Sunday, July 31, 2011

Huaraches - No, Not the Nike Lax Cleats

Plenty of laxers are familiar with the Nike Huarache cleats. They get lots of pub from the custom designed versions given to attendees at recruiting events put on by Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip and Peter Worstell's California Gold. You can see a Nike example in an earlier blog post I made. But I'm writing about the sandal Huaraches that seemed to draw lots of attention recently at East Coast lax tourneys. At least that's how it seemed to me as 5 colleges coaches and 3 players admiringly asked about the huaraches I was wearing during my summer swing to Maryland.

Huaraches, of course, were originally a Mexican sandal, popularized as low cost footwear, whose soles were made from old tires with strips of leather forming the top. Huaraches have gotten more stylish over the last 50 years or so, and I see lots of guys wearing them as hot-weather footwear on the West Coast. But they seemed very nouveau to East Coast laxers, who may be looking for something new and different than the thong flips that have been so popular over the last decade among the lax bros – at least those who have "tilt." So, here are a few examples of huaraches I've seen worn by West Coasters:

Love 'em or hate 'em, they do keep your feet cool and non-sweaty, while keeping your feet from going all pink and red on you.

NorCal All-Stars at Hotbeds

A number of NorCal Select teams traveled to the Battle of the Hotbeds tournament at U Delaware a week ago. Hotbeds has become a much more competitive tourney over the last three years or so and is attracting many more NCAA coaches to watch the boys. Amongst the big-time team tourneys, only a handful are watched by more coaches. So, making the All-Star team at Hotbeds is a nice recruiting bio bauble!

The Golden State Titans captured all the NorCal spots on the All-Star teams at Hotbeds, and here they are:

Class of 2012
Michael Tagliaferri M San Ramon Valley

Class of 2013
Cam Bowlby G San Ramon Valley
Will Ernst G University
Charlie Ford LSM St. Ignatius
Will Montero M De La Salle

Congrats to these boys for their outstanding individual tournaments, and to all the Titans for performing so well as a team!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Golden State Titans finish 5th at Hotbeds!

In this morning's quarterfinal game between the Titans and Ward Melville, WM prevailed, 9-3. That was the beginning of a three-game run to the Championship by Ward Melville. After defeating the Titans, WM thumped the Florida Hammerheads, 8-3 in the semis, and then defeated West Islip by the same score in the Championship game. Congrats to all the Titans – and to their coaches – for a great run at a well-regarded tournament. A 10-1 record is a wonderful performance!

Golden State Titans at Hotbeds

The Golden State Titans, coached by Chris Rotelli and Erik Martin, have put together a record of 10-0 during the Battle of the Hotbeds at the University of Delaware. That record propels them to the playoffs, which will take place this morning. Based on records so far, West Islip and the Florida Hammerheads have qualified for the semi-finals, while four teams–including the Titans–meet in quarterfinal games to determine which teams move on to the semis. The Titans face Ward Melville at 8AM today. Winner meets the Florida Hammerheads at 9AM to determine which team moves on to the Finals, which take place at 10AM.

You can read some terrific game reports by Ed McGovern here. Go get 'em, Titans!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LAX recruiting: The Parent Trap

Here's the funniest article on Lacrosse recruiting I've ever read. Actually, it's the only funny story I've read about lacrosse recruiting. Possibly apocryphal, but many elements have the ring of truth.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Team Talon: US Lacrosse U15 National Championships

The Nor Cal Talons U15 team finished 4th in the US Lacrosse sponsored National Championships for the U15 title over this past weekend. Congrats to the boys and their coaches. I've included the roster below:
Joe Reid of Petaluma was named to the All-Star team of the National Championships!

Two other California teams made the 32 team Championships. NorCal Blue and DH Elite – coached by Kyle Harrison – were also competing. Congrats to all these California boys. You can read more at:

A short highlight vid of the Talons' game against Dukes Lacrosse U15 team can be seen here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Champ Camp: Follow up on GotSkillz

Earlier, I wrote about Gotskillz, a made-to-order team of 28 players who are all rated among the top 50 players in the Class of 2012. Their run ended today also, as they lost to Long Island 1, 5-4. The last time you read about Long Island 1, they had just defeated Fog City 6-5 in OT. Didn't see this game, but the similar results for Fog City and GotSkillz against LI 1 may speak to the issue of good teamwork versus exceptional individuals.

Champ Camp: The dance is over.... V

Fog City's improbable run to the title ended yesterday afternoon against Dukes 2, a Pennsylvania club whose teams – Dukes 1 and Dukes 2 met in the Championship game last year and may do so again this year. They're both in the semifinals on opposite sides of the bracket. As I talked with the Dukes coaches after the game, they were quite complimentary, saying "You've got to bring more players to this tournament. We learned that lesson some years back. The temps and humidity will just destroy you if you only bring twenty. It wasn't us who beat you, it was the heat and humidity."

Nice words, indeed, but the Saint Ignatius squad brought everyone who remained from 2011's varsity. They are 21 strong. I counted 31 on the Dukes 2 squad.

Dukes led at the first quarter break, 1-0. Then, in rapid succession, three nice dodges from X put the Fog Dawgs up, 3-1. JW McGovern scored the first two and Chad Cohan scored the third. The Dukes fans sitting under the only nearby tree were stunned – and stunned again when they learned that our boys were from a single school, and that school was in San Francisco.

The halftime score of 3-2 Fog City, would be the high water mark for the boys. During the second half Dukes 2 would out score the Fog Dawgs 6-1, making the final 8-4. The boys will play a consolation game Sunday morning, but the time for congrats on their great run is now. Way to go, Fog City!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

And then there was one... IV

Only one single-school team remains in the Sweet Sixteen at Champ Camp. Fortunately, it's Fog City who defeated Norfolk Academy from Virginia, 5-4 in a matchup between two – pretty evenly matched – single school teams.

The Fog Dawgs played brilliantly on defense today in a superb display of intelligent lax. Nice position D, clever stick checks, nifty strips, and several neat interceptions. A group effort in which all the D had moments of individual brilliance!

On offense the Academy boys jumped out to a 2-0 lead, at which point the Fog Dawgs Offense started looking sharper, tying it up at 2-2. It was tied again at 3's early in the 2nd half, when the Virginia boys took a 4-3 lead. In the fourth quarter, Joe Pappas made a great strip – MJ Toepel made the play off the ground and nailed a 35 yard pass to JW McGovern who deked his defender and double pumped the goalie before burying the ball. Game tied at 4-4! With just three minutes remaining, JW juked LtoR, creating just enough space from 12 yards to RIP IT past the goalie. His fist pump on one knee spoke to the team, who played out the remaining 2 minutes 24 seconds looking tough and fresh. They weren't fresh, of course. It was 101 in the shade and 111 degrees on the turf field, but it was enough for a solid D and a risk-avoiding offense to run out the clock. Sweet Sixteen, Baby!

Friday, July 22, 2011

2011 Fog City at Champ Camp III

Pool play for Fog City concluded tonight at Champ Camp when the Foggies played Long Island 1. Long island 1,2,and 3 are all from Suffolk County and they're all good, but LI1 is their top team.

Both teams entered the game with 3-0 records and similar scores against common opponents. Long Island fans are all the same... they're boisterous, great supporters of their boys, and pretty eager to find fault with their opponents. That's just life in the stands when you play a Lawn Gieland team.

The SF boys had the lead at 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, while Long Island had the lead at 4-3, and 5-4. When the City boys had the lead, LI 1 tied it up, and when the LI1 boys had the lead, our guys tied it up. The teams were tied 5-5 when the game went to OT. Just rolled into overtime without an FO and played to sudden victory. In this case the victory went to LI1, 6-5. Both teams were solid, but tired tonight. The Lawn Gieland parents were stunned to learn that Fog City was a "school team," in their parlance, unlike the LI teams that were selected from many top Suffolk schools.

So, Fog City is on to the playoffs. In the Championship bracket tomorrow at 11AM, the Fog Dawgs play Norfolk Academy. Should be a great game, and don't be surprised if the California boys continue on with a win tomorrow in this game.

Worth noting that of the 32 teams who made the Championship Bracket, only three are teams from a single school. That's quite impressive! Norfolk Academy v Fog City pits one of these single-school teams against another. However it turns out, I'm told that getting to the Championship Bracket is the best showing ever for Fog City. Don't know this for a fact, so if anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

Fog City at Champ Camp 2011 II

With two more games under their belt, Fog City has produced an unblemished 3-0 record. In this 72 team tourney, so have a lot of other teams. The Fogsters are losing weight, energy, and electrolytes at a rapid pace, but then so is everyone else, including the fans on the sidelines. If I never have to come back to this insufferably hot, humid, godforaken city, I could die a happy man!

More details later, but in this morning's game, Fog City defeated Pittsburgh Elite, 7-4. In this one, two unrelated McGovern's were "Men of the match" – JW with 3G and 1A and Jack with numerous, strips, tips and interceptions. Defense is still playing very well, with the occasional late slide accounting for most of Pittsburgh's goals. Hey, everybody's sliding a little late in this heat, so it's completely understandable.

In the afternoon game, Fog City defeated the Bombers, a Virginia squad, 6-4. Effort by each team was episodic in this heat, but Will McKee and John Meany did well at the FO X and Jack McGovern was strong at close D. With the game tied late, Fog City's nifty attack line scored the last two goals to put the game away.

Tonight, Long Island 1 is the opponent. They are 3-0 also, so this game should determine the 1st and 2nd seeds in the bracket, both of whom will move onto the playoffs. More later....

GotSkillz at Champ Camp

GotSkillz is a mashup team of top 2012 players who will attend NCAA DI powerhouses. Michael Tagliaferri of San Ramon Valley is playing for GotSkillz. Gotskillz was put together to contend for the mythical title of top club team in America. They're off to a good start at Champ Camp, where they destroyed St. Louis Samurai 2, by a score of 20-0.

GotSkillz and Fog City were the two highest scoring teams for the first complete round of games at Champ Camp.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fog City at Champ Camp I

The hottest camp of the year is underway. Temps in Baltimore were 103 degrees this afternoon and are forecast to reach 106 tomorrow. The humidity is obviously lower than the temperature – but not by much!

Fog City - the nom de guerre for Saint Ignatius during the off-season– demolished 1763 Lacrosse from Michigan, 17-3. Cyrus Scott kept all but one out of the cage and Cole Priest, who played a little more than a half, allowed only two to pass the plane. Nice work, guys!

Will McKee continued his dominance of the face-off X, utterly disheartening his 1763 opponent. John Meany looked good on his draws as well.

The D was nicely coordinated most of the game, sliding well, stripping the ball many times and getting well over 50% of the GBs. Nice work, boys! Apparently this tournament produces playoff seedings based on goal differential, so holding 1763 to only three is helpful – very helpful.

The offense looked pretty good, but some of the finer points of the game went unfulfilled. Several cuts went unfed, several "one mores" didn't occur, and players weren't always finding the seams that allow the skip pass to take place. Still, there were some very nice feeds and a few great skip passes that almost resulted in goals. Generally, nicely played by the offense, but they'll have to be crisper to get that traditional Fog City offense humming. Joe Lang was the big finisher tonight with 7 goals. Chad Cohan and JW McGovern were the top feeders - each tallying 4 assists.

Overall, a nice opening W. Next up? A game at Johns Hopkins, tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Under Armour Lacrosse medals

The West team did wonderfully at the Under Armour Underclassmen All-Star games in Baltimore recently. Heck, they defeated Baltimore – holiest of the holy hotbeds. Here are the medals participants in the tournament received. Congrats to Matt Emery, JW McGovern, Will McKee, and Patrick Worstell on their achievements!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NorCal Ducks – 2 in a row

The NorCal Ducks just won the Platinum Division Championship at the All West Showcase! On the way to the Championship the Ducks defeated the Bandits by 5-3, the Lax West Elite Snipers by 6-4, the Snipers by 8-6 and, in the Championship game, defeated the LaxWest Gunners, 7-4.

That makes it two Platinum Division Championships in a row for the Ducks at Matt Ogelsby's All West Showcase during the three years of the event's history. Even in the first year of the tournament, the Ducks went to the Championship game, losing to the Amador Purple, 8-4.

Congrats to the Ducks and thanks to Matt Ogelsby for putting on such a great event at Treasure Island! Thanks also to the College recruiters who lined the sidelines for the Championship game.

Quack, quack. Quack, quack, quack!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 California Gold

IL has a nice review of California Gold's first day. Wednesday saw the rising Seniors and rising Sophomores (and some rising Frosh) take the field. Here's the link:

Looks like Peter Doyle of St. Ignatius had a nice day on the field!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nick Fotsch commits to Marquette

Nick Fotsch, the fiery Close Defender who recently graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep, has committed to play NCAA DI lacrosse for Marquette University in Milwaukee. As with the other recruits who'll play for Coach Joe Amplo, Nick will redshirt this spring. Marquette will begin DI play in the spring of 2013, as a member of the Big East conference.

Congrats to Nick!

2011 California Gold!

Today's the day for rising Seniors and rising Sophomores to rip it up. Lot's of talent here, including a number of rising Seniors who have already committed to DI schools.

2011 California Gold Cleats

Here's a pic of the Huarache III cleats that Peter Worstell is passing out today at California Gold.