Friday, August 17, 2012

Team of Rivals Part 1

Brad McClain (right) covering Brad Kotz in the 84 Hopkins championship win 
John DeTommaso (left) covering Tim Nelson in the 83 Syracuse championship win
Fred Opie # 34 (left) scoring on Larry Quinn in the 85 Hopkins championship win
In her book Team of Rivals, Harvard Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin argues that Abraham Lincoln became one of the greatest U. S. presidents because he made his political rivals members of this cabinet and his closet advisors. I didn’t have as much wisdom and foresight as Lincoln but the same scenario happened when I joined the Long Island Hofstra lacrosse club in 1987. I became teammates with Hopkins rivals John DeTommaso “Deto,” Larry Quinn, and Brad McClain. Deto played at Farmingdale High School on the Long Island which continues produce great players year after year. At the time he had enrolled in Hofstra’s master of education program. Keep in mind I just lost two national championships in a row to John Hopkins when I played at Syracuse in 1984 and 1985 and now I am playing next to these arch rivals! We felt each other out at the first practice of the season and it was awkward to say the least. But slowly we gained confidence and mutual respect for each other and I still consider these guys friends. I went from not earning All-American honors at Syracuse to making the US national team in 1990. How do you explain that phenomenal improvement in ones game? As I will share in this series, playing with Hopkins rivals for several years made me a much better player than I was at Syracuse. 

Author Interview, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: [Listen 20 min 7 sec]

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