Due to some technical difficulties I wasn’t able to post last week and for that I am deeply sorry. Did you miss me? As promised, I did an interview with Rob Mills, President of West Virginia’s lacrosse team and a personal friend of mine. We weren’t able to secure an altar or stained glass like our friend the Church Lady but we made due with what we had.
If you have not heard, West Virginia relieved their head coach of his position last week, something that seems to be a trend recently with MCLA teams. Last season Colorado did the same after what they would consider a less than satisfactory first half of their season. While any coaching change can have a huge impact on a program, be it positive or negative, many people would argue that it might hurt the team to make such a drastic change in the midst of the season like the Buffs did. Rob delves into why the Mountaineers made the move only 3 games into the season as well as the responsibilities of being President entail. Besides the scheduling and apparel aspects, Rob is also in charge of getting the team to participate in some really good volunteer work in the community. Hopefully this will inspire some of you who are considering taking the helm of your team’s board in the future.
I’m done talking. Go on with the chlorophyll.
Mike Shagi: When did you become President of the team and what’s the most difficult part of your job?
Rob Mills: I became the team president at the end of last season. The most difficult part was obviously finding a sleek short design that incorporated everyone’s interest on the team and bring some style points to the club. Organizing practice time through the university is also a challenge.
MS: I know you guys do a lot of volunteer work throughout the year, is there a requirement to meet a minimum amount of service hours for being part of the Club Sports Department? What are some volunteer activities you’ve participated in since your freshman year at West Virginia?
RM: The club sports department requires some community service hours for all clubs to meet. However, community service greatly impacts the amount of money you receive from the club sports budget. We have done 2 lacrosse clinics down in Charleston WV which is the state’s capital. This year we participated in the Club sports canned food drive and won with a donation of 836 cans. We also make monthly visits to the local children’s hospital.
MS: How excited do the kids at the children’s hospital get when the team makes a visit? What’s the best part about volunteering there?
RM: The kid’s faces light up when we come to visit them in the hospital. It’s great to also see the parent’s reaction when we visit, they are just as excited as their kids. The best part about volunteering there is obviously signing autographs for the kids but also reassuring these kids that others want them to get better.
MS: Just this year West Virginia left the CCLA and moved to the SELC, what brought about the conference change?
RM: The conference change to the SELC was partially due to weather. Playing games in buffalo and Indiana when its 30 degrees cant really compare to 80-degree weather down in Atlanta and the Carolinas. The decision was mainly made by our previous coach.
MS: Last semester you told me that you boys got a section of seats and a police escort into the arena for one of WVU’s men’s basketball games, did you cut a deal with Bob Huggins?
RM: Unfortunately no deal was made with Huggins. However, because of community service hours, good behavior, and knowing the right people we were able to watch the game as a team.
MS: As of this week your team underwent a coaching change. What were the main reasons for this and how do you see it benefiting the team moving forward?
RM: The main reason was there was no team involvement. All decisions were made by the coach and what he said was final. With this coaching change, the team will have its say on what apparel to order, how the money will be spent, and what games will be scheduled.
MS: What’s your current stick set-up?
RM: Krypto Pro Diamond inverted Crank shaft (bent at the bottom). A Brine Edge dyed yellow with 2 shooters across the top and a nylon. It has quite the bag.
I appreciate Rob always being available to send me pictures of gear and to take some time to do this interview, thanks bro.
I think the best thing to take from this is that it’s important to help out in the community, especially if your school is in an area like Bloomington or Morgantown where many people aren’t familiar with the game. It’s important for lacrosse as a whole, not just the MCLA. With all the negative national media coverage the sport gets (the whole Duke mess and more recently the events that transpired at Sacred Heart) it’s important for people outside of the lacrosse world to see the quality kids that play this sport. I remembered the first time Rob told me that they go to the children’s hospital and I thought that was awesome. Besides making those kids’ day, they’re also helping the families who are going through this with their kids. I didn’t even think about that before Rob mentioned it in the interview. We here at Lacrosse All-stars are always trying to GTG, Grow The Game. Maybe the people in Morgantown will forget that the guys who helped out that day were lacrosse players. But there is an equal chance that someone really appreciated them helping out at their antique fair. Maybe that person will be inclined to go to one of the Mountaineers’ next home games. Maybe they’ll notice that a D1 game is on tv this weekend. Maybe they’ll fall in love with the excitement that is Championship Weekend. Maybe that person puts a stick in their son or daughter’s hands. That’s growing the game. Your team might not be the best team in the MCLA, in your conference, or even in your state. But if you’re going out and helping the people in the surrounding community they’ll respect what you did for them and I guarantee that they’ll respect and appreciate that not only do you pay out of pocket while in college to play the sport you love, you still make time to help make things easier for them. It’s beyond making your team look good; you’re helping the entire lacrosse community look good. Growing positive images of lacrosse players. Growing a fan base in your city. Growing the game.
A final note about the interview, gotta love the little kids asking for autographs.
I’m sure many of you have started your seasons already unless you’re a high school lad in the North East, so I’ll assume you’ve got your wand all set. But if you’re in the market for a new twig, I tried out a new shaft this season and thought I would pass on my thoughts. SHAFT.
For the past two seasons I’ve been using the Brine Swizzle, which has been great to me. I’ve gotten over the crazy color/design handle phase of my life. This is not to say that I won’t go back. I’m still rocking the dyed head. But this season I decided to be an adult and to go out and purchase a silver one. I went with the Nike Vandal.
I know Nike is run by STX, but I was still pretty skeptical about buying it. Probably because I don’t really like STX shafts either. But I digress. This is easily one of the best handles I’ve ever used. It’s just as light as the Swizzle and it kind of has a rough finish on it that has a pretty nice grip; something you might like if you get O.C.D. on your tape jobs. Really what sold me on it was that it was only $65. Not a bad deal if you ask me, as I have been dropping over $100 every season since I was a senior in high school. It is just as lightweight as the other sticks in their line and it was substantially less money. The only difference is that the Sprint might be a little bit stronger, but I don’t usually break sticks that often. So whether you break a ton of sticks or not, go check it out and save yourself some money.
Not going to get too in depth because Coach and Helfrich already covered it. But it was a lot of fun. The parents probably enjoyed it more than we did. It was great to see the coaches get on the field with us and a few people decided to pull out some saucy maneuvers. Besides getting our first win and playing some old fashioned Canadian, the highlight of my weekend was a surprise visit from my family. I really had no idea they were coming. A lot of that was probably because they didn’t tell my brother, who thought he was going along for the ride to pick my grandma up at the airport. Trefzger had the pleasure of trying to tell Redish and our roommate R.C. via text message that they had to try to trick me into eating my dinner really fast before my family went back to the hotel, which would have ruined the surprise. But they got it done and my family was sitting on the porch waiting for me.
To be honest with you Diane, I’m surprised. This was only the second game they’ve made it out to since I’ve been here. Obviously it’s kind of a hike from Connecticut but luckily my brother’s season hasn’t started yet and they made it out to B-TOWN. Both games they’ve been to were against Ball State. Both games had some sort of terrible weather; freshman year it was brutally cold and this year there was torrential down pour. Both games I’ve played terribly. I guess it’s because I’m not used to them being at games anymore so I have that in the back of my head to make a play, but that’s really not a good excuse. So I thank them for the surprise, putting up with the terrible weather, and putting up with another bad performance by me.
That was a lot of reading. I missed last week so I had to bring the rain with this post. It’s Wednesday and as always here’s a song to get you through the rest of the week. And since I’m such a nice guy, I’ll give you two to make up for not having one last week.
A favorite in our household. We Young- Mickey Factz ft. Nakim
Legit remix of No Hands. Lights!- Potomac Boys Club ft. Waka Flocka, Wale, and Ellie Goulding
I’m over the Charlie Sheen circus. Nice teeth chief. #losing #tigermouth
Yea or Nea on these black Gonzaga hoops jerseys?
The Knicks are absolutely killing it
Connor Wilson is dominating the helmet game
Do you like free stuff? Help 412 reach 5000 fans on facebook. He’s giving away the goods.
In case you missed the Rangers spank the Flyers on Sunday, here is Artem Anisimov undressing Sergei Bobrovsky
Become a fan of IU Lax
Do you have something you think I should be talking about? Want pictures of your pieces of flair shown on the site? Do you have some audible chocolate I don’t know about? Tweet me the deets bro.
I’m taking another weeklong hiatus, but I’ll be back soon. Goodnight Canada.