The World Behind the Whistle - An Introduction
Welcome to the world of Junior College Lacrosse. For many of you readers who are unfamiliar with Junior College, let me give you a brief overview. Junior College (JUCO) lacrosse is for some players their only option right out of high school. JUCO can be the saving grace for some players. It represents a chance for some high school laxers to get their grades up, in hopes of transferring to a 4 year school. Because most JUCO schools are 2 year schools, the student athletes are encouraged to really work hard in order to boost their performances both on and off the field. My column here at alllacrosseamerica.com is an insight into the world of JUCO and an insight into the team that I coach, Broome Community College. I plan on giving you readers a behind the scene type of look into what typically goes on in the world of collegiate lacrosse. Starting from our first meeting in the fall until the last goal is scored, I will give you a no holds barred insight into the season. I hope you are prepared to strap up the helmet and get the mouthpiece in, we are looking forward to a wild journey.
First let me tell you a little about myself. I think like all college coaches, especially the ones at the JUCO level, I am a lacrosse junkie. I played in college, both at Broome Community College (when it was a club team), and at the University at Stony Brook. I loved the college experience, and playing for coach Espey at Stony Brook is one of the main reasons that I decided to take a shot at coaching. Because I coach at a JUCO school, and it is not a full time position, I also work a full time job. During the season, it can be a little hectic, but somehow, I survive. In addition, in the summer, I am a coach at the All American Lacrosse Camp, at Mcdaniels College (formerly the College of Western Maryland). I also help organize and play for the Goodfellas Lacrosse Club, in Binghamton NY, and I play on the BC Lacrosse club masters team in Lake Placid. That being said, I can now introduce you to my team, or as I refer to it, the program.
2003 will mark the sixth year that Broome Community College has fielded a varsity program in mens� lacrosse. It will mark my fifth season as the head coach. While the ride has been a little bumpy, we have turned the corner I believe and have made some serious strides as a program. We have always won more then we lost, and last year we made the regional playoffs for the first time. The college is located in Binghamton, NY (about and hour directly south of Syracuse). We play in the NJCAA Region III. It is a ultra competitive region, featuring traditional powerhouses Herkimer CC, Monroe CC, Onondaga CC, and Alfred State CC. We have some pretty talented teams in our region, and some outstanding coaches. Our region has produced several players that have gone one to achieve stardom at some big time schools, such as Syracuse, Hofstra, Hobart, Gerogetown, Ithaca and Nazareth to name a few. With that being said, it is often that we as coaches at the JUCO level, have to help guide our players into programs that are right for them as both a player and as a student. Our job as a coach is part magician, part strategist, part fund-raiser, part guidance counselor and most of all part father figure.
My next article will detail our first preseason meeting as a team. Please join me in my adventure, I promise to do my best at keeping you all entertained.