Saturday, August 29, 2015

Brad Kotz

Brad Kotz and Tim Nelson, a dynamic duo from the class of 1985
You know your good when you have a Wiki page! Brad Kotz aka “Kotzy” has one.  Brad is a West Genesse product who would go on to be a 4 x All-American midfielder at Syracuse, the 1983 college player of the year, and two time National team player in 86 and 90. I roomed with Brad my first semester at SU in the fall of 1983.  We also played together on Maryland Lacrosse Club, and the 1990 US National team.  He had great speed and strength (The guy worked hard in the weight room), and he almost never caused turnovers. Brad had tremendous eye hand coordination; he would joggle a ball on the top of the head of his Brine superlight II; a trick akin to what Tiger Woods does with a golf ball and an iron (Brad, we need you to video tape that for my blog and YouTube channel!). For me, Brad's shooting accuracy represented his greatest attribute. For example, I saw him shoot an amazing 4 for 6 in a World Cup game in Australia when he played virtually on one leg to do a knee injury.  Kotzy played with a pocket no deeper than a women's stick which allowed for his quick release. Players today should learn from him and get rid of all those grapefruit holders! The guy consistently shot hip high opposite the goal’s stick which is the toughest shot in the game to stop. Perhaps most heart warming to me was witnessing Brad's anger and disappointment the year Todd Curry was inducted, that Tim Nelson had not been inducted yet.  

Brad Kotz:

Tiger Woods Golf Ball Dribbling Commercial:

Friday, August 14, 2015

Back to School and Lacrosse

Herkimer General Fred Opie Covering Hobart's Rick Vacion in 1983
I played junior college lacrosse at Herkimer County Community College before earning admissions and a scholarship to Syracuse University (SU). In the process I gained a great education at an afforable price with in state tutition as a community college (but that's another story i will turn to later). The summer before the start of my first semester at Syracuse University I set my mind on earning a position as starting defensemen during fall ball. I somehow got in my head that a division 1 defensemen had to bigger and stronger than I was at the time—6’ 1’’180 pounds. That summer I ate like a champ and lifted like a chump and ballooned to 205 pounds! Please don't use the strategy I employed. Today I would be small by division one standards where the average defensemen are taller than me and over two hundred pounds; today players are also faster and stronger than during my era. My advice is speed and great footwork and stick skills can never be underrated. On offense size is not as critical as speed and stick skills. Few be understand that NFL Hall of Famer Deon Sanders was not big, but lightening fast!

Best Checks Videos:

Monday, August 3, 2015

One Big Reason Why Syracuse Recruited Me

Tim Nelson against Army at West Point, 1985 
Perhaps the person that the Lord used the most to turn the attention of the Syracuse Lacrosse coaching staff was the big 6' 2" 200 pound attackman Tim Nelson (Yorktown High School). Our high schools played against each other back in Westchester in Section 1. We also played together on a Manhasset summer league team in the old Freeport Summer League after my first year in college. As a result of our shared history, Tim (Nellie) knew my game and knew it well. When I went to Herkimer as a virtual unknown player, he went as a highly recruited two-time high school All American who had played in two New York State title games to NC State. In the late 1970s and early 1980s the Wolfpack had a great lacrosse program that included Tim’s older brother Scott. At the end of his first year, State dropped their program and Syracuse offered him a scholarship. In his first season at Syracuse, SU won its first national championship in 1983, Nellie earned first team All American honors and he won the Turnbull Award as the best attackman in the country that year. During that championship season, I visited SU and ran into Nellie. He told me about the teams need for defensemen and then lobbied the coaching staff to recruit me based on what he knew of me as a high school player and my summer league performance. That’s the story of how I became a Syracuse Lacrosse recruit when most other programs and coaches showed no interest.