Daily Archives: September 23, 2010

History Of Lacrosse: The Indians On Cornwall Island (Ontario, Canada) In The St. Lawrence River Produced 30,000 “HANDMADE” Hickory Lacrosse Sticks In 1965, Accounting For 90% Of World’s Supply (Sports Illustrated, June 21, 1965)

The sport of lacrosse is booming, and the Indians on Cornwall Island in the St. Lawrence River are rejoicing. The Indians on Cornwall provide 90% of the world's lacrosse sticks. In addition to supplying Canada and the U.S., the Cornwall stickmakers are now filling orders from hotbeds of lacrosse such as Australia, Ireland and Hong Kong as well as from new centers like Mexico, Switzerland and Italy.

“…Lacrosse sticks are handmade; no way has been devised to speed up the process of shaping a hickory frame and fastening a net of gut or leather to it…”

The sport of lacrosse is booming, and the Indians on Cornwall Island in the St. Lawrence River are rejoicing. The Indians on Cornwall provide 90% of the world’s lacrosse sticks. In addition to supplying Canada and the U.S., the Cornwall stickmakers are now filling orders from hotbeds of lacrosse such as Australia, Ireland and Hong Kong as well as from new centers like Mexico, Switzerland and Italy.

Until this year 30 Indians working for the Chisholm Lacrosse Manufacturing Company on Cornwall Island could meet the demand. Now 48 are working full time, and they will turn out somewhere around 30,000 sticks before the year is done.

Easton-Bell Sports, a leading manufacturer of sporting goods equipment, acquired privately held lacrosse equipment manufacturer Talon Lacrosse – prompting the development of a new Easton Lacrosse division. Together with Talon, the new lacrosse division will incorporate Easton’s innovative design, materials and technology into the tradition and culture of America’s fastest growing field sport.

Lacrosse sticks are handmade; no way has been devised to speed up the process of shaping a hickory frame and fastening a net of gut or leather to it. The Indians have tried mass-produced aluminum frames, but players would not go for them. When belaboring each other in the heat of play, as they are wont to do, lacrosse players feel there is nothing like a good hickory stick fashioned by Indians as of yore.

For more:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1077345/index.htm

MCLA Men’s Lacrosse Profile: Colorado State Men’s Lacrosse Attacker Jake Flax (Sr., Steamboat Springs, CO) Named 2011 Captain As He Leads By Example

There were times where I wasn’t seeing the field and was low on the depth chart. It seemed like every year I was lower on the depth chart and by the end of the season I was playing. Quitting, though, honestly never crossed my mind.”

Colorado State Men's Lacrosse Attacker Jake Flax, right, works for a shot at the 2007 Steamboat Lacrosse Tournament. Flax was named a captain of Colorado State University’s lacrosse team.

Jake Flax was a 105-pound Steam­boat Springs High School freshman in 2003 when he started for the varsity lacrosse team. He redshirted for the Colorado State University club lacrosse team in 2007 and spent several years as the president of the club, seeing more paperwork than playing time.

But what you’ll never hear about Flax is that he lacks sheer will.

Flax, a fifth-year senior for the Rams, recently was named a captain of the Colorado State lacrosse team. There are two other team captains.

“There were definitely some down times,” Flax said Wed­nesday before practice. “There were times where I wasn’t seeing the field and was low on the depth chart. It seemed like every year I was lower on the depth chart and by the end of the season I was playing. Quitting, though, honestly never crossed my mind.”

Flax, whose brother Andy Flax will play goaltender this year for Colorado State, has come a long way from that 105-pound freshman season.

He started four years for Steam­­­boat before going to Colo­­rado State, one of the top club-level teams in the country. The early parts with the Rams were tough.

Flax rarely played, but he wanted to be part of the team. He kept working and working, eventually seeing some playing time.

“He was overmatched early on,” CSU assistant coach Flip Naum­burg said. “Neither of (the Flaxes) are that big. But he’s definitely gotten his stick skills to the point where he is no longer overmatched by big defensemen. He’s great. He just leads by example.”

Flax fell in love with the game almost instantly.

He picked up a stick at a Steamboat Youth Lacrosse camp between his eighth- and ninth-grade years and was hooked.

“I’m very pleased but not surprised,” Steamboat Youth Lacrosse Director Neill Red­fern said. “I’m just really proud of him and Andy. They’ve represented our organization since 2004. … He is a great role model for all the kids that played.”

Flax is expected to become a focal point of the offense this year, with his brother battling for the starting spot in goal.

The goal, as it is every year, Jake Flax said, is to win a national championship. The Rams won in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2006.

Last season, Colorado State was the No. 2 seed heading into the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Assoc­­iation Championship Tour­­n­­a­­ment before falling in overtime, 12-11, to Simon Fraser.

“That’s the first time in a long time no one on our team has had a ring,” Flax said. “That’s the first time in a long time. We’re going to change that.”

For more:  http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/2010/sep/23/steamboat-alum-jake-flax-named-help-lead-csu-lacro/

Lacrosse In The 1960’s: Army Men’s Lacrosse Defeated Undefeated Navy 10-8 In Final Game Of 1961 Season And Teams Were Named Co-National Champions (Sports Illustrated, June 12, 1961)

Whether you were the type who loves a parade, the sort who goes where the girls are or simply a connoisseur of athletic Donnybrooks—the place to be last Saturday was either West Point or Annapolis. On the stern high bluffs above the Hudson were the pomp and pageantry of an Army graduation week, hundreds of pretty young ladies who had come from every state in the union and an Army-Navy baseball game that starred a very famous athlete (see page 22). And on the gentle slopes of the Severn, the Navy offered more gold braid and brass bands, more beauties and a lacrosse game with a national championship at stake.

When Navy held its pep rally on Thursday evening, two days before the game, it had no inkling that the Army lacrosse team was nursing a year-long grudge. The likelihood of athletic successes was adding to the normal joys of the Annapolis June Week. An electric “Beat Army!” sign flashed from Bancroft Hall, the world’s biggest dormitory, which houses all 3,665 of the midshipmen.

Rear Admiral John F. Davidson, the academy superintendent, was introduced at the rally by a glib midshipman as “Big Daddy,” and he took it gamely while the exuberant middies cheered. Already the first dates were arriving for their week-long stay, a social assembly that would include three dances, three parades, a concert by Duke Ellington and an address by President Kennedy at graduation. Tough old Navy captains with

Navy Men's Lacrosse lost to Army 10-8 in last game of 1961 Men's Lacrosse season and both shared the national championship.

houses on the academy grounds were helplessly watching their wives take in girl boarders by the score, while the graceful but small colonial town of Annapolis (23,385) was preparing its boarding houses for 50,000 visitors. (Also ready: the town’s 200 legal Slot machines, the biggest concentration of one-armed bandits east of Las Vegas.)

The town’s narrow streets, meanwhile, looked like a scene from a Monte Carlo road rally. Four hundred graduating first classmen had bought cars. On May 27 regulations preventing them from using automobiles had been lifted, and convertible sport models in flaming red were obviously this year’s choice.

“I know we’ll do well,” summed up the admiral as he spoke at the Thursday pep rally. “Army, Army, call the doctor,” sang the midshipmen while they waved their bright white hats and stood impressively tall in the short-sleeved, tropical uniforms that Navy wears in such hot spots as Guam, Panama and Annapolis.

The next morning the Navy lacrosse team was practicing on an athletic field so close to the Severn River (which is actually a tidal backwater, not a river at all) that when Coach Bill Bilderback arrived his first words were, “Don’t throw the balls in the water.”

The Navy squad should be able to throw well enough to miss a river. Last year it was unbeaten in college play, ending the season by defeating a favored Army team at West Point. (That was the game which Army was remembering so well this week.) This season Navy won nine more consecutive college games, but frequently in such hairbreadth fashion that John Paul Jones would have given up the ship as lost. Navy was badly behind against every major opponent. It trailed Maryland 5-1 in the second half and fought back to win in overtime. It was behind 8-4 to Baltimore University in the last period, and scored in the last minute to beat Virginia.

Speed and stamina, not lacrosse finesse, seemed to be winning for Navy. At the beginning of the season the Middies were actually given little chance of another title. “But we kept improving every game,” said Coach Bilderback, sounding a little surprised himself. Navy was getting excellent play from a big (6 feet 2 inches) attack man, Tom Mitchell, had an outstanding defenseman in Team Captain Neil Reich and six football players who provided some brute force. The most noticeable of these was John Hewitt, captain of next year’s football team. Navy’s 1961 lacrosse philosophy was simple: run, run, run, and eventually the other fellow won’t be able to get up and down the 110-yard field. This worked all year.

But if Navy was a surprise, Army was more so. In the state of Maryland there is a tendency to feel that a man cannot play lacrosse unless he is raised within 40 miles of Baltimore. Army was pooh-poohed for playing a weak schedule, and accused of using more muscle than talent. “Animals,” a Baltimore newspaper said of the Army team, after carefully making an exception of the Marylanders on it.

One little non-Marylander, however, was a 5-foot 8-inch, 154-pound twirling nuisance named Pat Hillier, who was from Long Island. His 20 goals led Army’s scorers. “Best we’ve seen,” said the Navy scouting report bluntly, after listing six things he did well. Another was 155-pound Rusty Broshous, from the town of West Point, N.Y.

In the midfield Army had Ron Hannon, a 1961 version of Pete Dawkins. Hannon was first captain of cadets, star of the basketball team and, as Navy put it, “a rough, tough midfielder.” The Army defense was composed of three football players, none of whom had handled a lacrosse stick before their second year at West Point. “Our stick work isn’t the best, but we hit people,” said one of them, Glenn Adams, a big, fast football halfback with a knack for understatement.

Army Coach Jim Adams—tall as a Texan, laconic as a down-Easter and actually (of course) from Baltimore—felt that his team, like Navy, also had developed late in the season. And it had two other striking similarities to Navy: a tough defense and the run, run, run philosophy. “We’ll just try and keep up with them,” Coach Adams said. He made it sound wistful. Bilderback was also sounding wistful. Looking at the national lacrosse trophy which Navy has kept since last year’s victory, he said, “I hope I won’t be wrapping it up soon.”

Despite occasional showers, more than 6,000 paid their way into the Navy stadium on Saturday. CBS-TV was also there, taping the game for a sports spectacular to be shown five days later. What they got was a spectacular game. The Navy defense gave Army only 10 shots in the first half (20 is average). But Army, body-checking, battering and, most of all, running, as it substituted four different sets of midfielders, kept its poise. Poor Navy shooting resulted in a 2-2 tie at half time. Then, in the space of 51 frantic seconds shortly after the start of the third period, Navy poured in three goals. Against any less resolute opponent this would have ended the game. At the same time the crowd was cheering the news (announced on loudspeakers) that Navy had won in Army-Navy track, tennis, golf and baseball.

But Army coolly tightened its defense, began putting two men to chasing the Navy player with the ball, and got away with it when “untirable” Navy started slowing down. Army scored while a Navy player was off the field with a penalty, scored again when a midfielder broke through all alone at the goal, and finally tied the game at 5-5 when a beautiful bounce shot by Hannon skidded in.

The blitz continued when a daring pass the full length of the field set up a goal by Broshous. A minute later Broshous brazenly stole the ball from the Navy goalie and flipped it in for a score. In the last moments of the third period Army Captain Sam Wilder almost casually held the ball behind the Navy goal, then came out to his left and scored with exactly one second left. This, the last of six straight Army goals, was doubly discouraging to Navy and proved decisive, because the Middies fought back to 9-8 before finally losing 10-8. So determined was Army’s defense that not a single Navy goal was made by a first-string attack man. Army’s Broshous and Hillier each scored twice.

At the final gun the air was filled with sticks, gloves and helmets thrown high by the Army players. The Army substitutes, who had stood up the entire game as if to show the team’s determination, joined the melee. Happy Jim Adams was carried to the dressing room and congratulated by an Army general wearing a “Beat Navy!” button just below six impressive rows of service decorations on his uniform.

“Your boys wanted it real bad,” said Navy’s beaten Bilderback to Adams. “Lots of guts.” And it must be said that Navy gave nothing away; Army simply took it.

The victory left it up to the Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association to either name Army national champion, or make both Army and Navy co-champions because each lost one game, Army to Virginia. But whatever they do, Army has what every Army team wants most, the win over Navy. Minutes later the Army team was roaring and shouting as its bus crawled through the traffic back to the Navy field house. There it grabbed Jim Adams, starched shirt and all, and threw him over a sea wall into the Severn. As his players were about to let him fly, a frantic Navy voice of authority was heard shouting, “Don’t! Don’t! The tide’s out!” But Navy was just a little too slow again. There was, it turned out, enough water to float Jim Adams, the happiest man at June Week.

For more:   http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1072656/2/index.htm

MCLA Men’s Lacrosse Preview: Illinois Men’s Lacrosse Looks To Return To MCLA Playoffs Under New Coach Phil Dodson

Illinois (12-3, MCLA Tourney)

Key Loss: Eric Rakoczy. A premium goalie who flirted with a save percentage of 70 last year, Rakoczy was the difference in the Fighting Illini winning the GRLC crown with 34 saves in two games – including 20 stops in the victory over Wisconsin in the title tilt. Illinois has four other goalies returning in 2011, but none with the pedigree of Rakoczy.
Key Returnee: Dan Dickson. The junior scored 44 goals and dished out 14 assists last year to lead the Illini in points. Paired up with senior Scott Pfiffner – another 50-point guy – Dickson has the potential to become an MCLA household name if Illinois takes care of business.
Wild Card: Coaching. I think it’s reasonable to say that Illinois has trouble holding on to coaches, or at least during the time I’ve been covering the MCLA. By my count, we’re moving to No. 4 in four years with the hiring of Phil Dodson (the younger brother of recently departed skipper, Joe Dodson). Don’t know the details, but it seems whoever runs the program needs to reevaluate the hiring process.
Reality: The GRLC has seen coaching changes in two of Illinois’ three biggest challengers (Lindenwood and Indiana), and Wisconsin is still new to the MCLA grind. So all things being equal, the Illini don’t lose much ground with their new hire. Plus, despite the loss of Rakoczy, they still have the most returning talent. There’s no wiggle room – the GRLC is an obvious one-bid league – but Illinois should be in Denver.

For more:   http://www.laxmagazine.com/blogs/coyne/090810_midsummer_nights_ranking_mcla_div_one

Lacrosse Conditioning And Training: Notre Dame Men’s Lacrosse Coach Kevin Corrigan Leads Team Through Agility Drills (Video)

Notre Dame Head Coach, Kevin Corrigan, take you through some agility drills he does with his team to improve their athleticism in the off season.

California College Women’s Lacrosse: Chico State Women’s Lacrosse Will Struggle With Lack Of Experienced Players In 2011

Although “fall ball” for the Chico State lacrosse clubs are not games but rather scrimmages, at least the practice can help make both the men’s and women’s teams as perfect as possible before their seasons, which begin in March.

Fall ball scrimmages are preseason games against rival schools that give Chico State a glimpse of the talent it will face this coming season. Dedication is a focus both the men’s and women’s lacrosse clubs share.

“Even though we are a club team, we are very committed,” said Micaela Hayden, president of the women’s club. That commitment has given Hayden a lot of confidence in the team this coming year, she said.

“This is my third year here and for the first time in three years, I have a really good feeling,” she said.

Club Vice President Rebecca Carriere also thinks the team has always had a strong camaraderie in addition to the players’ commitment, she said.

“The girls were really nice and they taught me well,” Carriere said, referring to teammates from previous years.

Carriere was new to the sport when she joined the team during her freshman year, she said. She thinks that the support and encouragement from her teammates have been helpful over the years.

However, the current issue for the women’s team has not been getting the team to bond together – it has been getting enough players to make a team.

“We have a small selection of people with really high skill,” Hayden said.

The limited amount of players makes it difficult to run practice smoothly, she said.

In the coming weeks, Hayden will be tabling to hopefully drum up more support for the club and possibly draw in some more players for fall ball and the upcoming season.

Carriere thinks the team’s short roster is its biggest weakness because it can lead to tired players having to stay in for most or all of the game, she said.

“It was tough because we only had one sub last year,” she said.

Carriere stressed how much fun lacrosse is and how supportive the team is.

“We encourage any and all skill levels to come out and play,” Hayden said.

The women’s club is looking to garner some attention for the talented and ever-improving team and is excited about potential recruits, she said.

The women’s club will have its first tournament on Oct. 24 in Berkeley. The team will scrimmage UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Sonoma State and Humboldt State.

For more:  http://www.theorion.com/sports/cats-lacrosse-begins-preseason-training-1.1639518#5

San Diego Lacrosse Community: US Lacrosse “Fast Break Initiative” And “The Preuss School UCSD” Held Introductory Lacrosse Clinic Sept. 18-19

The Preuss School UCSD, jointly chartered by the San Diego Unified School District and CUSD, joined US Lacrosse last weekend to host a introductory lacrosse clinic for 100 middle and high school students.

Students from Preuss, Lincoln High School and Gompers Middle School participated in the event, part of US Lacrosse’s Fast Break Initiative.

“In the past, lacrosse has been known more as an elitist sport, played by a more affluent population,” said Lisa Hawk, The Preuss School UCSD exercise and health science department chair. “Through this partnership between Preuss and the US Lacrosse Fast Break Initiative, this is no longer the case. It is a community building sport that bridges people and transcends ethnicity and economic levels.”

Lincoln High School and Gompers Charter Middle School work in partnership with UCSD to educate historically underserved communities to support their youth throughout high school and prepare them for a college education.

For more:   http://www.lajollalight.com/sports/274528-preuss-hosts-lacrosse-clinic