Editor’s Note: Dan Helfrich posts.
For the next four weeks I will document 4 meaningful years of my life; freshman through senior year of MCLA lacrosse. It is crazy to look back on freshman year and realize how much this program has changed. While we aren’t necessarily competing for a National Championship just yet, we certainly have made/are making the strides to get there. Here we go, freshman year:
Coming to IU, I had no idea what to expect. I visited the campus one time my senior year of high school. I came with a few friends and stayed with a friend that went to IU and he gave me a tour of the school. Once I got accepted and knew I had a shot at the Kelley School of Business, I was sold. I was going to IU. Notice I didn’t once mention lacrosse in that explanation. I knew they had a club team, but I knew absolutely nothing about it.
Since they had a team, I brought my gear just in case it was actually something I wanted to pursue. It turns out current team president Will McClain was my next door neighbor in McNutt Dejoya 300. We found out when the call out meeting for the team was and showed up. We listened to a lot of talking from the board about what lacrosse was at IU and what the requirements were, and then they introduced Coach Matt Karweck.
Coach Karweck explained his background a bit. It included: 4 years of Notre Dame lacrosse, coaching lacrosse overseas in England, and playing for the Chicago Machine in the MLL. At that point I was sold for my 4 years. A professional lacrosse player running the team? Sign me up. Apparently we had record numbers for the tryout freshman year with a lot of states represented. Long story short, I made the team and we were off and practicing.
Aside from only being able to practice 3 days a week, it wasn’t that much different from high school. The only difference was the talent level was noticeably better. It wasn’t that big of a shock to me how good the kids were, but the upperclassmen kept talking about how good the team was going to be this year from last. Either way, being on the team was an unbelievable way to make friends at college. Feeling part of a group right away made the transition easier, as we all shared a common passion.
When the season came around, things got very interesting. First item at hand is our uniforms. As you can see from the head picture, not very aesthetically pleasing. They were like practice football jerseys, only way too short in the body and way too long in the arms. And, see the number on our shorts? me neither. That’s because the number was put on the right hip where no one can see it. Awesome, fantastic placement. I used to think my high school jerseys were bad:
100% better than the IU unis. I know, I’m wearing ankle socks in the first picture, trust me that’s not why the uniforms look bad. It was a phase ok? A phase. Hey, you know what? Everyone was wearing Nike midcalves. Dare to be different. I have since changed my ways to nike midcalves. After you’re different and realize that your different is actually really stupid, it’s ok to go back. Either way, we didn’t look good on the field.
The bright part of freshman year is it was the only time we have ever been ranked at IU while I have been here. We beat Miami of Ohio and Tennessee the first weekend, then went on to beat Illinois on a snow covered field. The next Monday, CollegeLAX ranked us #22 in the country. We were all super excited, but then Spring Break happened. The season came to an abrupt turn with a lot of freshman seeing minutes because some of the upperclassmen either became sick, unmotivated, or any other excuse you can think of. It was fine. I got some decent playing time at the end. We didn’t end up competing in the CCLA tournament that year because the team couldn’t afford to go the year before and was therefore punished by the CCLA. Coach Karweck helped us all improve our sticks and knowledge of the game, and we were heading into the next year with a good idea of what we wanted to accomplish. Sophomore year includes a change in conferences, new players, a similar ending.
Thoughts On The Weekend
We on LRA have already given the jist on what happened this weekend. I won’t explain the games much, but just a few reactions I had to them. So we played #14 Virginia Tech the first game of the season. Coach Tumbas insisted this was the best team any of us will have faced since being here. We went into the game with some injured kids on the brink of return, so already we traveled to Blacksburg a little short on depth. The score was 11-7 going into the 4th quarter. For the first game of the season, with just as many freshman as upperclassmen playing, to be down by 4 to the #14 team in the country going into the fourth, I’d say we did fairly well for ourselves. It wasn’t until a bunch of man downs that they started pouring it in on us. Do moral victories count? Not really. But when it’s the first game of the season against a great team, I think it does. We have the talent. We just need to figure out what works best for us. Last year we lost to Illinois by 4 in the regular season. Come playoff time, one post came between us and overtime. They won by 1. Wake was an interesting game, it doesn’t look good on our resume at all. My hope is that teams look at that and immediately write us off. Hopefully they come out sluggish and realize we aren’t the team they thought we were. Basically, what I’m saying is there is a lot of season left, we are figuring ourselves out and made huge strides last weekend. The future is bright.
You want real television? A&E is the best channel on tv.
Intervention, Heavy, First 48, Beyond Scared Straight, Storage Wars. Such an Allstar line up. The shows those 2 recommended have no substance, it’s always the same thing. They are about as interesting to watch as 4 celtics players playing in the allstar game…together…at the same time.
But A&E, oh my. Such quality, such grace. Almost every night after practice at 1 am I find myself engulfed in superb television until I realize it’s 4 am and I should probably get to sleep. Everyone likes Intervention, but Heavy is my new favorite. The best part about it is the people on there actually lose weight. It’s sort of like Made on MTV, except that the people actually change into what they want to be. Made is great. “I want to be a football player”. Alright, let’s see. You’re 5’6″, 110 pounds, you’re slow, awkward, unathletic, no one likes you, and you’re weak. Great, we’ll practice for 30 days and you’ll be a superstar, ready for varsity. Such a joke. One of the many reasons I don’t like MTV (Jersey Shore is not one of those reasons).
Anyways, Heavy is awesome because these obese people train for 6 months and actually push themselves to lose absurd amounts of weight. Part of me likes it because I am excited for the people when they lose the weight, the other part is just happy I’m not obese. Take a look into all the shows I listed, you’ll be glad you did. Make sure you watch the Ricky Wayne episode of Heavy. It’s a true diamond.
A&E Shows Ranking: phat.
Can’t get enough Kaskade. Glenbrook North grad.
Have a rad Thursday.
Joakim Noah is back. Despite their loss to the Raptors, NBA Championship here we come.
Don’t google image “beginning”. Frightening images apppear.
Twitter is fun.
Facebook is fun.