Iowa this fall. Colin Mundus (D) and Dan Boyd (D) joined the team last season.  Mundus will attend Grand View University to wrestle.  Landon Loftsgard (M) joined the team this season.  Boyd and Loftsgard have not shared their college commitments.
At this time, the entire attack unit will return; all three (Levis, Crites, and Ben Arends) are on the All State list above.  Two-thirds of the starting midfield unit will return; both returning players (Harrington, McDougal) are on the All State List.  Freshman Will Tornberg is the only starter returning on the defensive end of the field.  The remaining varsity players, as well as the entire JV roster, are sophomores or freshmen.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Further NHL Realignment Scenario

In my previous post, I mentioned that Winnipeg may spend one year playing in the Southeast Division.  The main reason for that idea stems from the Phoenix Coyotes.  As of right now, the league-owned Coyotes are staying in Glendale.  However their current deal is for a single year and the league still has not found an owner that wants to keep them in the desert.  So a major realignment change now could easily be a waste of time.
If the NHL is unable to unload the Coyotes by the end of next season, they may finally throw in the towel and allow the team to move.  What separates this move from the current Atlanta-to-Winnipeg deal is the lack of committed owners with NHL-ready facilities.  True North has the luxury of having a fairly new, NHL compatible arena at their disposal; the Manitoba Moose of the AHL currently call the MTS Centre home.  This has made the rapid progress on the Thrashers deal possible.  In order for a deal to get pushed through as quickly next spring, the team will need an owner with a similar situation.
Here is a brief rundown of the potential and rumored expansion cities (in no particular order):
1. Quebec City: This former NHL market is eager to get top-flight hockey back.  Unfortunately the city lacks a suitable NHL arena.  Also working against the city are the lack of a solid ownership group, repeated failures with minor league teams, and its relatively small population.  However, the strong potential for resumed rivalries with the other Canadian franchises works in the city's favor.  The return to Winnipeg might indicate a willingness to reconsider Quebec as well.
2. Hamilton: This city in southern Ontario would be an immediate rival with Toronto and Buffalo due to its proximity alone.  Unlike many others on this list, Hamilton boasts an NHL-ready arena and strong potential owners.  How strong?  The Penguins and Predators came thiiiiiiis close to relocating to Hamilton within the past decade and the Coyotes were a bankruptcy hearing away from arriving at Copps Coliseum.
3. Seattle: Seattle is always a fan favorite for relocation and expansion.  Its proximity to Vanouver and its junior hockey history make Seattle seem like a logical choice.  Unfortunately the departure of the Super Sonics indicates that a suitable professional arena simply does not exist.  If the city was unwilling to give their long time NBA team a new home, it would be foolish to think they would do so for an NHL team.  The city does have strong potential ownership groups, however.
4. Portland: The Rose City has a lot of the same positives as Seattle.  It also has an NHL-ready facility, The Rose Garden Arena, home of the Trail Blazers.  It would be a smaller market than Seattle, but the professional sports landscape is much less crowded.
5. Las Vegas: Vegas is a rapidly growing metro with a plethora of potential owners salivating at the cahnce to bring major league sports to Sin City.  There is now a large scale stadium proposal on the table designed to bring in an NHL team (among other things).  Perhaps the easiest of all moves for the Coyotes, this one is held back by the time it will take to actually build the arena.
6. San Anotnio: San Antonio has both an NHL-ready facility (At&T Center) and a likely ownership group (Spurs Sports & Entertainment).  The current AHL team, the Rampage, share the facility (and color scheme) with the NBA's Spurs.  Coincidentally, the Rampage are the Coyotes' long time minor league affiliate.
7. Houston: Believe it or not, Houston is a booming hockey town.  The current Aeros have been around since 1994. The WHA fielded a team in the 1970s until that league merged with the NHL.  The Toyota Center is an NHL-ready facility and is shared by the Rockets of the NBA.  With several high end millionaires in the metro, a potential owner could easily be found.
8. Kansas City: The Sprint Center opened in 2007 with the NHL in mind.  Like Hamilton, KC almost landed the Predators and Penguins.  The Islanders have used relocation to KC as a threat several times.  All that is missing from this scenario is a potential owner.  As a side note, the Hornets and Kings of the NBA are considering relocating to KC. Incidentally, the Kings played in KC from 1972 to 1985.

So how would my proposed realignment look should the Coyotes move to one of the eight cities proposed above?  The highlighted teams represent changes to my original proposal.
1. Vegas, Seattle, or Portland: Things are simple: there would be no changes as all three are already in the Pacific Time Zone.
Eastern Conference
Northeastern: Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey
Colonial:  Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina
Great Lakes: Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Ottawa
Western Conference
Southern:  Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis
Pacific: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, Vancouver
Prairies: Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota
2. Quebec City: It's not a pretty scenario as some rivalries will be sacrificed and some travel just got crappier.  Geography pushes a team out of the Northeastern Division; I chose the Devils as they are the southernmost.  This creates a ripple effect which causes Carolina to move to the Southern Division and St. Louis to the Prairies, as those are the most logical moves without too much disruption.  Colorado moves to the Pacific in place of the Coyotes.  All of my original requirements are still met.
Eastern Conference
Northeastern: Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, Quebec
Colonial:  Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Columbus, New Jersey
Great Lakes: Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Buffalo, Ottawa
Western Conference
Southern:  Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, Carolina
Pacific: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Vancouver, Colorado
Prairies: Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis
3. Hamilton: Without a doubt, Hamilton belongs in the Great Lakes Division with their natural rivals Toronto and Buffalo.  Strong potential rivalries with Detroit and Ottawa are too great to pass up.  Unfortunately the Redwings-Blackhawks rivalry has to be sacrificed for this to work.  Chicago moves to the Prairies Division to build a rivalry with Minnesota; considering their rivalries in other sports, this could be a great move.  Once again Colorado takes the Coyotes' spot in the Pacific.
Eastern Conference
Northeastern: Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey
Colonial:  Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina
Great Lakes: Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Ottawa, Hamilton
Western Conference
Southern:  Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis
Pacific: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, Vancouver, Colorado
Prairies: Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Chicago
4. San Antonio or Houston: This one is a no-brainer - San Antonio/Houston would join  Dallas in the Southern Division.  A Texas rivalry is always a good thing and it evens things out with the Florida teams.  Nashville is still southern enough to carry over while St. Louis moves to the Prairies.  Once again Colorado takes the Coyotes' spot in the Pacific.
Eastern Conference
Northeastern: Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey
Colonial:  Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina
Great Lakes: Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Ottawa
Western Conference
Southern:  Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, SA/Houston
Pacific: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, Vancouver, Colorado
Prairies:  Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis
5. Kansas City: On the surface, I only moved Colorado to take the Coyotes' spot in the Pacific and put KC in the Prairies.  However, I worked through several scenarios to make this work.  Ideally, KC would be in a division with St. Louis at the very least.  Unfortunately I could not find a way to do this without violating my time zone requirement or making travel distances a complete nightmare.  At least the traditional rivalries remain in place.  Under different conditions (say two more expansion teams), I could manipulate things into more ideal conference structures.
Pacific Time Zone.Eastern Conference
Northeastern: Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey
Colonial:  Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina
Great Lakes: Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Ottawa
Western Conference
Southern:  Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis
Pacific: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, Vancouver, Colorado
Prairies: Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota, Kansas City


*As a bonus, here is a look at what a 32 team NHL could look like using a couple of the potential relocation markets noted above. In this exercise teams will be broken into two conferences of two divisions (with subdivisions separated to indicate how four divisions could look).  My time zone and geography criteria will still apply as much as possible.  Red indicates expansion/relocation cities.

Eastern Conference
Colonial:  Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina, New Jersey | Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders
Great Lakes: Detroit, Columbus, Chicago, Pittsburgh | Toronto, Buffalo, Ottawa, Hamilton
Western Conference
American: Winnipeg, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minnesota |  Nashville, Dallas, Houston, Florida, Tampa Bay
Frontier: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Vancouver | Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg.

Thrashers to Winnpieg - NHL Realignment

With multiple sources now reporting that the deal that will send the Atlanta Thrashers to Winnipeg is all but complete, the NHL will need some serious realignment.  The Thrashers currently play in the Southeast Division alongside Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, and Washington DC.  Winnipeg is just northwest of Minneapolis.
Rumors persist that next season will see no realignment due to the lateness of the move; team relocations are typically finalized in January.  Instead, the Winnipeg team may play in the Southeast for a year before the league changes things up in time for the 2012-13 season.  As awkward as this would be for both travel and the TV schedule, it would allow the league plenty of time to make a calculated and rational realignment decision.
Of course the NHL wants to minimize disruption as much as possible, meaning that only a couple of teams will be affected by the realignment.  As of right now, the three leading candidates to take Atlanta's place in the East all come from the Central Division: Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville.  Detroit is the oldest of the group and seeks to resume their old rivalry with Toronto.  However, this would diminish their rekindled rivalry with Chicago and strong rivalry with St. Louis.  The Redwings are also further north than a good chunk of the Atlantic Division teams.  Columbus is the eastern most team in the Western Conference.  The Blue Jackets do not have any strong rivalries and are one of the youngest teams in the league.  Although they are closer to Pittsburgh than anyone else and would appreciate that rivalry, the Jackets are further south than the Atlantic teams.  Nashville is a nice geographical fit for the Southeast.  Coincidentally, the Predators are the closest team to the Thrashers, and they will still be among the closest to the Hurricanes and Florida teams.  Both Detroit and Columbus are in the Eastern Time Zone; Nashville is in the Central Time Zone.  Regardless of which team it is, the hole in the Southeast Division will most likely be plugged by a team from the Central Division.
So now we have another hole to fill.  Winnipeg could simply slide into the Central, but they are further west than Minnesota and almost due north of Dallas.  Minnesota currently plays in the Northwest Division and Dallas plays in the Pacific Division.  Given that Minnesota is the closest team to Winnipeg, it makes sense to keep them together, which means that Winnipeg would join Minnesota in the Northwest.  Dallas would move to the Central.  This scenario would require a team to move from the Northwest to the Pacific.  One one hand, Colorado would make sense because of their proximity to Phoenix and the California teams.  On the other hand, Vancouver makes sense because Winnipeg would be the fourth Canadian team in the Northwest.  I think that the NHL will rely on geography and Colorado will take Dallas' spot in the Pacific.
I think the NHL realignment will look something like this:
Eastern Conference
Northeast: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Boston
Atlantic: New York Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Southeast: DC, Florida, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Columbus
Western Conference
Central: Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Nashville, Dallas
Northwest: Minnesota, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver
Pacific: San Jose, LA, Anaheim, Phoenix, Colorado

However, I think that this is a prime opportunity to really change things up.  Stronger divisions and rivalries can arise.  Better TV schedules can be made (a major argument coming out of Detroit and Columbus).  Fans may be able to travel to more away games in the Western Conference.
The guidelines I am using are as follows: the league will maintain two conferences with three divisions each, both will be geographically based (ie no Original Six conference), the conferences will carry an equal number of teams, historical/natural rivalries will be preserved as much as possible, and no division can span more than two time zones.  However, division names can be changed.  I am also not counting on expansion or retraction.
Eastern Conference
Northeastern: Montreal, Boston, NY Rangers, NY Islanders, New Jersey
Colonial:  Columbus, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina
Great Lakes: Detroit, Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Ottawa
Western Conference
Southern:  Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, St. Louis
Pacific: LA, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix, Vancouver
Prairies: Colorado, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Minnesota

While it is not perfect, I think that this would provide for better TV schedules and create stronger rivalries within the divisions themselves.  The Eastern Conference came out fairly well rounded and looks to be considerably dominant.  Because so many teams are located so closely together, TV times are less of a concern than they are in the West.  Travel distances are also less of an issue.  Every team is located in the Eastern Time Zone except Chicago.
Detroit moves away from the Western Conference travel schedule and rekindle their rivalry with Toronto while also maintaining the Wings' rivalry with Chicago.  Though the Canadians lose their extensive series with the Maple Leafs, they retain their rivalry with the Bruins and add fellow Original Six member New York Rangers.  Pittsburgh maintains its rivalry with Philadelphia while picking up nearby Columbus and adding more games against Washington.  Philadelphia and Washington should pick up intensity as well, given their proximity.  Columbus and Carolina benefit from the popularity and strength of their new opponents.

Keeping Minnesota and Winnipeg together makes sense considering that they are closer to each other than to anybody else; they are also the only remaining Central Time Zone teams.  Calgary and Edmonton are also closely tied.  The Alberta teams seem to fit best with Winnipeg and Minnesota, which establishes a Central and Mountain Time Zone.  Unfortunately this creates an issue with the division's fifth team.  Despite Colorado being further from all of the teams than Vancouver is from the Alberta pair, the Avalanche's location in the Mountain Time Zone pushed them into this group.
By default, Vancouver joins the Pacific, which keeps the entire division in one time zone for most of the year (stupid Arizona!).  The Canucks join all three California teams in a division rounded out by the Coyotes.  Other than Vancouver, this division is fairly compact compared to the rest of the Western Conference and should continue to build on current rivalries.
Of course this whole thing could be blown to hell if the Coyotes or Islanders end up moving after next season...
There are several different proposals floating around right now.  And I invite you to post yours below, whether directly or as a post to your blog.  I will definitely check them out and possibly comment in return.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer 2011 Youth Registration Closed

As of right now, registration for the Summer 2011 Youth Lacrosse Program is closed.  We have exceeded our planned capacity; everyone who registered will participate.  Watch for future opportunities or contact us to be added to the contact list.
Information will be emailed to players and parents within the next two weeks.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Summer Lacrosse League Closed

Registration for the 2011 Summer Lacrosse League is now closed.  Rosters and schedules will be released sometime next week.

*Registration for the Summer 2011 Youth Lacrosse Program will be open until Friday, May 13 or until the program is full.  As of right now, there are only eight slots still available! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Reminder: Summer 2011 Youth Program

Registration for the Summer 2011 Youth Program is set to terminate this Friday, but we may be closing it early due to limited space.  To ensure that you are able to participate register today!




About the Summer 2011 Youth Program
Presented by the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association and the Valley Tigers Lacrosse Club
The Summer 2011 Youth Lacrosse Program is designed for and open to boys across the metro currently in grades 5-8.  This seven week program will feature the Valley Lacrosse Club’s coaching staff instructing young players on the essential skills of the game.  The program will emphasis strong, intelligent game play and sportsmanship.  Each weekly session will include instruction as well as a competitive game.

§         Weekly practice and game sessions will be held in Clive on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:30 pm, beginning in June.
§         Your $30 (per player) registration fee will include a t-shirt, new lacrosse stick, and a lacrosse ball.
§         Registration for this program is now open and will close on Friday, May 13, 2011 or when the program is full.

Final Notice: 2011 Summer Lacrosse League

Even though registration was technically closed on Friday, we still have a couple of slots open in the 2011 Summer Lacrosse League (high school & adult).  The reversible order has already been sent to ensure that they arrive on time, so the league will be capped as a necessity.  Rosters will be complied this weekend, so registration will be cut off some time on Friday.  I know that some teams want to get together and practice before the league starts and they cannot do so until the rosters are set.



About the 2011 Summer Lacrosse League
We will not have sponsors this year.  Instead, teams will have names and specific color schemes to eliminate "guest players" and other shenanigans.  Players will be assigned to teams in an effort of creating some balance (though the 2010 champions Lightning Wear/Gargoyles will largely carry over from last year).
We will have a new format this year - adopted from last summer's second half - which should reduce absence issues.  The 2011 SLL will feature a modified field consisting of 1 goalie, 2 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 2 attackmen.  This means that teams will be offside with less than three men in the defensive half or less than two in the offensive half.  Teams may run up to three long poles on the field at any time.
Rosters will max at 14 players to allow everybody plenty of playing time.  We plan to have four teams in the league, with all four teams playing each week.  Teams not playing will be responsible for refereeing games opposite their own.  Referees will be assigned beforehand and coordinated through team captains.
This year's league will begin On Wednesday, June 8 and run through August 10.  The exact number of games will be determined once we know the exact number of teams.
Registration is available below.  There is a $35 fee to cover cost of the pinnies, balls, etc.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Click Clack

It is official: Under Armour is entering the lacrosse equipment fray.  Much like the partnership that Nike has with STX, Under Armour has been working with Gait/DeBeer to produce a line of equipment.  Originally, I assumed UA would work with Maverik, especially in light of Paul Rabil's dual endorsement deals.

Since Gait ended up being UA's partner, I am now wondering about the Rabil's future with Maverik.  Given his status as the highest profile laxer in the world, it is hard to imagine that UA wants to part with him, but they probably do not want their key laxer working for a competitor either.  I guess we will see if UA buys out Rabil's Maverik contract, lets it run its course, or reduces their emphasis on him.  Remember, Rabil appears in UA signage outside of lacrosse as well.

Along the same lines, we can expect equipment changes at Maryland.  The Terps have reportedly been dissatisfied with STX and were among the first to drop this year's Assault line.  Rumors have been swirling about an equipment switch ever since STX launched the first Nike lines, and now it looks like we know who the Terps have been considering.  Whether UA will have a full line at launch is uncertain, so it is probable that standard Gait gear will supplement the team, again much like STX on Nike sponsored teams.  As in everything else, Maryland will be the signature school for UA lax.

You may recall that way back when I started this blog (10/31/2008 to be exact), I said that Under Armour will be producing equipment in the near future.  My exact words were:
Expect it around 2012.
 Am I a profit or what?

5/4/2011 - Edit - 1:15 pm
Lacrosse Playground has posted pictures of the UA Revenant Head.  It definitely has a strong Gait influence.
Unfortunately I am getting word that the pads and gloves also have a strong Gait influence.  Considering that Gait is arguably the least popular manufacturer in the game - mostly attributed to their looks - this seems to be a huge misstep on UA's Part.  Pics and/or links will be posted as they become available.

5/4/2011 - Edit - 2:30 pm
Lax U Nation has posted pictures of the arm pads.  They are not as Gait-like as I had heard.  Actually they are pretty respectable with a simple, almost classic look.  I cannot get the pic to copy, so you'll have to follow the link.  Sorry.

Further edit: All of the links and pics of UA lax gear have been pulled from the internet.  That includes those linked on my blog.  For those of you lucky enough to see them, what do you think?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Summer 2011 Youth Lacrosse Program

The Central Iowa Lacrosse Association
And the
Valley Tigers Lacrosse Club

Present the Summer 2011 Youth Lacrosse Program
The Summer 2011 Youth Lacrosse Program is designed for and open to boys across the metro currently in grades 5-8.  This seven week program will feature the Valley Lacrosse Club’s coaching staff instructing young players on the essential skills of the game.  The program will emphasis strong, intelligent game play and sportsmanship.  Each weekly session will include instruction as well as a competitive game.

§         Weekly practice and game sessions will be held in Clive on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00 – 5:30 pm, beginning in June.
§         Your $30 (per player) registration fee will include a t-shirt, new lacrosse stick, and a lacrosse ball.
§         Registration for this program is now open and will close on Friday, May 13, 2011.






For more information, Contact Adam at CenIowaLaxAssoc@gmail.com
-or-
Visit the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association website:

Final Home Games of the Season

The 10-1 Valley Tigers Lacrosse Team will play their final home games of the 2011 season this afternoon at Tiger Stadium.  Tiger Stadium is the track stadium on the Valley High School campus, not the big football stadium.
Valley faces Creighton Prep at 1:30 for the second time this season.  Prep narrowly beat Valley by a single goal scored in the final minute on April 16.  The winner of this game will be the number one seed when the playoffs start in Omaha next Saturday.
Valley will then face Westside for their final game of the 2011 regular season. In their April 3 meeting, Valley outscored Westside 10-5.
Admission to both games is free.  Concessions and team t-shirts will be available for purchase.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Update: Youth Lax in Des Moines

Now that the high school/adult summer league is ready to go, I can finally concentrate on getting the youth league finalized.  We are still working on some specifics like the time, weeknight, and cost, but we have narrowed down the basics.  First and foremost, we have identified the type of game the youth league will play.  We plan to open with instructional clinics/practices each night and followed by a Chumash game.  We will only be using short sticks; we plan to provide a stick to each player as part of the registration fee.  We are still working on helmet and glove issues.
 The youth league will meet once a week and the boys will be coached primarily by the Valley coaches.  We are receptive to members of the local lacrosse community assisting with the program.

We have a preliminary contact list of around 20 boys; there is plenty of room for more.  If you know of an interested boy currently in grades 5-8 that would be interested, please contact us ASAP to get them on the initial contact list.  This also applies to anybody interested in helping coach the boys.  I anticipate having the information out this week.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

2011 Summer Lacrosse League - Sign Up Now!

At long last, sign ups for this year's adult/high school Summer Lacrosse League have arrived!
Once again we will be ordering pinnies, but we are going with a new supplier based on several comments I received last summer.  Gone are the sponsors; teams will now be able to choose their own nicknames, which are subject to approval (they have to be appropriate for all ages).  Each team will have its own color scheme to eliminate "guest players" and other shenanigans.
We will have a new format this year - adopted from last summer's second half - which should reduce absence issues.  The 2011 SLL will feature a modified field consisting of 1 goalie, 2 defenders, 3 midfielders, and 2 attackmen.  This means that teams will be offside with less than three men in the defensive half or less than two in the offensive half.  Teams may run up to three long poles on the field at any time.
Rosters will max at 15 players to allow everybody plenty of playing time.  We plan to have five teams (possibly six) in the league, with four teams playing each week.  The fifth team will be responsible for refereeing games during their off week.  Referees will be assigned beforehand.
This year's league will begin On Wednesday, June 8 and run through August 10.  The exact number of games will be determined once we know the exact number of teams.
Registration is available below.  There is a $35 fee to cover cost of the pinnies, balls, etc. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Apologies

I apologize for the lack of posts this spring.  I've just had so much going on lately.  The new house, new dog, OT at work, and baby classes have taken a lot of my free time.  This has required me to do my behind the scenes stuff during my work breaks at the expense of this blog.
For those not coming to Valley games, the Tigers are 6-1 overall (3-1 in league play) after suffering a close loss at Creighton Prep today.  The JV team is 5-1 on the season.  Valley hosts Lincoln and Millard South next week at Tiger Stadium on the main Valley campus.
Zach and I have been working diligently on the summer league (high school & adult) and youth league (grades 5-8).  That information is nearly ready and should be sent out early this week.  The summer league will have new & better pinnies this season.
Contact me if you are interested in either league and I will add you to the pool/contact list.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Summer League Updates

I am finally starting to get caught up from moving, which means that the behind the scenes stuff for Valley Lax is mostly on track.  This is giving me time to get the summer league information together a bit.  On the way to Omaha last weekend, Zach and I had an opportunity to make some plans for both the youth and adult leagues.
Youth:
  • Grades 5-8
  • Six on six
  • Short sticks only
  • No checking
  • No goalies - tarps will be used
  • Possibly using box goals
  • Teams will be coached by high school players/staff
  • Pregame practice/warm up

Adult:
  • 13-15 man rosters.  The goal is to eliminate players subbing between teams.  We want to keep players only playing for their team.  We are also hoping that this allows us to create five or six teams.  High school and adult players.  Current middle schoolers will be in the youth league.
  • Eight on eight - Goalie, two defenders, three middies, two attack.  Up to three long poles allowed on the field at any time. Due to absences last summer, we ended up playing this format several times; it seemed to work well and opened up the games a bit.  This should also help limit the effects.
  • Teams will be shifted from last year to accommodate the new roster structure.  Despite initial thoughts to keep teams in tact, ALL ROSTERS MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
  • There will be a referee schedule with a two man crew working each game.  We may have two games going at a time (depending on the number of teams) so multiple members of a team may be reffing).
  • Every effort will be made to avoid double headers and a cancellation/make up plan is in the works.
  • The current plan is to order reversible jerseys again, but we may be going with a different company based on feedback last summer.  We are exploring using a different primary color for each team.  Once again we are interested in sponsors for the teams and are open to allowing *appropriate* team names (Gargoyles, Young Guns, etc).  At this time, we plan to order all of the jerseys to ensure that all players have them.
  • The anticipated cost should be similar to last year, so expect around $30 to cover the jersey and ball fee.
  • We will be using orange balls as always.

Other items have been discussed.  Once we get everything finalized, a comprehensive list will be posted on the blog and website.  An email will be sent out as well.
And yes, we are considering dropping the box for an MLL style two-point arch.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Valley Lax at Home Sunday

Following two big varsity wins and a JV victory last weekend, the Tigers will host Burke high school at Tiger Stadium this Sunday.

Sunday, April  3 results:
Varsity vs Burke 14-2 win
Junior varsity vs Burke 4-3 win
Varsity vs Westside 10-5 win

Sunday, April 10 Games:
Varsity vs Burke 3:00 pm
Junior varsity vs Burke 5:00 pm

This week's home games will be held at Tiger Stadium on the Valley High School campus.  Concessions and t-shirts will be available for purchase.  Admission is free for both games.
Valley High School/Tiger Stadium - 3650 Woodland Ave, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Drake Home Games This Saturday

The Drake Bulldogs will host the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse and St. Mary's University this Saturday (April 2) at 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm, respectively. 
Come out and cheer for your local college lacrosse team!  Admission is free for both games.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Valley Lax Dominates Northern Teams

It was a cold and blustery weekend at Valley Stadium, making the teams from St. Louis Park and Delano, Minnesota and Madison (West Side Regents), Wisconsin feel right at home.  All three teams played their first games of the 2011 season this weekend, as did the home town Valley Tigers.  Defending Nebraska High School League champion Creighton Prep also ventured to West Des Moines with three league wins already under their belt.
I wanted to post a big write up of the games, but the massive backlog at work and home has made this nearly impossible.  Here are the scores:
Creighton Prep 7, St. Louis Park 4
Valley 18, West Side Regents 8
Creighton Prep  8, Delano 7 OT
Valley 13, St. Louis Park 8
Delano 11, vs West Side Regents 3
St. Louis Park 8, West Side Regents 5
Valley 13, Delano 6

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Opening Weekend at Valley Stadium

Saturday, March 26 & Sunday March 27
Saturday Games:
11:00 Creighton Prep (NE) vs St. Louis Park (MN)
1:30 Valley (IA) vs Madison Regents (WI)
4:00 Creighton Prep (NE) vs Delano (MN)
6:30 Valley (IA) vs St. Louis Park (MN)

Sunday Games:
10:00 Madison Regents (WI) vs Delano (MN)
12:30 Madison Regents (WI) vs St. Louis Park (MN)
3:00 Valley (IA) vs Delano (MN)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No Internet Until Monday

I am closing on my house tonight.  I will be painting my new digs tomorrow and moving over the weekend.  Unfortunately that means I will not have cable and the Internet until late Monday afternoon.
This means that there will be no new blogs, emails, or even Valley score updates until Monday night at the earliest.  Valley's JV plays three games in Omaha on Sunday, but I will have to miss them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Valley's New Buckets

Fresh new Cascade Pro7s with custom decals!
Left side
Right Side

The back panel has a very special meaning.  May not make it public until the Tigers' opening weekend games...
A very big thank you to TheTotal Athlete for hooking us up.

Limited Activity

I apologize to all of my regular readers for not posting anything over the last week.  As many of you know, I am in the process of buying a house (we close next week).  This has consumed most of my time - to the point of preventing me from attending practices and causing me to miss next weekend's JV games in Omaha.  I'll also be missing Hopkins vs Cuse next Saturday (damn it).
"Well you could just write over your lunch break," you're probably saying.  Yeah, well, I could but I have been using my lunch breaks for a far more important task lately.
On top of those two items, I have been working with a few vendors to hook Valley up with some new stuff - especially helmets and fan/fundraiser t-shirts.  The helmets have arrived and will make their online debut soon; I have to say that they are classic and awesome.  The shirts will be here any day, but we have not set the price yet.  We also have new uniforms coming; they will debut at our home games on March 26 at Valley Stadium.
Bear with me a little longer.  Hopefully regular posts will resume around the 23rd.  Thank you for your patience.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Valley Tigers are Preseason #2

West Side Lax released the 2011 preseason rankings for the Nebraska High School Lacrosse league last week:
Preseason Top 9: 1. Creighton Prep 2. West Des Moines Valley 3. Lincoln 4. Millard West 5. Westside, 6. Omaha Burke 7. Millard North, 8. Millard South 9. River City.
This is a major improvement over last year's rankings which saw the Tigers ranked ninth in the then ten team league.  With only three regular season losses last year, Valley was the fourth seed in the playoffs (second in the North Division).  After a narrow loss to eventual champions Creighton Prep in the semifinals, the Tigers faced Lincoln in the consolation game.  The overtime loss to the Rampage resulted in Valley finishing the season solidly in fourth place.
Papillion-La Vista will not field a team this year, which is noted by their absence from the preseason rankings.  The last word I received from the league indicates that River City has also withdrawn.  The 2011 season was scheduled to begin with a jamboree at Burke High School this weekend, however that event may have been canceled.
Valley's complete schedule can be found here.
West Side Lax favors Valley on the defensive half of the field by praising senior goalie Hunter Couch, junior LSM Tanner McDougal, and senior defender Jamie Tornberg.  Rounding out the defense are athletic senior poles Dan Boyd and Collin Mundus.  Junior poles Colin Cook and Will Cafferta add imposing size while freshmen Will Tornberg brings a touch of speed.  Sophomore Ben Oberender has moved to pole after playing JV middie in 2010.  Freshman Graham Taylor backups Couch.
Senior middie Dylan Griess led the league in scoring last year and leads a strong midfield which includes junior Nick Harrington and Hunter Levis and sophomores Sam Arends and Cole Griess.  Freshman Ted Crites leads the attack after a successful 8th grade season.  Sophomores Josh Crew, Ross Delsol, Myles Goertz, and Quentin Straw all return in offensive rolls and will be joined by a strong crop of freshmen.
The complete roster will be updated here in the coming weeks.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

National Lacrosse League All Star Game Today!

The 2011 National Lacrosse League All Star game will be on Versus this afternoon at 1:00 pm (Iowa Time).  The game will be broadcast live from Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York and presented by the Oneida Indian Nation.This game will be the first of nine NLL games scheduled to air on Versus this season.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Iowa vs Iowa State Lax This Weekend

This is straight from the Hawkeyes' website:
Iowa Hosts Kansas & Iowa State This Weekend
February 22, 2011
After starting the season with two wins this past weekend, Iowa will host its first home games of the 2011 season this weekend.
Iowa starts things off with a game against conference foe Kansas on Friday in the Bubble at 7:30 PM.  The Jayhawks come to Iowa City with a 1-2 record so far this season, also beating Memphis to go along with losses against Vanderbilt and Clemson.
Kansas has won four straight games against the Hawkeyes, including a 12-9 victory in Lawrence last season that decided the GRLC Division I-AA winner.  Mitch McElman led the way for the Hawkeyes with four points (2G, 2A) in that game, while Kansas’ Francis Enright led all players with four goals and two assists.
Enright leads the Jayhawks with 14 points this year and is tied with Nick Troll for the team lead with six goals.
Iowa then plays in-state rival Iowa State on Saturday night in the Bubble at 7:30 PM.  The Cyclones have played one game so far this season, losing 16-6 to Missouri.  The Hawkeyes won the last meeting between these two teams, 12-11, during the 2009 season.  Alex De La Pena had three goals and three assists in that game, while Craig Millspaugh added two goals and two assists.
The Hawkeyes are undefeated coming into tonight's game with massive wins over Memphis and Arkansas.
The Cyclones come to Iowa City with a 16-6 loss to Missouri under their belt.
Game Times:
Iowa vs Kansas - Friday 7:30 pm
Iowa State vs Kansas - Saturday 5:30 pm
Iowa vs Iowa State - Saturday 7:30 pm
Admission is free for all three games.
**********************************************************************
Iowa does not have any more home games scheduled in 2011.  Iowa State will have home games on March 26 & 27.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wanna Be a Coach?

As lax continues to grow in Des Moines and throughout Iowa, we will face an increased need for qualified coaches.  US Lacrosse now offers coaching certification courses for registered members.
USL Certification Steps
Do you want to be a certified coach through US Lacrosse? If so, take the following steps:

Level 1 Certification
Fulfill your educational components (ECs) by completing these three requirements.
• CEP Level 1 online course ($30)
• CEP Level 1 Instructional clinic ($65)
• PCA Double Goal Coach 1 course - Coaching for Winning and Life Lessons
Upon completion, apply for certification. Submit the paperwork and your documentation.

Level 2 Certification
Meet the following requirements to complete your educational components.
• Be Level 1 certified
• CEP Level 2 online course ($55)
• CEP Level 2 Instructional clinic ($85)
Apply to certify. Submit the paperwork and your documentation.
Right now US Lacrosse is offering registered members the opportunity to take the Level One online course for free.  Both the boys' and girls' courses are available - and yes you can register for both for free.  After registering, you have 120 days to complete the test.
Future coaching education opportunities will be posted as they become available.  Contact me with questions.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valley Tigers Lax 2011 Schedule

2011 Varsity Schedule
Date - Opponent - Location - Time
Saturday March 26 - St Louis Park (MN) - Valley Stadium - TBD
Saturday March 26 - Madison Regents (WI) - Valley Stadium - TBD
Sunday March 27 - Orono (MN) - Valley Stadium - TBD
Sunday April 3 - Burke - Burke HS - 12:00 pm
Sunday April 3 - Westside - Westside HS - 3:30 pm
Saturday April 9 - Burke - Valley Stadium - 3:00 pm
Saturday April 16 - Creighton Prep - Creighton Prep - 11:00 am
Saturday April 23 - Lincoln - Indian Hills - 11:30 am
Saturday April 23 - Millard South - Indian Hills -3:30 pm
Saturday April 30 - Millard West - Millard West - 11:00 am
Saturday April 30 - Millard North - Millard West - 3:00 pm
Sunday May 1 - Creighton Prep - Valley Stadium - 11:00 am
Sunday May 1 - Westside - Valley Stadium - 3:00 pm
Saturday May 7 - State Quarterfinals
Saturday May 14 - State Semifinals
Saturday May 21 - State Championships

Sunday May 8 - JV vs Dubuque - Valley Stadium - TBD
The full schedule - including time and location updates, and the complete JV schedule - can be viewed here.
Home games are in italics

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Drake's New Website

The Drake University Lacrosse team recently redesigned and relaunched their website.  The new site can be found at: http://drakelacrosse.com/

The Bulldogs will also be unveiling new uniforms just in time for the upcoming Great Lakes Lacrosse League season.

Speaking of the upcoming season, the Bulldogs will play two home games on Sunday, April 3.  They will face Wisconsin-La Crosse at 1:00 pm and St. Mary's at 2:15 pm.

For more information, contact the team.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Early Thoughts on the 2011 Summer League

I know the Box Lacrosse League just wrapped up a few weeks ago. I know that the Valley season won't begin for another month. But I also know that I have to get ahead on future leagues. I am always thinking about our next lax league during the current leagues. I have really begun working to get the whole thing put together.
The Nebraska High School Lacrosse League will wrap up on May 21, freeing the Valley players and coaches. The 2011 Summer Lacrosse League will start sometime after that - most likely around June 1, 2011.
Like last year, the league will be open to high school and adult players. Games will either be om Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday depending on field availability and other factors. After the dissatisfaction regarding last year's reversible jerseys, teams will probably be responsible for providing their own uniforms. There still may be a ball and net replacement fee, but it will be much less than last year's fee.
Last year's teams may remain in tact, particularly Team Lightning Wear(league champions).  A permanent referee solution will have to be made.  We also had a player shortage issue last summer, which I would like to limit this season as much as possible.  One solution would be to permanently adopt the two defenders, two attack set up we ended up with last year.  That is not set in stone; it is just an early thought...
Adding to the attendance issues, I know that I stand a fair chance of missing games in late July and the odds of my absence only increases as we approach mid-August.  Jim has volunteered to help run things during that time, but I am definitely interested in getting additional help, maybe even from some fresh blood.  I thought about making a captains council to help keep things going while I am out...
I will continue to work on the logistics of this year's league.  Hopefully improvements can be made to give everybody an even better experience than last year.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with your comments and suggestions.

Tribe 7