Daily Archives: September 24, 2010

Lacrosse Mourns “One Of Its Own”: Former Naval Academy Men’s Lacrosse Defenseman And Navy SEAL Brendan Looney (’04) Was Killed In Line Of Duty In Afghanistan On Sept. 21 (Video)


Yesterday was one of the most difficult of Richie Meade’s 17-year tenure as Navy men’s lacrosse coach. For the first time since taking over as head coach in 1995, Meade had to deal with the combat death of a former player.

 

“Brendan Looney was the hardest working member of the team – he had to be to show up his brothers (Steve and Billy),” said classmate Adam Reel, a reserve midfielder that season. “His example of hard work and pushing the team was an instrumental part of the 2004 success.”

It was a long, painful day. The C-5 Galaxy transport plane that was supposed to arrive around 1:30 did not touch down until three hours later. Meade was among an incredible 130 mourners who showed up at Dover to support the Looney family.

Although severely shaken by the news that 2004 graduate Brendan Looney had been killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan, Meade did not hesitate to make the two-hour drive to Dover Air Force base to represent the Naval Academy lacrosse community when the former standout defenseman’s remains were brought home.

 

Meade comforted Looney’s parents, Kevin and Maureen. He consoled Looney’s widow, Amy. He commiserated with Looney’s brothers, Steve and Billy, who are also former Navy lacrosse players.

“This has been an extremely tough day for me personally. I have never felt this sad,” Meade said after returning to Annapolis late last night. “This is a real loss in my life because I really, truly cared about Brendan Looney. My father died and that hurt tremendously, but what makes this so hard to handle is that Brendan still had so many great things to do.”

Meade has worked with hundreds of memorable Midshipmen during the more than two decades he has spent as a Navy lacrosse coach. Even among those many top-notch young men, Brendan Looney stood out.

Brendan Looney ('04) Naval Academy Lacrosse

Looney did not play organized lacrosse until he got to the Naval Academy Prep School. The Silver Spring native was a standout football player at DeMatha Catholic and hoped to join his two younger brothers on the lacrosse field as a senior, but could not due to injury.

Initially recruited to Navy as a football player, Looney switched to lacrosse and steadily transformed himself into a valuable player. What Looney lacked in skill, he made up for in toughness. He compensated for minimal lacrosse experience with athleticism and hustle.

Navy enjoyed its greatest season under Meade in 2004, compiling a 15-3 record and reaching the national championship game. Looney wasn’t the star of that team by any means, but he may have been the most respected.

“Brendan was the hardest working member of the team – he had to be to show up his brothers (Steve and Billy),” said classmate Adam Reel, a reserve midfielder that season. “His example of hard work and pushing the team was an instrumental part of the 2004 success.”

Meade took a special liking to Looney because of the sheer will and determination he displayed on the field along with the heart and passion he exuded.

“I cannot overstate the feelings of love and respect that I have toward Brendan Looney,” Meade said. “There are so many little things that made this kid special to me. It was an honor to be part of his life.”

Looney initially got onto the field in the unheralded role of rider – replacing an attackman and furiously chasing the ball to prevent the opponent from clearing. He switched to long stick defensive midfield and was the backup to Thomas “Bucky” Morris in 2004 when Navy made a tremendous postseason run before losing to Syracuse in the Division I final.

“I remember when we played Cornell in the quarterfinals. Brendan got blind-sided around midfield and practically knocked out, but somehow he got up and beat the ball back into the hole,” Meade recalled. “When Brendan came off the field he collapsed because he’d been unable to breathe from the time he got hit.”

Such stories of intensity and effort foretold a career in special warfare. Looney wanted to be a SEAL from the outset, but was initially denied due to color blindness. He was temporarily assigned to assist a SEAL unit and proceeded to out-perform every member of that specially trained, highly skilled maritime force.

“It was like a tryout and Brendan kicked their butts until he was asked to join,” Meade said.

Meade said Looney was nicknamed “the caretaker” because he looked after his five brothers and sisters as well as every single teammate.

“Brendan had no chinks in his armor. As a teammate, as a son, as a brother, he could not have been any better,” Meade said. “What set Brendan apart was that he had a big heart and a great capacity to love. As a coach, you are a teacher. However, there are those rare times when a player teaches you. Brendan was one of those guys.”

It was suggested to Meade that Navy lacrosse should name an award in honor of Looney. It should not honor the best player on the team, but rather someone who displays the selflessness, team spirit and emotional toughness that defined Brendan Looney. Meade understood that was a natural initial reaction, but said he was not inclined to establish such an award.

“I don’t need a name on a trophy to remember that Brendan Looney was a tremendous individual. Our future players will know who Brendan Looney was and what he stood for because I will tell them,” Meade said. “Brendan was everything that I would hope a Naval Academy graduate would be. He certainly was the epitome of what I want a Navy lacrosse player to be.”

For more:  http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/nas/2010/09/23-73/Sports-Comment-Academy-lacrosse-family-takes-loss-to-heart.html

MCLA Men’s Lacrosse Preview: Texas Men’s Lacrosse Will Need To Demonstrate Consistent Play To Go Along With Top Talent


Texas (11-5)

Key Loss: I’m not sure if they had one, at least out of the senior class. The ‘Horns were young – only two players, both attackmen, who combined for five points, used their last year of eligibility in ’10. Barring any unforeseen attrition rate, they should be ready to return atop the LSA.
Key Returnee: Alex Barfield. There are an awful lot of young scorers that should serve Texas well this season, so the difference might be in goal. Barfield was the go-to guy at the end of the season, and if he comes back and commands the top spot ahead of Philip West and Nick Milazzo, he could give the Longhorns a confident veteran at the back.
Wild Card: Normally, new coach Brian Myers would be the wild card, but in the case of Texas, it’s the program in general. The team rolled out a skeleton crew for the most important game of the season, the LSA title tilt, because of a myriad of reasons – none of them flattering. The Longhorns need to prove they are a stable entity before we can even talk about Denver.
Reality: Regardless of who has been the top team in the LSA or the fact that Texas State won the league last year, Texas enters every season with the most potential as a program. With its name recognition, location, size, etc., the Longhorns should not only be the perennial favorite in the LSA, but one of the bullies on the entire MCLA scene. With a new coach, the possibility of this actually becoming a reality resurfaces, but until there is some consistency, Texas (or whoever wins the league) will be saddled with the No. 15 or 16 seed.

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

Southern California High School Boys Lacrosse: Starz Lacrosse Profiles Coronado Boys Lacrosse Senior Attacker Kyle Runyon Who Has Committed To Play For Notre Dame In 2012


How long have you been playing lacrosse, and who first got you into it?

I’ve been playing lacrosse since the end of 5th grade when I had the opportunity to play for the middle school team in Coronado. I never really liked baseball so it was great to have a new sport to play.

What teams do you currently play on?

Besides Coronado High School, I play for Laxdawgs and West Coast Starz.

What’s the best part about playing Starz Lacrosse?

My favorite part of Starz is definitely the big tournaments, specifically the Sonoma Shootout because it’s always a lot of fun.

After winning the CIF Championship in 2009 with Coronado, Kyle Runyon has recieved several CIF accolades as well as helping the Laxdawgs to win 5-straight Starz Cup titles. He recently committed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame.

You recently committed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame University, tell us a little bit about that, and what role has Starz played for you in the recruiting process?

Well first of, I am so excited to go to Notre Dame and play lacrosse there. Not only does it have a great team, it’s also a great school and I’m amped to go to the other sport’s games. Starz helped a ton with my commitment because without them I am sure that Coach Corrigan would have rarely been able to watch me play.

What are your goals next year as a freshmen?

Next year as a Freshman I obviously would like to play or even start for the team but I also understand that I have a ton of work to do before I can make that possible and am fine with waiting a year or two to get my chance to earn a spot on the team.

We have so many great coaches on Coronado it would be unfair to name just one but Coach Cade has definitely had the biggest impact on my lacrosse career as a whole.

What has been your favorite moment so far in your lacrosse career?

My favorite moment would no doubt be winning CIF sophomore year. I was so glad to contribute to such a great team and help in Coronado’s first championship.

Off the field:

Coming from Coronado Island, what do you think will be the biggest adjustment going to South Bend Indiana?

Its definitely going to be the weather; winter here is barely any different than summer. It will also be weird having to make new friends since I have had the same friends here since pre-school.

What’s your favorite thing to do on Coronado besides play lacrosse?

I love everything about Coronado but my favorite things to do are probably swimming at the Del in the ocean or just hanging with my friends at my house or the mansion.

If you could have any superpower what would it be, and how would you use it?

I would definitely be like Flash so that I could dominate at sports and rob banks and stuff. Or maybe flying…

What Twilight character would make the best lacrosse player?

I’m embarrassed I know all the characters but I think Edward or maybe one of his brothers would have to be best because they are so fast.

What 5 songs would you put on your pregame warm-up tape?

Welcome to the Space Jam-Space Jam.

Living in America-DOM.

Some Chords- Deadmau5.

Victory-Puff Daddy.

I’m not your toy- La Roux (Jack Beats remix)

If you could sit down to dinner with three famous people/historical figures/athletes (alive or dead) who would it be and why?

1.      Honest Abe because would be awesome, I could ask one of the most famous people in history some pretty weird questions and he would have to be honest.

2.      Jesus and or God if available – pretty obvious.

3.      Snookie- I think she could make the dinner date pretty interesting.

What’s your weirdest ritual or superstition?

I don’t really have a ritual except my team and I usually does some gnarly fist-pumping after we win to one of the songs I posted for my warm up. Also, I never wore underwear to school on game days my sophomore year.

Lacrosse-Radio.com “Recruiting Corner”: Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting Answers “Are There Guaranteed 4-Year Lacrosse Scholarships?” (Audio)


Tom Kovic of Victory Collegiate Consulting Talks About Athletic Scholarships (09/24/10) CLICK ON PICTURE TO LISTEN

Southern California High School Boys And Girls Lacrosse: Los Alamitos Boys And Girls Lacrosse Coaches Kevin And Meredith Meyran Step Down From Lacrosse Programs They Started To Move Back To Connecticut


Los Alamitos lacrosse coaches Meredith Meyran and her husband, Kevin Meyran are moving to Connecticut to raise their 1-year-old daughter, Ellie, Kevin Meyran confirmed Thursday.

Both coaches started the lacrosse programs at Los Alamitos.

Meredith Meyran led the girls lacrosse team to two straight county and Southern California titles and leaves with a 61-7-1 career record. She was the county coach of the year the past two seasons.

Meredith Meyran led the girls lacrosse team to two straight county and Southern California titles and leaves with a 61-7-1 career record. She was the county coach of the year the past two seasons.

Kevin Meyran led Los Alamitos to Sunset League titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and reached the final four of the county championships  in 2009 and 2010. Meyran was county coach of the year in 2009.

“We are moving closer to family on the East Coast,” Kevin Meyran said. “We are both originally from there. We both had to make the hard decision of moving on.

For more:   http://ocvarsity.freedomblogging.com/2010/09/23/lacrosse-meredith-and-kevin-meyran-leaving-los-alamitos/126824/

NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Highlights: Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse Attacker Katrina Dowd Scored An Incredible Over-The-Shoulder Goal (Video)


Northwestern Women’s Lacrosse Katrina Dowd’s incredible no look over the shoulder goal.

Arizona High School Boys Lacrosse Recruiting: UMBC Men’s Lacrosse Introduces Chaparral Boys Lacrosse Defenseman Ian Gray As One Of 13 Incoming Freshman


Ian Gray, Fr., D, 6-3, 200 lbs., Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral

The first Retriever lacrosse player from the state of Arizona… Helped the Firebirds to a state title in 2009… A two-time First Team All-State defender who captained Chaparral in his final three seasons… Named to Lax Power’s All-Western Team in both 2009 and 2010.  

UMBC Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach Don Zimmerman and his staff welcomed 13 newcomers as fall practice opened for the Retrievers on September 7.

The group consists of nine attackmen/midfielders and four defenders/long –stick midfielders.   Twenty-eight of UMBC’s 36 student-athletes on the fall roster are freshmen or sophomores.

“We are very pleased with this freshman class as it brings to our program a focused group of talented players who have clearly demonstrated the positive attitude and workmanlike approach we believe to be the trademark of the Retriever lacrosse program,” Zimmerman said.

For more:  http://www.umbcretrievers.com/sports/mlacrosse/release.asp?RELEASE_ID=5683