Island Sparky: Hawaii Lacrosse 2K4

By Darla Burns

For my Dad

Two things would be key in an airport to make a layover more bearable: a tanning salon and gym. Why hasn't anyone jumped on this train? This, along with the fact that Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island were among the things I pondered while boarding my final flight to Oahu. Well it's here, Hawaii Lacrosse 2004. This final flight had me smiling, not that I was that close to my destination. I was locked in for eight hours and had hopefully bought enough magazines to kill the time. This past year has been a whirlwind and the few weekend trips I have taken have been just that, long weekends that are too short to enjoy. With slim to no paid vacations left, I decided to make this one count. Unfortunately Maxim, FHM and Page Six still haven't called me back with offers to freelance for them, so the lacrosse world is stuck reading yet another article about lacrosse, but not really, from yet another exotic locale.

John Grant, surfing. And Darla goes John Grant surfing.

…And scene. The co-ed Crease Monkeys and a few other teams are 2 days ahead of me so I am jumping in to the mix full throttle, expecting just about anything. Unfortunately we had some meetings all week for my real life job and duty called until this morning. As I write you, I am taking turns brushing up on the relationships of Tinsel Town and FYI, it looks as though Spears and Federline did it. Apparently they honeymooned in Fiji, but I'm hoping for a spotting in Maui.

As I arrive to the hotel, I am just in time for Matty Mazaheri's second birthday, but too late to enjoy any cake that has noticeably found its way to anywhere but his mouth. We rallied the groups together and hit Compadre's for the kickoff. I did what I do best and went A.W.O.L. after yapping away with Kevin Travis and honorary monkey rookie, Jennifer, the girlfriend from Long Island, and new favorite friend of mine. I was still on East Coast time and even for me, I had to cash in early. The next day was a lot of fun playing and unfortunately we ended up losing by a goal in the final round to Long Island Jesters. Again, I think the age bracket should be introduced here! However, our brothers, Crease Monkeys, won the Elite round, and our fathers won the Masters.

Maui Hold 'em

Halloween was scary in the sense that some people should not have been wearing half the things they were, but it was above all the funniest night. Kevin Finneran and his crack made an appearance as a plumber, John Fay was The Man in the Yellow Hat, and Darah Ross was THE Crease Monkey. While cutting rugs, Fay actually slipped on one of Darah's bananas and fell hard. And you thought that only happened in the movies.


Maui beckoned and we answered. The islands' lush mountains (the Hawaiians refer to them as volcanoes) and huge ripe coconuts weren't as big as the growth on my lip due to torturous sun exposure. Junior made it clear to Monkeys and family vacationers alike that it was probably contagious. It was so gi-normous that I had to purchase a second stand-by seat for the blister. We arrived in Maui in forty-five minutes flat, early enough for the 11-2 prime tanning hours, so I hit the pool a.s.a.p. The mirror image of Hef's grotto prompted a ray of blush over my face as well as a double coax of SPF 178 on my lower left lip. One by one, the Monkeys arrived and after playing "who can hold their breath the longest", Marco Polo, and categories, we rallied an executive board to meet at Cool Cat Café to set up our 1st ever Maui Monkey Itinerary. Enter Sue Korcek. Sue proceeded to perform her duties as secretary and I was a creative advisor to the council. Word on the streets was there was going to be a Monkey Texas Hold 'Em Tournament, so for those green to this fastest growing trend sweeping the nation, we performed a mock tournament. We used pumpkin seeds as chips at the restaurant and I purchased hula cards at the local ABC store, the Rite Aid of the mainland. Gavin Prout deemed it necessary to inform me that I couldn't eat the seeds for obvious reasons. I felt insulted that he spoke directly to me and not to anyone else until I realized that right before I went all in on a Jack low, I ate two. Gavin should have given me a lesson on playing Hold 'em. One thing I have realized, DO NOT RELY ON THE FLOP! I played again on the final night. $10 buy in. Wanna know how fast you can lose ten dollars? Moving on…

TR, Sparky, Court, Mere and Caley

Guess who has a Moose Migillicutty's? That's right, sister, Maui baby! We met up at the Cool Cat Café to listen to some live acoustic music by a one-man band which, not only could sing, but just like me, added some wit to his performance, you know- for the kids. After we chilled out and listened to the Tenatious D knock off, we went to Moose Migillicutty's and got to know our group of new rookies. Chris Passivia and Kevin Leveille were my personal favorites. I liked Leveille a little more for the obvious fact that Chris likes to debate anything you are against, and Leveille just lets me talk and pretends I make sense. We danced the night away and made nice with the bartenders. We marked our territory by claiming the stripper pole in the middle of the dance floor.

On the Sue Agenda, the next day was dedicated to Deep Sea fishing. Just an FYI to those who haven't been: If you want to go on the boat with everyone, the ride, food and drink are $40. To actually fish, it is an additional $50. Smart fellas like TR decided to just hang out as opposed to me who barely touched the rod (all of you sick people out there, this is no Warrior advertisement, so that comment is purely literal, and not intended to have another meaning). We listened to music, swam, and Emily Franey even got seasick. It was a productive day. Big ups to Franey who got right back in the game, and didn't miss a beat. Later that evening, we dined at The Kobe Steakhouse (if you weren't with us in Hawaii, you can visit a Kobe in your town to get the full effect. I'm sure it will be just as memorable.) for sushi and fun. Japanese Steakhouses are great for kids as Harry's were in awe. Matty and Harry Jr. watched in sheer delight as our performer/chef chopped vegetables and lightly seasoned food to their liking. After, we went back to Moose's to continue the fun. Court and I did our thing on the dance floor and tried to look good in the process. Not so good.

The next day Court, Johnny Fay, Darah, Franey, Junior, Gavin, lil Sturgis, Caley, Sue and I went to the beautiful beach. Our calendar shoot is in the making and will hit all newsstands next week. Since we left our lacrosse sticks in our closets for the rest of the trip, I made it a point to work out almost everyday, and today's choice was a run. I took a tour of beautiful Maui and combed the beach, and it really was breathtaking. As I think about how beautiful it is to be out here, I feel something mushy on my feet. I was instantly brought back to reality when I noticed that dogs, too, are a natural habitat in Hawaii. That's right, I stepped in doggy doo. I was really irritated. After soaking my foot in alcohol, and a dash of love, we settled in and went to Cooler's for dinner, because I was really pooped (no pun intended) from the day's events. Back at the boys' lodging, we started a game of Shoulders and ended up having to make rules along the way. I believe it was Passivia who had the idea to make a rule stating whoever gets 16 has to instead say, "Darla shut up!" After about fifteen relays of "Darla shut up" sixteen finally rested on my shoulders and I had to actually say, "Darla shut up!" I hated that rule, but everyone loved it and clapped when I said it. And as always, I am glad to make everyone laugh it up at my expense.

For the third night in a row, we escaped to our home away from home, MaGerk's. Just kidding, we went to Moose's again to continue the streak. Just checking to see if you were still listening. After a while we embarked back to what you would call our hotel rooms, but I called the set of the Golden Girls , Sturgis and I arm in arm with a very lucky Gavin Prout. By the by, lesson #6, take the time to hang with a canuck, if it can't be Gav or John G. Jr., then any LaBatt's lover will suffice. They are all the rage. As we trekked home, a strange older man claiming to be the mayor of Maui enticed us, and the "rest of the bar" as his displeased neighbor stated, to venture to his place for a nightcap. The nightcap for me turned in to a taxi ride across town at 4 in the morning for another round of Hold 'Em, a $20 buy in. How'd I do, you ask? I couldn't even afford to pay for my cab ride home. But it sure sounded like a good idea at the time. However, I made some fun friends and ended up having one of the best nights there.

Because the night before had put such a beating on me, I slept until about noon. In Hawaii terms, that's pretty much half the day. Many of the early birds took it easy last night to make sure they did the road to Hana bike tour. I decided against it because Baltimore sunrises are probably just as good, and luckily we get a nice fresh smell of molasses to boot, courtesy of the Domino Sugar Factory. After I finally rose, I hung at the pool for a bit to wait for the troops. We rallied up and headed to the wonderful Luau we had been anticipating all week. With a ROY G BIV spread of colored drinks, I opted for the blue because it reminds me of Passivia's eyes, and Court chose pink, and those that know her, know why. Take a look at her room by the way, it looks like some one vomited pepto in that piece. I, along with Caley, TR, LeVeille, and co. got on stage to learn how to hula with the best of them. My performance was choppy, however Leveille's was questionably good with his hips swinging in great form followed by the flow of his ever-so-graceful hand movements. Afterwards, we bee-lined it for Moose's where I introduced for the third year in a row, the Ray Lewis dance. T.O. if you're reading this (funny on so many levels), I want you to know I am not happy with your public display of mockery of the Godfather of Defense, the soul of the Ravens, Ray Lewis. This will not happen again. I will protect this house. Anyway… right before I unveiled the dance, I bit it on the steps going up to Moose's and luckily we were able to get it on camera. Again, everyone laughed and had a great time at my expense. I ended the night by making some late night crank calls, as I always do, eating half a pizza and putting on my Under Armour wristbands.

Kevin and TR

Boohoooooo! The unanticipated last night of Hawaii was here. Kev and I bonded by spending the day souvenir shopping and soaked in the realities that lie at home i.e. job(s). When we all got everything in order, we arranged a final hotel party hosted by Gavin, Junior, Passivia, and LeVeille. After Hold Em, we started a circle of death game with cards which went over well with the crowd. Jeff Sonke (pronounced Sonkey, aka Sonke Kong), Jen, Travis, Tierney and the rest of our team joined finally, however, better late than never. It was a good time had by all, and Maui was soon a memory. The cast of characters is too long to list, but thanks to you, I had the time of my life. I'll see some of you next time in Philly for the Coach's Convention. Until then…


Photos by Sparky, John Strohsacker, Andy Sharp and Groovy Gorilla

Thousands of Lax Photos for sale!


2004 Ocean City Tournament
2004 Final Four
2004 Lacrosse Fashion Extravaganza
Back In Philly - 2004 Lacrosse Coaches Convention
Sparky in Hawaii
Sparky in Ocean City
Sparky's Final Four
Sparky Storms into Jersey
Sparky @ Mardi Gras
Sparky in Philly