Thursday, September 11, 2014

Seeing Something That Others Can't See

Celebrating with Dan Pratt after a goal I scored in the 1985 NCAA Finals which we lost to Hopkins 
I've been talking about fall ball reflecting on my first days on campus at Syracuse University (SU) in 1983. My orientation to SU lacrosse happened organically with a very talented 1983 recruiting class. The class included Neil Alt (Towson, MD) Dan Pratt (Homer, NY) Gordie Mapes (Rush-Henrietta, Rochester), Todd Curry (West Gennee) Pat Donahue (West Gennee), Mike O’Donnell “OD” (Yorktown), Tom Nelson (Yorktown) Matt Holman (Summit, NJ), Mark Brannigan (West Genee, Cobleskill), Chris Bruno (Cobleskill), Matt Cacacciato (Fox Lane, NY, Cobleskill) Rhett Cavanaugh (Fox Lane, NY, Army) and Chris Baduini (Montclair, NJ) Some of us first met at the 83 championship team banquet in the summer following SU's victory over Hopkins. Simmie had us sit together introducing each one to the audience with some brief remarks. Coach made a lofty comment about my ability and that I would be a very special player. The comment put me in an awkward position with the other recruits and championship team members at the event. But early on Simmie saw something in me back then that other coaches didn’t. However what he saw remained hidden until I adapted to a new system and level of play and that’s exactly the role of fall ball for a new recruit. It gives you time to adjust to bigger and faster players who are better than what most players see in high school or in my case junior college.

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