Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Teammate Is Many Different Things Part 2

Paul Schomoler in the white T shirt

The lacrosse world is still rather small for many of us and more than likely many share the same ache I have because of the loss of a family member like Cornell and U. S. National Team alum Paul Schomoler.  I view the people I've played with and now coach as extended family.  And like family, there are some cousins we see more than others and some we enjoy spending time with more than others.  Paul like is brother John, was one of those cousins you enjoyed spending time with. They were gregarious and fun loving people who loved life. And they were the kind of teammates during practice one needs early in the season here in the north east region when the weather is still freezing cold and often wet. Teammates like John and Paul make tough times easier to endure.  I said it before but it bears repeating now, life is about relationships. 

Helping Boys Develop Friendships: [Listen 17 min: 51 sec]

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Teammate Is Many Different Things Part 1

John Schomoler # 21
This 1990 team including something like 5 Cornell alum. Paul Schomoler is hiding out in the back right of this photo
I really went through a tough time this morning thinking about what Paul Schomoler, his family, and friends have been through from his brother John's passing less than a year ago and now how those left behind are feeling with the sudden news that Paul had brain cancer last month and he died last Friday. You cannot prepare for such unexpected and sad news. My  condolences to Paul Schomoler's family and the teammates and the players that he had coached who like me are grieving his lost. I played on teams with both John and Paul so this lost has hit me particularly hard. A teammate (and a coach) is never easy to lose and they are many different things in your life at different times: a friend and a competitor, a hug and high five, a rival then a mentor, a fellow traveler and a compass.

Helping Boys Develop Friendships: [Listen 17 min: 51 sec]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

U.S. National Team Alum Paul Schimoler's Passing and Legacy

Fred Opie,  Sal Lacossio, and Paul Schimoler (far right) at Homewood Field  Hopkins U, Baltimore 1990

I wanted to share this obituary I received this morning on the passing of one of my teammates. I played on the 1990 U. S. National Team with Paul Schimoler and with his brother John at Syracuse University. John passed last summer. PAUL SCHIMOLER (Essex)  -  Paul Schimoler died peacefully Friday evening, Feb. 15, 2013, after a short battle with cancer, at the age of 45. He grew up in Upper Brookville, Long Island, and attended St. Mary's High School in Manhasset, before Cornell University. Paul was an incredibly beloved coach, lacrosse player, husband and father, perhaps known best for holding the Division I record for most saves in an NCAA Tournament (85, in 1988). Others closest to him also know him as a bona fide chef/grill master, and for having a tireless willingness to help others in need. A 1989 graduate of Cornell, he was a four time All-Ivy and All American selection and the Ivy League Rookie of the Year as a freshman. During his sophomore year, the Big Red were crowned Ivy League Champions and were NCAA Division I runners-up in 1987 and 1988. In his final campaign, he was named Ivy League Player of the Year and was selected to the North-South team. He had extensive post-collegiate playing experience as a member of the 1990 and 1994 World Teams, both of which were gold winners. He was inducted into the Cornell Hall of Fame in 1999, and the Long Island Metropolitan Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2004. He was drafted by the Boston Cannons of the Major Lacrosse League in 2001 and played club lacrosse in the USCLA, where he was active in the national tournament circuit. Paul continued to be involved in club lacrosse over the years, notably playing for team Rusty Red, who enjoyed many championships at the annual Lake Placid Classic Lacrosse tournament. Paul would have been in his second season as an assistant coach at Dartmouth College, after joining the staff in the summer of 2011. Prior to coming to Dartmouth, he was the head coach at Saint Michael's College. He was named the NEILA Division II Coach of the Year in 2011. He recently founded the Vermont-based lacrosse school "VTribe". Paul is survived by his wife, Lynn Ellen; their son, Jack, and daughter, Serena; sister, Ellen Kelly (NJ); brother, Steve Schimoler (OH); sister, Laura Reed (KY); sister, Mary Lou Cass (CO); and many nieces and nephews. Paul was predeceased by his parents, Doc and Bea; and brother, John. Memorial services will be held on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., February 23, 2013, at the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel on the campus of Saint Michael's College in Colchester. There will be an additional memorial service in Long Island, NY at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made out to "Paul Schimoler Fund," towards an educational fund for the children to: Branch Manager, TD Banknorth, 100 Center Road, Essex, VT 05452.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jim Brown

Syracuse Lacrosse All American and Hall of Famer Jim Brown

Most folks know about Jim Brown and Kyle Harrison. But there are a lot of African Americans who played the game and who served as my role models in my youth. There are those from my generation who have been forgotten that I played with and against back when there were so few of us playing the great game of lacrosse, the fastest game on two feet. I am sure I will leave some folks out of the discussion but that’s because of accidental omission and not a comment on their contribution to the game or ability. “Lacrosse has long had a reputation as a ‘white sport,’ writes Dartmouth Professor of History Bruce Nelson. “At the D1 level, lacrosse has been, overwhelmingly, a ‘white sport.’ In the forty years from 1957 to 1996, only five African-American players were named first team All-American in D1 lacrosse. The first was the legendary Jim Brown, at Syracuse, in 1957. After Brown, there were no black All-Americans for the next twenty-three years. Tomorrow’s post will be on “Big Jim” as his college teammate and my college coach Roy Simmons Jr. called him.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lacrosse Outliers, The 1930s

In his book, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell argues that success is a combination of opportunities, timing, and people in one's life. I want to use that theory help explain the reason why and others have had some degree of success in lacrosse. Elliot Stark introduced the game to Croton-on-Hudson back in the 1960s. A Brooklyn native, Stark played lacrosse at Rutgers University and later at New York University (NYU) in the early 1930s. NYU had one of the oldest collegiate-level lacrosse programs in the country with the first game played against Manhattan College in 1877. Until the 1970s, just about all the city universities had lacrosse teams. Stark would later go on to play and promote professional indoor lacrosse throughout New York City (NYC). Stark organized a game between members of the Onondaga Nation (near Syracuse University) and the “New York City All-Stars” for the 1939 World’s Fair held that year in NYC.  A onetime reporter turned political relations guy, Stark settled in Croton in the 1960s and started lacrosse in the town. Stark had both passion for the game and the ability to sell it to school and recreation department officials. I was born in 1963 and my family moved to Croton from Ossining about the same time has Stark. My mother grew up in Ossining and she believed that Croton had better schools and would offer her three boys more opportunities than she had experienced growing up in Ossining and she was right. By the time I began playing lacrosse in 8th grade in the early 1970s, Stark and others had made Croton one of the few lacrosse programs in Westchester County and a successful program as well.  

Excerpts from Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers, The Story of Success:

Interview with Malcom Gladwell on Outliers: [Listen Now 4 min 31 sec]

The Croton Diner and Croton Point:

Croton Point Park History: