ON THE ROAD WITH
I survived Lax Vegas which has now been officially added to my 2001 Tournament Schedule. I played for Team Bahi (a lower west side NYC "lax bar/night club" owned by Tom and Andy Towers et al). Team Bahi, lead by coach and organizer extraordinaire, Jim Rogers, was a collection of on and off the field All-Stars/Rock-Stars, primarily from the greater NYC area. The tournament games are played on the UNLV campus, a mere 2 blocks from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (home base). Twenty-five minute running halves were all that were necessary with the heat and all of the other Las Vegas activities. The Hard Rock features one of Vegas' best Pools, and the afternoon poolside cabanas and water activities did not disappoint...don't worry I brought my waterwings.
TR with Jim Rogers @ the Hard Rock Pool and Cabana Area
Saturday afternoon Bahi chilled for a team meeting in the Rogers' cabana. Despite being unable to attend the morning game, Dan Denihan, entertained the crowd by holding his breath for 1 minute and 50 seconds underwater. He subsequently was awarded Most Likely to be a Synchronized Swimmer in 2004, and earned an all expense trip back to the Hard Rock later this fall for their International Breath Holding Competition.
Dan Denihan: Lacrosse lungs pay off in Vegas!
Bahi made it to the finals by defeating the Unusual Suspects, Hollywood, and Mad Lax. We squared off against Marin in the Finals, but our collective tank was running on empty, and couldn't match their energy level. Todd Eichelberger was feeling it in the finals with 3 goals including a foose on our Rock Solid goalie, Alex Cade. Jimmy Keenan received our team MVP honors with 8 goals, good luck at the tables and through out the Hard Rock, and no sleep.
Team Bahi - Lax Vegas 2000
Friday night, Phish was playing at the UNLV basketball stadium only 4 blocks from the Rock. Kid Rock came out and closed the second set with covers of We're an American Band, Walk this way, and others. Saturday night, Rog got a box at the Phish show, and treated Team Bahi to a Phish Jam in style. Despite a disappointing Final for Bahi, the weekend was awesome. This was, perhaps, my favorite tournament of the year so far. You can't go wrong with a Jimmy Rogers Production. Oh yeah I won $240 too...cha-ching.
The Chicago Shootout was not so great for me this year. After loosing my ID on the way to the airport and not being allowed on the Friday morning flight, I had to wait around Baltimore all day (missing the Cubs game and afternoon Crease Monkey festivities) and catch an 8pm flight to the windy city. I was able to get myself to Eddie Fay's extended happy hour party at Bar Chicago by 10:30 and walked into a dance party already in full affect; being led by left coaster Scott "Hollywood" Hochstadt and Monkey weekend guests Mo Duff and Darah Ross. You can say what you want to about Bar Chicago, but anyplace that has a 5 foot disco ball is alright in my book.
As defending champs, we got a first round bye and got to sleep in until our first game at noon. Unfortunately I got smacked in the head during the first half and had to sit out the remainder of the tourney. Our squad finished a disappointing 3rd but not without our fair share of highlights (or lowlights I should say). Crease Monkey offensive MVP went to Hollywood Hochstadt. Defensive MVP honors were awarded to Ron Nader. And the overall Most Valuable Monkey went to Seattle resident Marc Bissell. Mark Frye won the best shot award for his rainbow ripper that was measured at 75 feet above the crossbar during the semifinals. Kevin Finneran won the award for the best behind the back percentage by completing 2 out of 10 btb attempts. Jake Bergey received recognition for his successful back-breaker in the consolation game. Harry Mazaheri was solid as always between the pipes.
Wings tryouts start up in a month, which means time to get serious. Our Indoor league at Du Burns Arena in Baltimore commenced this week, featuring many past, present, and future pro indoor players. It is an excellent way to get ready for the winter season.
Full Photo Coverage from T.D. Paulius
I coached the Consolation Final
deBeer's Brian O'Keefe
The last tournament of the summer is over. The 7th Annual Ocean City Lacrosse Classic, which many consider to be the region's premier tournament, wrapped up the summer season in suitable fashion. Ocean City is the one summer tournament in which Toyota enters its elite squad. Equipped with a combination of Toyota regulars and new additions such as Maryland's Casey Connor and University of Delaware long stick midfielder John Ciliburto, as well as UNC attackman Chase Martin, Toyota looked ready to roll. Our first games against Team Prox and Delmarva went smoothly, and we found ourselves matched up against our perennial club rivals, The Greene Turtle, in the semi-finals. Up by a couple in the final minutes, The Turtle made a late serge, but we were able to hang on and finish with a 10-9 victory.
Sunday's Final was a rematch of last years 2 goal win by the MR Ducks. The unusually short quarters at Ocean City (i.e. 12 minutes running) make it critical that you do not fall behind early. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened to us again this year. Down by 2 or 3 at half, we opened up the third quarter flat, and before anyone knew what hit us, we were down 9-3. That is when we circled the wagons and tried to start to climb our way back into the game. Goals by Matt Shearer, Kip Fulks, myself, Chase Martin, and Sean Radebaugh brought us to with 2.
With less than 2 minutes to go, John Grant Jr took his man to the goal and scored on a behind the back shot to bring the game to within one. Jr had another attempt to tie the score, but his low shot was stopped by the Ducks' goalie, Andrew Hampson (UMBC). We had another opportunity with 20 seconds to go as Kip Fulks swept right and fired a shot into Hampson's stick. With less than 10 seconds left, I ran down Jimmy Gonnella and forced a turnover, but we were unable to get a final shot off.
The award ceremony was held at the Holiday Inn Pool Bar, followed by the closing ceremonies at MR Ducks. Tournaments such as Ocean City are designed for competitive lacrosse on the field and Inter Team socializing off the field. Despite the official OC tournament parties lacking adequate dancing facilities, The "closing festivities" each year at the Ducks are an attempt to fill that void. Veteran party instigator, Chris Farmer, led the way with help from Toni Nugent, Jim Keenan, Brian Doughtery, and Gonnella. I of course did my part.
Congratulations to the Toyota Women's Team and Masters Team for winning their respective Divisions.
TV coverage of the Ocean City Tournament will air on Wednesday August 30 at 3pm and Sunday September 3 at 9am both on Home Team Sports (HTS). Check it out if you can!
Suzy Waire accepts the Women's division trophy
Hunter Francis and the Toyota Masters' trophy
|The Lax tour will be taking a short hiatus, but will be back in full swing September 8-10 at the Great Chicago Shootout where the defending Champion Crease Monkey's will be taking the windy city by storm.
Just back off a week and a half road trip. I stopped by Finncrosse in Avalon on the Jersey Shore, run by my friend Kevin Finneran, star of the Philadelphia Wings. There was a great turnout of laxers from Eastern PA and Jersey, including a strong showing of my friends from Moorestown, NJ. Next stop was the Greenport Long Island Tourney. Saturday the deBeer squad went 3-0 with a thrilling overtime victory over the eventual winners RDT. Sunday was not as bright, with our squad falling in the semi-finals to RDT behind the strong goalie play of E-Lacrosse's Brian Carcaterra.
After a brief stop at my old stomping grounds in Boston, and an appearance at the Karl Denson's Tiny Universe show at the House of Blues, it was off to the Big Dog Camp in Kennebunkport, ME.
I was able to make it home to Canton, NY for a night where my mom and brother Pat still live and got a chance to stop by Danny Fay's (father of the notorious Ed and John Fay) legendary Hoot Owl where it is always "scary" and "you never know." DJ Tommy Ryan and his DJing partner, Wally, are already booked for the annual, "Scary Isn't It Christmas Party" on December 23 with the proceeds going to the Canton Boosters Club. Mark it on your calendar, because you are not going to want to miss this one.
The Lake Placid Tournament kicked off on Thursday where I was "guest coach" for the returning champion Toyota Women's Team. Lead by seasoned veteran Suzy Ware, Team Toyota went undefeated and came back from a 5-1 deficit to retain the DeBeer Women's championship Title with a 7-5 win. Stand-out performances were had by MVP netminder Trish Dabrowski, Kathleen O'Shea, Suzanne Eyler, Dana Cappello, Emily Franey, and Bonnie Conklin. The new attitude of Heather Kormanik was also apparent on and off the field with a pivotal goal in the championship game and an impressive consistency on the dance floor.
I myself had another strong performance on the dance floor this past weekend, but had a disappointing showing in the best body contest at Roomers on Thursday night. Congratulations to fellow Long Island/Team DeBeer member Nicky P. who took home the Best Body Trophy for 2000.
On the field, Long Island/Team DeBeer dominated throughout. Eliminating Mohawk LC, and the Knights on the way to the final showdown against the all-time winningest team in Lake Placid Tournament history. The championship saw a close first half with deBeer and the Shoe tied throughout. The second half saw a turn of the tides as the deBeer Team, predominantly from Long Island, pumped in a couple in a row to extend the lead to 4.
The deBeer team at Lake Placid!
The Finncrosse Camps are always fun!
Team Toyota Women dominated Lake Placid, again!
Team Under Armour at Vail!
Paul Gait at Lake Placid!
Jimmy Mule (pronounced Myoolay) at Lake Placid!
The deBeer team at Lake Placid!
| Our defensive unit led by Pat McCabe and goal-tender Jimmy Mule was virtually impenetrable. |
Brian Sersay of Syracuse, dominated the face-offs, while Brown University's Michael Moffitt took home the MVP honors for his strong offensive performance. The team sponsored by deBeer lacrosse, Lacrosse Unlimited, and Big Apple Computers, sported fresh new deBeer jerseys and shorts with matching Cascade Helmets. Most team members wore deBeer's new synthetic leather ICON Series Gloves and were impressed with their short break-in period, flexibility, and superior protection.
|Next stop on TR's Summer Lax Tour is Ocean City, which runs August 18-20. I am looking to help Toyota avenge last year's two goal loss to MR Ducks in the Grand Finale. Toyota will be going to battle with much of the same roster as it did when we won the Club Championship back in June. Featuring Paul Gait, Casey, Ryan, and Mikey "The Future" Powell, Tom Marechek, Kip Fulks, Mark Frye, Mark Goers, Matt Shearer, Brian Reese, Brian Dougherty, Erik Miller, and recent Maryland grad Casey Connor, and Delaware's John Ciliburto. I have a good feeling about this one. I will let you know what happens.|
Well, I am back in Baltimore for a few days between camps and tournaments. I will be heading to Kevin Finneran's Avalon, NJ day camp on Thursday August 3, to visit my friends from Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Just finishing up the last couple camps of the summer.
I was in Vail Colorado for the Fourth of July, playing in the Shootout for Team UnderArmour. UnderArmour had it's best showing in their 3 year Shootout history falling just short of the title. In our semi-final match-up against perennial powerhouse MAB Paints, we scored with 23 second remaining to tie the game at 10-10. We were able to win the face-off and get a couple quick point blank shots on MAB's All Tournament goalie, Billy Hunter, before finding the back of the net with no time on the clock.
In the championship game against defending champs, Lax World, we started out slow and fell behind by 6 or 7 before rallying the troops and making a game of it in the second half. Erik Miller, goalie for Team Toyota during the spring, shut the door on Lax World allowing only 2 goals in the second half enabling us to make it a 13-12 game. But we simply ran out of time. Other Toyota members on the UnderArmour squad included Kip Fulks, Matt Shearer, Brian Reese, and Casey Powell.
Congrats to Dan Pratt, Casey, and Kip for making the All Tournament Team. Also of note was the elite division debut of Mikey "The Future" Powell (a.k.a. Futch) who progressed steadily through out the tournament. Despite being an attackman who was playing midfield, The Future lived up to his name in the semi-final and final games, making it happen in crunch time. Also of note was Syracuse star and deBeer lacrosse summer tech representative, Mike Springer, who won the fastest shot contest with a 107 mph rip using a Shockwave head and new Triax shaft.
Both myself and fellow deBeer representative Brian O'Keefe visited the Bump and Grind Lax Tourny on July 23 in Marlton, NJ. Playing for ISSI Gold, a team made up of several Division III National Champion Middleburry Panthers including Defenseman of the Year Jed Raymond, we advanced to the finals against Philadelphia based MAB/Competitive Edge.
Despite Brian O'Keefe's offensive heroics (9 goals in 2 games including the game tying rocket with little time remaining in regulation) we fell in sudden death to the team led by Philadelphia Wings star, Jake Bergey.
I will attempt to reverse my recent misfortune at the following tournaments:
As always I have been balancing my lacrosse with my summer concert series. TR's Summer Dance Party has recently hit Phish in Columbus, OH; Dave Mathews at RFK, The Tragically Hip at the 9:30 Club in DC, and Bob Dylan with Phil Lesh and Friends at Merriweather Post. I would have to say that Phish has been taking their shows to a new level...peaking out on the TR Dance-O-Meter at 9 (despite the sorrowed absense of our spiritual leader Kelly L). Catch you on the road! - TR