Tag Archives: College Lacrosse

“Lacrosse Magazine” December 2014 Issue Released Featuring “Person Of The Year” Lyle Thompson & Lives Of Women’s Lacrosse Coaches


Every season, there are players that capture the attention and imagination of fans - some because they anchor championship teams, others because of amazing achievements and talent, still more for inspirational stories of how they got to be where they are at the top of the game. But seldom is there a player which captures the world of lacrosse the way Lyle Thompson did in 2014. A once-in-a-generation talent, the University of Albany and Iroquois Nationals star also celibrates the games roots through his heritage and has made it clear that he hopes to serve as an ambassador of its growth for the rest of his life.  Corey McLaughlin visited the Thompson family in New York for the feature story on the rising senior and his family, anchoring a look back at 2014 that includes our Stories of the Year and Best of Lacrosse nominations for the online fan vote, running through the end of November on LaxMagazine.com

Every season, there are players that capture the attention and imagination of fans – some because they anchor championship teams, others because of amazing achievements and talent, still more for inspirational stories of how they got to be where they are at the top of the game.
But seldom is there a player which captures the world of lacrosse the way Lyle Thompson did in 2014. A once-in-a-generation talent, the University of Albany and Iroquois Nationals star also celibrates the games roots through his heritage and has made it clear that he hopes to serve as an ambassador of its growth for the rest of his life.
Corey McLaughlin visited the Thompson family in New York for the feature story on the rising senior and his family, anchoring a look back at 2014 that includes our Stories of the Year and Best of Lacrosse nominations for the online fan vote, running through the end of November on LaxMagazine.com

COLUMNS

From the Editor – Proud Coach’s Husband

by Matt DaSilva

As the husband of a woman who coaches both the University of Notre Dame of Maryland soccer and lacrosse teams after writing her name all over the school’s record books, I’m intimately aware of the sacrifices and rewards that living the dual coach/mother life brings.

His Space – Meet the Women of Walla Walla

by Bill Tanton

Another western outpost for the game springs up in an unlikely place – Walla Walla, Washington, where Whitman College begins play under Maryland transplant Kate Robinson. The game has come a long way since I first picked up a stick in 1947.

Her Space – Coaches, Moms and Mentors

by Kate Hickman

Some of the top coaches in women’s lacrosse – women like North Carolina’s Jenny Levy, Penn State’s Missy Doherty and Denver’s Liza Kelly – balance team duties with the raising of their own families. It’s a dual feat that deserves a ton of respect and an example for us all.

 

“The Changing Climate Of College Recruiting” By Tom Kovic Of Victory Collegiate Consulting


The changing climate of college recruiting

By Tom Kovic

College athletics has changed dramatically over the past 20 years and coaches are under tremendous pressure to achieve two important goals: 1) Win and 2) Drive program revenue upward. The one directly affects the other. Alumni will enthusiastically support a winning team, but the opposite is also true. The changing climate of college athletics has had direct impact on the recruitment of prospective student-athletes and with that, a dramatic shift in organizing and managing student-athlete strategies in registering early and effectively on the radar of college coaches.

Recruitment is essential for college coaches to maximize future team advancement. This is achieved through active cultivation of strong relationships with high school and club coaches, prospects and their families. College coaches use many recruiting tools at their disposal, while abiding by strict NCAA rules and regulations.

Rewind
Twenty years ago, the majority of prospective student-athletes were simply “found” and the volume of identifiable athletes was very manageable. Nowadays and with the surge of private sport clubs, the college recruiting arena has grown to gothic proportions and with increased competitiveness.

Decades ago, college prospects could comfortably launch their recruiting effort during the junior year in high school. Now, and especially with the increased popularity of verbal offers of athletic scholarships and admission to select, non-scholarship college options, prospects need to kick start the recruiting process as early as the ninth grade.

Fast Forward
A good college coach will offer truthful and honest information regarding the university and the chances the prospect has as a potential team member and a scholarship athlete. He will work diligently to avoid gray areas, especially where it involves athletic scholarship and, in the case of non-scholarship schools, the prospects chances in Admissions. Through the use of skillful contacts, the college coach will attempt to cultivate a relationship that will hopefully result in matching a prospect with his or her institution in a mutually benefiting experience.

Likewise, a productive family effort will be well-planned and impeccably executed. It will involve a team approach that should consist of the following players: parents, prospect, high school/club coach, college advisor, guidance counselor and personal mentor. Each team player will have a specific role to play in order to ensure the prospect’s best chance in navigating the college search with success.

Advance goals should be set with clarity, purpose, and assist in the organizational structure of the recruiting process. The well-prepared approach will, in the end, have the best chance of achieving success.

The Verbal Offer
The verbal commitment is one where a Coach and a prospect agree there is a proper and mutual fit scholastically and athletically with the prospect and the institution. In many cases, there is an offer of athletic aid (scholarship), or in some cases, support by the Coach in admissions. The verbal commitment is a “gentleman’s agreement.” An old fashion handshake where both party’s offer their word to remain committed through either the signing of The National Letter of Intent or offer of admissions.

The verbal offer is “open ended” and a common question that prospects and parents have is “Can we back out of the agreement?” And the answer is yes. That said it is important to realize the flip side of the coin and although it is less likely, college coaches can back out of a verbal commitment, especially if the prospect shows a lack of progress on the field or in the classroom.

Tactical Approach
A knowledgeable consumer will have a clear edge over the general population in the pursuit of the attainment of any worthy product. I believe that the same holds true in the college search and that it is the obligation of the family to make every effort to make a commitment to accumulate pertinent information regarding this process and to execute well-designed plans.

Information is critical to the successful organization of any worthy project. Building a college recruiting information base can begin as early as the middle school years as a family hobby and increasingly grow into a highly organized, disciplined project by the beginning of the sophomore year in high school.

Begin by gathering information on potential college choices, including team and coach profiles, statistics, ranking, and academic standards. Continue to update and maintain selected e-files on your favorite college programs.

The college search for athletes has radically transformed during the past 20 years to a level where prospects need to maintain an accelerated pace with college coaches. It is a process that begins much earlier than most families realize and therefore a proactive approach to organizing early for the college search becomes essential in reaching your college goals.

College recruiting is both exciting and daunting. It requires a disciplined and yet flexible approach, especially when timelines get tight and situations become challenging. Active and regular communication is vital and the successful prospect will build mutually strong and respectful relationships with college coaches in an effort to identify and secure the ideal college match.

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and the current director of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he provides individual advisement for families in navigating the college recruiting process. For further information visit:  www.victoryrecruiting.com.

Lacrosse Recruiting: “Three Key Tips To Maximizing College Recruiting Interviews” By Tom Kovic, Victory Collegiate Consulting


I think we can all agree that there will be a laundry list of tasks on the college recruiting checklist that require attention. Face to face meetings with college coaches are important firstly, as a means of creating a stronger interpersonal connection between prospect and coach and secondly, as an opportunity for both sides to simply size each other up. This article offers three key tips that prospects and families can use to maximize on-campus interviews with college coaches.

The college search for athletes is a journey, and in many cases a long one that will hopefully and ultimately provide a college destination that matches well with the prospect. That being the case, maintaining a “hands on and self-guided” approach each step of the way will serve you best in maintaining strong momentum and build strong relationships with college coaches.

Prospects that have the opportunity to meet face to face with college coaches will soon realize the significance in this milestone and dedicate themselves to prepare best for the meeting. My suggestion is to maintain a simple yet highly organized approach to your interviews and get the best bang for your buck.

First Impression They say you only get one opportunity to make a first impression and your “conduct” during the college recruiting process is no exception to this rule. The manner in which you present yourself to coach will be well-remembered. Dress casually, but nicely. Look sharp and you will feel sharp and coach will know it. Avoid wearing jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt. Opt for a pair of khakis, a collared shirt and a pair of nice, casual shoes.

During initial contact between families and coaches, moms and dads are typically the ones who greet coach first and the prospect is located somewhere in the shadows. Change the strategy and set the tone of the meeting in a manner that will make a lasting impression with coach. I always encourage prospects to be the first to greet coach with a confident and firm handshake. Thank coach for making time for you and your family to meet and then introduce your mom and dad. This not only demonstrates self-reliance and confidence, it shows respect and coach will love it.

The “Pitch” After you sit down and talk casually for about 5 minutes during the “warm-up” period, coaches will usually begin “the pitch.” The pitch is a classic attempt by the college coach to re-cap the nuts and bolts of the program and trust me, they are absolute masters.

They will discuss everything from policies and procedures of their program, expectations they have for every member of the team, mandatory academic programs (study hall etc.) to recruiting goals and the type and number of players they are looking to bring to the program.

This portion of the meeting is a great way for families to gather information specific to the university you are visiting and the coach and program you are considering. Be a sponge and take it all in, but try to also be an equal partner in the discussion and have a short list of questions you want to ask coach.

Maintain eye contact and upright posture with coach during the entire meeting. This validates your interest in the program and gives coach every reason to believe you want to be there! You want to leave the meeting well-informed, but you also want to leave a positive impression on coach.

Close it out The meetings with each individual coach will vary in time and content but the one common thread that will run from one meeting to the next is “information.” The ultimate aim should be for both parties’s to walk away wanting to take the next step.

The depth of impression you make with college coaches will be directly proportional to your level of preparation to present yourself favorably. That said you can push that impression deeper, by closing out a positive and constructive discussion with great effect.

Thank coach again for meeting with you and your family and let him know that your interest in his institution has ratcheted even higher. Convey your desire to provide him with any significant updates (athletic, academic and otherwise), that can help him evaluate you in the best light.

The prospect and family who envision on-campus meetings with college coaches as a pivotal stepping stone in the college search will provide themselves the best opportunity to build momentum in the recruiting process. Be polite, but bold in your effort to make a positive first impression with coach and set the tone of the meeting. Pay close attention to coach’s “pitch” of his program and look for openings to volley your questions. Leave the meeting on a high note and create positive closure to an important recruiting event that will lead to future growth between you and coach.

Tom Kovic is a former Division I college coach and President of Victory Collegiate Consulting, where he advises prospects and families on college recruiting. Tom is the author of “Reaching for Excellence” An educational guide for college athletics recruiting. For further information visit: www.victoryrecruiting.com.

Lacrosse Teams That “Changed The Game”: A 1959 College Lacrosse Team From Virginia Travelled To Australia In A “Free-For-All” Eleven Game Tour That Established International Lacrosse Competition (Sports Illustrated August 24, 1959)


And the last game of the tour, which found the Americans (who had won eight out of 10) facing the Australian All-Stars in Melbourne, supplied the topper. An almost unheard-of lacrosse crowd of 10,000 saw the Aussies stagger away with a hard-fought 8-to-5 victory.

No athletes are more zealously dedicated to their game than lacrosse players. When Gene Corrigan, who coaches lacrosse at the University of Virginia, heard that the sport is entrenched in Australia, it seemed only natural to gather a group of American players and, in a mixed spirit of missionary zeal and competitiveness, offer to send them 10,000 miles to demonstrate how lacrosse is supposed to be played. Love to have you, said the Aussies, and last month two dozen eager young Americans from the University of Virginia and Washington & Lee reached Australia for a barnstorming tour. There were surprises all around.

The Australians got Surprise No. 1 as they watched the Americans jog onto the field at Perth. Protected only by padded cloth caps and wrist-length gloves themselves, the Aussies wondered why their guests were wearing fiber-glass helmets, face guards, forearm-length gloves, shoulder and body padding. “Are they going to box or play lacrosse?” asked one baffled official. He got his answer when the Americans went into action, swinging their sticks with carefree abandon and, in classic North American fashion, throwing their opponents almost as often as the ball.

Surprise No. 2 came to the Americans in Adelaide. Word of the North American style of play had spread, and Adelaide‘s lacrosse teams eagerly decided to adopt it themselves. They flailed away with their sticks, alternating this tactic with a little inventive kicking and tripping not strictly called for, even by the North American style. The Americans retaliated, and the Aussies in their less protective costumes began falling on all sides. Though the Aussies clearly lost the free-for-all (seven of them checked in at the hospital), they did persist long enough to win the game. They beat the Yanks in the next game too, and narrowly lost a third.

The crowd response to the games provided Surprise No. 3. Some 4,000 fans attended the series in Perth, while crowds of 3,000 and 4,000 watched the two rugged Australian victories in Adelaide. And the last game of the tour, which found the Americans (who had won eight out of 10) facing the Australian All-Stars in Melbourne, supplied the topper. An almost unheard-of lacrosse crowd of 10,000 saw the Aussies stagger away with a hard-fought 8-to-5 victory.

All in all, Corrigan and his colleagues felt that the trip was an unqualified success. They had developed great respect for the Aussies’ dogged-ness on the playing field, and had learned something of the crying need for agreed international rules. So enthusiastic are they that plans are already being made for another such go-round within the next couple of years. Here, it seems to us, is a good chance for somebody to come forward with an international lacrosse trophy. Nobody had ever heard much of international tennis, either, until Dwight Davis put up his big silver cup.

For more:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1070941/3/index.htm

LaxBuzz.com And Lacrosse-Radio.com Invite Cal Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau And Athletic Director Sandy Barbour To Agree To A Meeting With Student-Athletes, Coaches And Parents Of The Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s And Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s Rugby And Baseball Teams In The Next 30 Days (Audio)


CAL BERKELEY MEETING FORMAT

  • Chancellor Birgeneau, Vice Chancellor Yeary and Athletic Dirctor Barbour to agree to a meeting in a large, on-campus auditorium or hall

  • Student-Athletes, team coaches, and parents of the athletes will all be allowed to attend

  • Daily Californian and other select media to cover this closed-door event

  • Each athletic program will be allowed three individuals to give a 3-minute talk to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director. (One person selected from student-athletes, coaches and parents group of each athletic program to speak)

  • After the 15 individuals have spoken (45-60 minutes), the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director will be allowed to give the administration’s response.

 
 
 

 

Tom Kovic of Victory Collegiate Consulting talks with Michael Cummins of LaxBuzz.com about Cal Berkeley’s Chancellor’s decision to cut 5 athletic programs: Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Rugby, Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics and Baseball. The decision to eliminate 5 successful programs has caused a groundswell of support for a meeting of the Chancellor and the Athletic Director with student-athletes, coaches and parents representing the 5 programs. Will the Administration agree to a meeting?

Lacrosse In The 1950’s: “After You See Lacrosse,” Said Rip Miller, Athletic Director At Navy And One Of The Seven Mules Of Notre Dame, “Other Spring Sports Are Like Kissing Your Sister.” Sports Illustrated (May 9, 1955)


The old Indian game of lacrosse has come into its own as a spring sport. Its ingredients include brave hearts, stout clubs and a slow whistle

A Navy attackman known now as Homicide Hargrave, aiming his 230-pound self at a Duke player scurrying about on the sidelines, miscalculated the range and hit his coach instead. The impact broke Dinty’s leg in two places and severed most of the ligaments.

“What a body check! Man, that’s the way to play lacrosse!” exulted the coach as they carried him off the field.

Several years ago, after a lacrosse game played between a team of college stars and a team of Onandaga Indians, the chief of the Onandagas took one of the particularly deserving college boys aside and showed him a couple of the deadlier secrets of the game.

“Lookum here,” the chief said. “Hold your foot over other fellow’s foot, so. When he start, put foot down. Dislocatum hip. When fellow too fast, run away from you, hitum in heel with stick. Gettum just right, he no run no more. Ever.”

The young man thanked the chief courteously and departed. In 28 years of coaching lacrosse since then, 19 at Navy, Dinty Moore has never felt called upon to teach his men how to dislocatum hip, but some of Navy’s bruised opponents have often wondered what holds him back. Last year Navy was national lacrosse champion but the real proof of Dinty’s coaching ability occurred during the game with Duke. A Navy attackman known now as Homicide Hargrave, aiming his 230-pound self at a Duke player scurrying about on the sidelines, miscalculated the range and hit his coach instead. The impact broke Dinty’s leg in two places and severed most of the ligaments.

“What a body check! Man, that’s the way to play lacrosse!” exulted the coach as they carried him off the field.

This spring some 60 colleges and as many secondary schools fielded lacrosse teams. In many schools it was the third biggest sport, after football and basketball. More players were participating than at any time since before the white man arrived and spoiled the fun. (Thousand-man Indian teams used to stage contests lasting for days, not even stopping to bury the dead.) It’s a game that is exciting both to play and to watch. “After you see lacrosse,” said Rip Miller, athletic director at Navy and one of the Seven Mules of Notre Dame, “other spring sports are like kissing your sister.”

Although lacrosse is a rough game, you don’t have to be either a behemoth or a goon to play it. In what other team contact sport these days can a 140-pound honor student like Virginia‘s Jimmy Grieves make All-America in his junior year? “I just don’t know what comes over me when I play lacrosse,” Jimmy mused recently.

Another good thing about lacrosse is that it’s easy to understand. If you have ever sat in a darkened projection room with a bunch of football coaches running one play over and over trying to find out what their own team was doing, you appreciate the simplicity of lacrosse all the more. “It’s basketball played on a football field with a club and a slow whistle,” someone once observed with a shudder. The idea is to throw a hard rubber ball in the opponent’s goal, around or through the goal tender. Each team has 10 men, but only six can cross the midfield line at a time, so that the melee is restricted to 12 men and the goalie.

“We used to play with 12 men and what the rule book called natural boundaries,” recalls Joseph B. Beck-man, an All-America at Maryland 24 years ago. “We used to knock down a lot of fences. We played Syracuse in the football stadium. There were high concrete walls around the field. The referee got both teams together before the game and told us he didn’t want to see anybody get bounced off those walls. Well, the game started, and the ball went over against the wall, and I had a good shot at a guy—could a slammed him through the wall—but I remembered what the referee said and laid off. All of a sudden BOOM two guys hit me and knocked me up against that concrete and the whole stadium shook. Hell, the whole town shook. I looked up at the referee and he was laughin’ all over himself. He was from Syracuse!”

NAMES WILL NEVER HURT

When a man has possession of the ball you can do most anything to him to make him wish he hadn’t. Provided you hit his stick at the same time, you can hit him with your stick anywhere between the shoulders and the knees. A new rule this year prohibits hitting him on the head at any time. He doesn’t even have to have the ball, just be within 15 feet of a loose ball, to be eligible to receive your best body block. The only restraint is that you can’t hit him from behind or below the knees.

A body check is a most effective weapon. In the Dartmouth-Maryland game this year a quiet, unassuming young man from Dartmouth mistakenly intercepted a Maryland pass near his own goal and stood for a split second in perplexity wondering what to do with it. Three Maryland men hit him at the same time and he, ball, gloves and stick all shot up as though squirted out of a toothpaste tube.

“We do that all the time!” Jack Faber, the Maryland coach, exclaimed proudly. “When they intercept we bump ’em quick to get that ball back before they can move it!”

With a big aggressive squad and two potential All-Americas in Ronnie Smith and Charlie (Wimp) Wicker, Maryland is virtually assured of the national championship this year. Saturday, the red-and-white-clad Terrapins edged by Navy 9-8 in a rugged game witnessed by what is reported to be the largest crowd in lacrosse history, 13,000.

WRECKER WICKER

For Navy, last year’s champion, the loss was its first in almost two years, and the main difference was Wicker. A strapping 185-pounder from the sand-lots of Baltimore, Wicker was all over the field on the attack, set up four goals, scored another and with less than a minute to play intercepted the ball and ran away from Navy’s great football end, Ron Beagle, as the clock ticked off the final seconds.

In lacrosse, there is never any argument over who is the champion. The selection is made by the Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association by means of an elaborate point system. Likewise, the All-America team will be the All-America team, chosen by one central committee on advice of the coaches.

Lacrosse teams are divided into three divisions, and there’s as much difference between the top and the bottom as there is between the Big Leagues and Class D. The top teams in the A Division last year were, in order of national ranking, Navy, Army, Duke, Maryland, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Virginia, Yale and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Syracuse was first in the B Division, followed by Washington College, Hofstra, Harvard, Penn, Rutgers, Cornell, Baltimore, Swarthmore, Loyola, Hobart, Dartmouth, Penn State, Williams and Delaware. Class C teams were, in order, Union, New Hampshire, Stevens Tech, Amherst, Lehigh, Oberlin, MIT, Adel-phi, CCNY, Cortland State, Tufts, Hamilton, Dickinson, Lafayette and Worcester Poly. Incidentally a team gets as many points for losing to some Class A powerhouse like Johns Hopkins as for beating some Class C patsy like Ohio State University.

There are two distinct types of play, loosely referred to as northern and southern. Army, Navy, Princeton, and the teams in and south of Maryland pass a lot, with close team work and deft scoring plays. Baltimore is the breeding ground for this type of game. Northern teams play a dodging game with one or two fleet-footed stars zigzagging down the field with the ball. The southern teams also play a more aggressive game. The annual Army-Navy encounter, each team sporting a half dozen or so football players, is a glorious riot, and good lacrosse too.

The service teams develop their own players. At Army, Coach Morris Touchstone works his candidates out all winter in the riding hall. Coach Moore of Navy can’t get on the job until March 1. (For eight months of the year Dr. W. H. Moore III runs a home for wealthy oldsters. “We have a man playing piano at luncheon every single day and an organ concert in the afternoon.”) He handpicks his squad from over 200 candidates each year.

First he puts them through wind sprints, noting the fast ones. Then he lines them up in a column of threes, sticks in hand. He throws out a ball, blows a whistle, and the three front men take off after it. The two men on the left work together against the one man on the right. The midshipman who winds up with the ball gets a hearty clap on the shoulder, but it’s the man with the matted hair and blood on his stick who makes the team. Speed and aggressiveness, that’s what Dinty wants. Given a boy with those attributes, he can teach him lacrosse.

Not every school has 200 man-eaters out for lacrosse and a refugee from the old ladies’ home for a coach. A more normal cross section of lacrosse powers can be had in Baltimore, the home of the organized game. The Baltimore Athletic Club fielded a team in 1880 and the town has loved lacrosse ever since. Though now the public schools field teams, the game was long the exclusive property of fine old private schools like Gilman, Boy’s Latin, Friends, McDonogh and St. Paul’s. When these teams play, usually on Friday afternoon, gangs of mothers from the exclusive Guilford and Roland Park sections descend upon the field and range the sidelines shouting “Cream him, Donald!” and “Lay the wood on, Roger!” At cocktail parties later all you can hear are indignant remarks like, “Why, they were running through the crease all afternoon/”

Spring Saturdays in Maryland are busy days indeed. Several of the natives managed to see four games April 2. Dartmouth and Maryland played at College Park in the morning, Washington and Lee and Loyola played in Baltimore in early afternoon, Mount Washington Lacrosse Club and Princeton played in the late afternoon at Baltimore, and the Maryland Lacrosse Club and Duke played in Annapolis that night.

The club teams make up another phenomenon of lacrosse. The Mount Washington squad contains 15 former first-string All-Americas. They not only play for nothing, they get out three times a week and run wind sprints for nothing. Take Redmond Finney, who was All-American in both lacrosse and football at Princeton a few years ago. From a prominent Baltimore family, he has never really seriously considered the pro football offers. But he knocks himself out every Saturday for dear old Mount Washington, gratis.

SWEET AND PURE

So do nearly all college stars in the game today. Although you can find any rumor you want to hear about proselyting around Baltimore, the truth of the matter is that even the best college teams are largely unsubsidized. Maryland offers aboveboard grants-in-aid and jobs to some of its players, and Johns Hopkins has recently made available five tuition scholarships. Most other recruiting is done in the private schools whose students intend to go on through college anyway. Members of the Virginia team even paid their own way to eight games they played last year—in England. Playing against all-star teams, the Cavaliers won six, lost one and tied one. There have probably been more alibis for this one lost lacrosse game than any conflict in history. Some of them are listed in the 1955 Lacrosse Guide. They include:

The games were played according to English (i.e., original American) rules, with 12 men on a side, no substitutions and 40-minute halves. “You try running full speed up and down a field 80 minutes sometime,” one young man said grimly.

During the morning and afternoon the team would be taken on a tour of whatever town they happened to be playing in, always by foot. Just before the game every member was plied with tea. “We had to drink a cup to the Queen, a cup to the President, a cup to the Prime Minister, and a cup to the Secretary of State. You try running up and down a field for 80 minutes with four cups of tea in you.”

SAFETY IN CROWDS

The games were played with “natural boundaries” which frequently meant the crowd. Just close your eyes now and picture a young man clad in shoulder pads, arm pads, blue jersey and shorts, wearing huge elbow-length gloves and carrying a club, peering out from under a helmet with a wire cage attached, poking around through a late-afternoon crowd of English gentlemen and ladies after a little white ball, and you will have some idea of the difficulties encountered. “You try running up and down a field for 80 minutes with a sweet old lady’s umbrella wrapped around your neck.”

Generally, however, the play was quite sporting, with the English apologizing profusely and the Americans reflecting the gentlemanly upbringing of the Baltimore private school boys who play it best.

In Canada, lacrosse is a village game. In 1931 a group of Canadian All-Stars played St. John’s College, then a lacrosse power, in Baltimore. The Canadians quickly found a St. John’s weakness; the college boys went all to pieces when poked in the groin. The game ended in a riot. Somebody decked the referee, and he lay on the greensward as cold as a blue point. A second scheduled game was played the next day, but with more policemen on the field than players, and the magic was gone.

Canada now goes all out for box lacrosse, which is played in an enclosed court from which neither ball nor players can escape and is faster and rougher than the American game. It was tried out in Baltimore, but didn’t go over. Dinty Moore once received a letter from a Florida promoter offering him a job recruiting players for box lacrosse. “Of course,” the letter said, “we’ll have a false floor that’ll make plenty of noise without hurting the players.” Dinty didn’t answer and the promoter apparently gave up the idea.

Even if American lacrosse players were interested in playing professionally, the greatest of them all, the Babe Ruth of lacrosse, is no longer available. He was Jack Turnbull, of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins. A bomber pilot, he was killed during World War II on a mission over Germany.

Jack came from a lacrosse family. His big brother gave him something to shoot at; Doug Turnbull was All-America at Hopkins for four straight years. Jack only made it twice, but he was still the greatest. One time two members of the opposing team got behind their goal and hit him so hard he turned a flip and came down on his head. But he still had the ball and, with one hand, he flipped it 30 yards straight into the stick of a wide-open teammate who scored.

In a real tough Navy game, the score was tied 2-2, when Jack Turnbull got the ball with 30 seconds to play. What a finish! He took out for the goal. Two Navy defensemen, both football players, came to meet him. They both hit him at the same time, but in the split second before the crash, using the oncoming men as a shield to confuse the goalie, he fired. Goal!

“It was the most thrilling play I ever saw,” Dinty Moore says. “I almost didn’t mind getting beat.”