I'm starting my World Games Journal early because we're on a trip out to Beaverton, Oregon to visit the Nike World Headquarters, because Nike is sponsoring our team this year. While out here, we will have two practices a day as well as having tons of meetings and we will finish off with an exhibition game against a Portland lacrosse club.
We are only traveling with 19 players as a few guys could not make the trip and one missed the flight. Unfortunately, it happens to us it seems more than others.
We arrived and were taken to the Nike employee store, which is AMAZING! Unfortunately because our flight was late, we didn't get much time in the store, but long enough to buy some stuff at a ridiculously low employee prices!
We had a short "walk-through" practice this afternoon and like 3 meetings. We received our schedule for the rest of the time we're here. It's outrageous! Practice, meeting, meeting, tour, meeting, practice, meeting, dinner reception, and that's just DAY 1!!!!
June 28, 2006
We've had such a busy schedule. I'm catching up on writing during the flight back to Delaware. This has been an amazing trip. We've been treated like royalty from the moment we arrived in Oregon. There was a huge banner at the entrance saying "Welcome Iroquois Nationals". The apparel we were given is top notch and they even designed training shoes and cleats with our flag and logo on them. It appears that this will be a HUGE undertaking for Nike as well as a great opportunity for the Iroquois Nationals.
We played against the Portland team Tuesday afternoon; however it wasn't just your average exhibition game. Nike's big year-end meeting was on Tuesday. Following the meeting, the employees were invited out to the Reynaldo soccer complex to watch our game. The meeting was highlighted by members of the Iroquois Board of Directors and Iroquois player Gewas Schindler presenting the CEO of Nike with special gifts from the Iroquois Nationals. It was a pretty cool thing to witness. Prior to the presentation they showed a highlight film of our team.
The game went well for us, as we won 15-9. As I said earlier, we traveled with 19 players, 3 of which were goalies. This put a lot of pressure on us to make sure we controlled the tempo of the game and maintained ball control. We managed to do this for the most part. Brett Bucktooth, Neal Powless, Gewas Schindler, Delby Powless and Roger Vyse all had good games as they were able to find the net. I can't think of who else put goals in, but those guys for sure had a goal or more. I think I finished with 2 assists. I had 2 chances to score, but hit the goalie with one, and the other went high! So frustrating!!!
Well, that's it for now. We have a practice on June 8/9 up in Syracuse. We will be playing games against a Utica club team and a team of Syracuse area all stars.
July 11, 2006
Well, I'm riding the train up to Syracuse where I will meet up with my brother Dan. From there, we'll be heading on to London, Ontario for The Games!! I can't believe we're 2 days away from the opening ceremony.
So many thoughts are going through my head as I stare out the window…..How will we do? Who will score the first goal for our team? Who will win the first face-off? Why is it so cold on this train? What will be the score against England? How will I play? What will the weather be like? How deep is the Hudson River? How will my brothers play? Was that really a midget pushing a baby in a stroller? It's a constant battle of thoughts running in and out of my mind. I've received calls from friends during this trip wishing me and our team luck. It's an amazing feeling…..representing the Iroquois Nationals for my FIFTH World Championship! I can hardly believe it's already been that long!
This past weekend we played 2 games, we finished 1-1 on the weekend. We were still shorthanded for the games with at least 4 or 5 guys that are on the roster not in attendance. Unfortunately for our team we run into a situation where guys cannot get off of work or have other obligations- Brett Bucktooth had a MLL game in Boston so he didn't make it. In 1998 we didn't have our entire team together until like halftime of the first game. I don't know if any other team faces this type of challenge, but it definitely is a tough situation.
I had to go grab some food from the "Café Car". Carol hooked me up with a delightful Italian Ciabatta sandwich cooked fresh in a dirty microwave! Yum! Talk about a gourmet meal. Only thing better would have been if they had "Hot Pockets" on the menu!! Thank God for Doritos!!
The first game we played the team from Utica and we started off a little slow as it took guys time to get used to each other again. However we fought hard in the second period and made some adjustments and went into halftime with a lead. The second half saw more of the same and we built a cushion of about 4 goals. The final score was something like 13-8 I think. One of the newest additions to the team Kent Squires-Hill showed off some excellent stick skills and I'm sure led the team with 3 or 4 goals. Neal, Gewas, Delby, J.D. Jones and my brother Dan all added to the scoring as well.
On Sunday we didn't have the same success and were beaten by the Syracuse area all star team. Although we lost, we saw some promising lacrosse from our team and I know we weren't all that disappointed with the result. We finished the game strong and were scoring goals late into the game, which is all positive. We were still without a few guys, so that didn't help matters either.
I'll end for today with this thought in mind- We have a solid group of players that I feel are hungry for a medal. Only time will tell as to how we perform in London, Ontario. I feel good about this team. It's a great mixture of guys, both on and off the field. I'm excited about our chances!