In the Crease: Lacrosse and the City
In his regular Saturday column, lacrosse analyst Dan Fleuette discusses and comments on the latest news from the world of lacrosse. Be sure to check this space every Saturday at Breitbart Sports for incisive analysis and news of all things lacrosse.
Home Field Advantage
A hit-and-run driver who was trying to elude police in Boca Raton FL, ran into a hit he couldn’t recover from earlier this week.
Lynn University lacrosse player Brandon Rothstein watched a man run across his team’s brand new lacrosse field. Rothstein noticed that the man was no fellow student out for a jog on a nice afternoon—the police in close pursuit of the runner suggested as much.
According to the report, Rothstein, who was boarding a bus at the time, did not want to see anyone disrespect his new field. “We haven’t played on this field yet and to see somebody—especially somebody who has a complete disregard for their freedom — running across our field, I just thought he had to be stopped. Not on our field,” said Rothstein.
Rothstein then “tackled the alleged hit-and-run suspect and put him in a sleeper hold,” and waited for police to catch up.
The suspect, Spencer Cohen, fled from police as they were checking on his expired tags, ran a red light, and crashed into several vehicles before entering the Lynn University property and hitting several other vehicles.
Interestingly, Rothstein majors in criminal justice major and wants to work in law enforcement when he graduates. Looks like he’s well prepared.
Shootout for Soldiers
In 2012, after learning about the struggles of service members adjusting to life after combat, students at Boys Latin High School in Baltimore took action. Working with others deeply involved in the community, they came up with an idea to stage a 24-hour lacrosse game, called “Shootout for Soldiers,” with proceeds benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.
Twenty-four one-hour games, pitting two teams--the Stars and the Stripes--against one another comprises the event. Each hour’s game score is added to a running tally, with the winner declared after the grueling marathon.
The first game featured over 1,000 players and raised $105,000. This year’s games are slated for June 19-20 in Baltimore, and July 24-25 in Long Island. Registration for teams is open for teams. Check out the link in the story if you’d like to register your team.
In 2010, Gabriela Cowperthwaite, best known for her documentary Blackfish, released a lacrosse film called City Lax.
City Lax is a powerful story of how a teacher and a few coaches are able to engage and motivate disadvantaged kids to work hard to overcome their life circumstances by learning the age-old value of hard work, focus, and teamwork, through the game of lacrosse.
Set in urban Denver, far from the leafy neighborhoods that people lacrosse fields in public perception, City Lax documents the troubles facing these middle school kids. Several have fathers that have died, one has a mother in prison, and all suffer from limited opportunities and challenges of growing up urban neighborhoods where they “are losing kids by the boatload.”
Eric Myhren has been teaching in Denver for ten years. One day while cleaning out his garage, and came across a bunch of old lacrosse sticks that he and his brother had collected over the years. Rather than throw them out, he brought them to school to show the kids, and their response was overwhelmingly positive, even transformative.
Most of the kids had never even heard of lacrosse before and wonder why its been hidden from them for so long. After the initial novelty of the sport wears off, we see the transformation of the kids as they work hard learning the needed physical and life skills necessary to succeed. Together they form an ad hoc team, called City Lax.
The arc of the story covers a single season for the City Lax team. In their first scrimmage, they meet a team of Native American players and learn the history of lacrosse, why it's important to Native Americans, and how the game has evolved over time. City Lax then proceeds to get wiped off the field by them.
Throughout the course of the season, we see how life intersects sport, and how the kids react to challenges. We see in short order, kids being kicked off the team for bad grades, exploding tempers, coaches bringing snack bars to the games because they know the kids haven’t eaten, and kids struggling with missing parents and being separated from their friends and loved ones.
We also see redemption. Whether working hard at school in order to get opportunities in other private schools, or honing poetry skills, or working as a team to achieve goals outside of the game, we see the transformative power of unity and teamwork overcome adversity time and time again. These are life lessons every kid should know.
The film wraps up with the City Lax team taking part in the state championship tournament. Watching the kids advance and, against all odds, go deep into the tournament is an amazing testament to the work of the coaches and parents to help shape and guide these young players to live their dream.
City Lax the film is now available for free streaming on Snag Films.
Quint Kessenich's College Lacrosse Stock Watch
From the Baltimore Sun:
On Wall Street, establishing fair market value is essential to finding stocks that are overpriced or a good bargain. The principle holds true in sports.
As the men's lacrosse season turns from March to April, watch your portfolio expand with these picks.
Game of the Week
#5 North Carolina at #10 Johns Hopkins. Johns Hopkins, coming off two consecutive losses after going undefeated in their first five games, faces an almost must win scenario at home against a strong North Carolina squad.
North Carolina comes off a strong performance against then #1 Maryland last week, and has won two in a row, and stand at 7-2 on the season.
Notes: Johns Hopkins enters this week’s game against North Carolina averaging 12.17 goals per game, and the Blue Jays have scored at least 10 goals in every game this season. JHU ranks 10th in the nation in scoring offense, third in assists per game (8.29) and sixth in points per game (21).
Johns Hopkins leads the all-time series 24-18 although Carolina has won six of the past seven meetings. The Tar Heels enjoy a two-match winning streak in the series.
The game will be televised on ESPNU Saturday at 2:00 EST.
Other televised games:
ESPNU will also feature #7 Notre Dame at #9 Syracuse Saturday at 12:00 EST.
Sunday ESPNU will air #8 Virginia at #4 Maryland at 12:00 EST.
Games on Tap
Complete run down here.
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PHOTO: City Lax