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.
For those, like my wife, who can’t stand typos, watch out! I have severe ADD which kept me from moving forward with this blog for too long. My friend encouraged me to start blogging and just disclose my disability the same way I do on the first day of class as a college professor. Folks I regularly make spelling mistakes because of my disability. In order to get two books and several academic journal articles published I use a professional copy editor. To blog that would take too much time and money. So if you can overlook my typos, enjoy my musings.
Fred Opie is a Professor History and Foodways at Babson College and a contributor on the radio show The Splendid Table. His latest book is Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food. Hurston did for Florida what William Faulkner did for Mississippi—provided insights into a state’s culture. The book is an essential read for lovers of history, cooking, and eating. For more on Fred Opie visit http://www.fredopie.com