Monday, October 26, 2015

Custom Sticks and Cuse Lacrosse Culture

That's Tim Nelson's 1983 season custom head with a classic Yorktown, most likely little brother Tom strung, Brine Superlight II with wide strong  traditional pocket.
Organized lacrosse head dying sessions using a white plastic head, Rit fabric dye, and downing dozens of hot Buffalo chicken wings in the process represented a part of lacrosse experience in the 1980s. There was definitely an unspoken competition over both who could eat the most wings and who could come up with the most aesthetic multi-colored design with your name, number, and somehow fit it all fit on a small surface. A Syracuse 80% of the team loved traditional pockets. The difference was over the size of the holes. Yorktown guys like big holes maybe 5 and West Genee players always used small holes say 8 or more. The island guys at SU, and we didn’t have a lot in those days, were right in the middle. Upstate players used Brine superlight II; about four of us however used STX. 

I grew up on Army lacrosse and coach Dick Edell. As an attackman in high school I patterned a lot of my game and gear after All American attackmen Frank Giordano (Port Washington, Army), Greg Tarbell (LaFayette, Cobleskill, Syracuse) and Mike O’Neill (Massapequa, Hopkins) In fact I wore # 7 after seeing both Tarbell and O’Neill play at West Point. I purchased a STX Barney with a traditional pocket and the same funky gold shaft that O’Neill used in game I saw at the point. I often wondered how many young players emulated my gear and game as they watched me play.

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