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Boo Bash    October 27, 2019

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Picture of the Day

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Picture of the Day

Right Now

Monday Morning Mumbo 

 

GRAVEYARD, MI (October 29, 2019)  –  As October winds down and November kicks in and the Christmas music begins, we can’t be spooked at the holiday season. Remember, if we focus on what’s important, we’ll have a ghost of a chance to get through these scary times. So, dig into your candy corn, turn on the porch light and get ready for the Monday Morning Mum-Boo -

 

Bedford Joins U of M staff – Michael Bedford has joined the staff at the University of Michigan women’s lacrosse team. He will serve as a volunteer assistant for the 2020 season. Coach Hannah Nielsen made the announcement a month ago, but I had a chance to see Coach Bedford work this weekend. He did a great job in communicating with the Triumph team he was working with and the girl’s listened and executed. It was great to see them work with someone so experienced and knowledgeable. Bedford worked with teams at Rutgers, the Philadelphia Force of the UWLL, Boston University and Hofstra. He will be a great addition to the already awesome staff at U of M.

 

MHSAA Pairings – One item - the MHSAA and the Boy’s Lacrosse Coaches Association do a great job in working together and seeding their tournament – the Girl’s Coaches Association needs to step up and work with the MHSAA and do the same thing.

Kudos to the MHSAA for dropping the two-year criteria for pre-season seeding.

Here are the top seeds by Division:

Division I

Brother Rice, CC, Lake Orion, Hartland, Rockford, Clarkston, Plymouth, Northville.

 

Division II

FHC, EGR, FHE, Haslett/Williamston, OLSM, Country Day, Cranbrook, Okemos

 

Initial thoughts – New coaches will be challenged to stay seeded. Hartland and Plymouth will have new bosses, so there may be a learning curve…maybe.

KLAA is a power conference. Hartland, Northville and Plymouth all are seeded in the top 8. Northville gets a break and gets out of the “Region of Doom”.

I’m already penciling in most of the seeded teams to play in the quarters.

Will D II see a repeat of the “Big 2, Little everybody else” in 2020.

I think U of D will be good this year, but they may not make it our of their region – Brother Rice awaits.

 

Region 1-1, with Rockford, Grandville, Hudsonville, TCC and Zeeland is really tough. Whoever comes out with the title will have earned it.

Region 11-2 could be a tough one as well. EGR must get by Harper Creek, Lakeview, Pennfield, Mattawan and Vicksburg. 

 

I’ll have a more detailed breakdown once the season gets underway.

 

 

Boo Bash – The folks from Lax Bash lacrosse weathered the storm, as it were and put on a great tournament once again. Boo Bash 2019 was a tremendous success with players and teams competing on 16 fields. Some of the coaches and parents got a bit contentious but, what else is new. Sunday brought rain, mud, cold weather, wind and eventually warm temperatures and sun – typical Michigan, and the kids dressed in costumes loved every minute. I know of a few goalies who lent their services to a few goalie-less teams and got in some extra reps. I saw a few cows – and not just Cash Cows, some bacon, onesies galore and smiles on most of the faces. Thanks for a great tournament.   

 

Michigan’s Schedule – The Michigan Men’s team released their schedule last week and although the teams coming into Ann Arbor aren’t the big names, there should still be some interesting match ups. Marquette, Maryland and Rutgers have some marquis value, but the top games will be played on the road and at neutral sites. The Maize and Blue will tackle Notre Dame, Hofstra, Yale, Hopkins, Penn State and Ohio State away from the MI Lacrosse Stadium. I may start calling their new facility “JP’s House”, kinda’ like “The Big House”.  The cold slap of reality will hit on February 8, when Cleveland State comes to Ann Arbor to kick off the season. February 8? There may be three feet of snow on the ground, but the NCAA must get those spring sports started sometime.

 

PLL Announces Plans for 7th Franchise – Please, don’t go with Fire Salamanders, Mud Puppies or anything like that. You have created six cool names with meaning behind all of them. Don’t go “cartoon” and pick a name that sounds like a Saturday Morning Kid’s Show. Actually, you should pick one of these:

Orion – Greek mythological hunter. Most recognizable constellation.

Sentinels – Soldier or guard. They keep watch; a protector or defender. Perfect for lacrosse.

Fire or Fire Storm – It can move, take different shapes, tough to control. Powerful.

Storm Riders – Movement and daring – can withstand just about anything.

Battalion – Large body of troops ready for battle. Pursuing a common aim.

Dragons – Big, strong, control the fire within.

 

In honor of the Halloween holiday, here’s a short list of my favorite scary movies –

1. The Exorcist – 1973

2. The Shining – 1980

3. The Omen - 1976

4. The Ring – 2002

5. Dawn of the Dead - 1978

Cass Tech Adds Girl's Team 

DETROIT, MI (October 4, 2019) – Bringing lacrosse to Detroit high schools has been an uphill battle over the years. We saw the program at Detroit Southeastern come and go with the summer winds.

 

Most recently, Cass Tech started a boys’ team. They struggled to gain victories, but they proved to be athletic, sponges for learning  and with grounded coaches and a group of underclassmen, there’s hope that they will stick around and be an example for other Detroit / PSL teams to take a chance and be a part of this great game.

 

On the girl’s side, no school was willing to take the chance on lacrosse. Enter Cass Tech again. They will be competing this Spring for the first time and the hope is that they, like their male counterparts, will be a model for growth in the city.

 

I had the chance to chat with Summer Aldred, Coach of the Cass Tech girls’ team about the genesis of the program and what will the future bring:

 

How did the creation of the Cass Tech girls team come about?

In the winter of 2018, a Cass Tech parent, in partnership with the administration of Cass Tech and a few coaches that were coaching on the eastside of Detroit spearheaded an initiative to get boys lacrosse into the high school. As soon as boys team began practicing, girls at Cass and coaches of women's lacrosse in the of Detroit began asking the question, "What about the girls?". The administration at Cass has been very supportive and excited to start the women's program, just simply had limited capacity at the time. I began, with the assistance of Ashlee Brown and Christina Arens when they could make it, began running free clinics every Saturday for the girls at Cass Tech to learn the sport, as we strongly believed in equal opportunity for these young women.

 

How is the girls game growing in Detroit?

The game of lacrosse is just beginning to find footing in the city of Detroit after many years of quiet labor done by many coaches and advocates of the sport. Detroit United Lacrosse, a non-profit based in the city, is one of the major entities that is spurring on the growth of the sport of the lacrosse, providing the first ever high school travel team for high school aged girls in the city of Detroit. Detroit United Lacrosse is a citywide youth organization dedicated to developing student athletes of character and integrity who will serve as positive members of the community. Detroit United believes that Detroit’s youth deserve every opportunity to prosper in the growing sport of lacrosse while also committing to avenues of intentional community engagement through service projects and educational experiences that provide context and knowledge of Detroit’s past, present and future. Detroit United Lacrosse uses the Lacrosse Athlete Development Model and principles of the Positive Coaching Alliance. 

This fall, Detroit United Lacrosse is offering 3v3 Lacrosse, open to all youth ages 3-18, on Saturdays in Gabriel Richard Park (Sept 21-Nov 3) from 9:30am-noon as a fun and competitive way for kids to get familiar with the sport! Registration is now open for 3v3 on Detroit United's website at www.detroitunitedlacrosse.org/3v3

 

Detroit United Lacrosse is 501(c)(3) organization co-founded by Summer Aldred, Ophelia Epps, and Liam McIlroy that joined with Detroit City Lacrosse, an organization founded and run by Christianne Malone, a woman who has been laying the groundwork for lacrosse in the city of Detroit for the last 10+ years.

 

What are your expectations this year, in terms of numbers?

In our first informational meeting of the year we had an attendance of over 40 girls - with over 75 signing up for Spring 2020 try-outs. We are expecting to have a full Varsity and JV roster in our inaugural season.

 

Expectations in terms of performance and development for the first year?

We are starting at ground zero. The longest any of the girls in our program have been playing is four months (May 2019) - however, the strides they have made in the last four months have been incredible. We believe that these girls will have a fun and competitive first season, filled with fundamentals and basic game play instruction! As a first-year program, we are looking for strides in personal development in our athletes, both on and off the field.

 

Long terms goals – What do you see for the program in 5 years?

As the first public high school women's lacrosse team in the city of Detroit, we are starting with a completely fresh slate. We are making our own path. Because of that we are setting our sights at achieving at the highest level. Our program is being built to be a State Championship caliber program, calling our girls to the highest level of discipline and performance - as we believe success is a mentality. This goal, however, is several years out in the future, as the sport continues to grow in the city. 

We are first focusing on building a platform of support, community, compassion, and accountability - making sure girls feel welcome in our program despite their athletic background, body type, or previous experience. We believe there is place for everyone in the sport of lacrosse.

 

What is your background in lacrosse?

Growing up, lacrosse was not a sport that I had access to due to regional and financial constrictions. It is because of this experience that I believe in providing as many opportunities for success to youth as possible, especially to young women. After attending Denison University, where I learned the sport and was employed as a student-coach, I returned to Detroit. I was the Head Coach for Athens High School JV Women's lacrosse and was the head for Detroit United Lady Panther's Elite Travel team. I am thrilled to be the Varsity Head Coach for the inaugural season at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, and even more excited to have a very large and qualified coaching staff by my side.

 

How did you obtain this coaching position?

In the spring of 2019, after hearing about the start of the boy’s program, I began running free clinics with donated equipment on Saturdays at Cass Tech for any interested girls, as I wanted to ensure that the young women had the same opportunities as the boys. These clinics started small and expanded by the end to play days with over 40 girls of all ages from across the city. Coaches Christina Arens and Ashlee Brown, a native Detroiter who played lacrosse at Howard University, were integral in these clinics, helping whenever they could. After building relationship with the school administration, they placed the future of the program in my team of coaches' hands, and we are very excited for this new year. We currently have a staff of 9 coaches that will be helping throughout the inaugural year.

 

What will your schedule look like? Who will you play?

Currently, we are still assembling our schedule for the spring of 2020. Our Varsity Program is looking to play other first/second year varsity programs across Southeast Michigan as well as established programs.

 

What does the future look like for lacrosse in Detroit for girls?

We are looking to turn Detroit into the Midwest lacrosse powerhouse. We believe in a future where every high school lacrosse program, along with every middle and elementary school aged child - whether that's through their own program or through Soft-Stick lacrosse in gym classes. A dream like this doesn't become reality overnight, but we are building every day to make this a dream a possibility.

 

How can people in the lacrosse community help the Cass Tech program?    

Cass Tech Women's Lacrosse needs gently used equipment donations - goggles, sticks, cleats, running shoes, pinnies, or balls. Currently, we are not receiving any funding from the district or Cass itself, so coaches and players alike are fundraising to make this season possible. We are also currently in need of backstop netting so we can host games at Cass, as well as uniforms/pinnies for this upcoming season. We are also always looking for volunteer and coaches to join our staff so feel free to fill out this form at https://forms.gle/NLMEhUtRoXLJTTc66 or email summer@detroitunitedlacrosse.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

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