It seems that much news discussing the Michigan Lacrosse team eventually works its way to future D-1 status. Coach Paul and I talked about it on the Michigan Daily podcast last week, and now Operations Director Joe Hennessy is answering similar questions in the Free Press. He talks about the (previously-mentioned here) future facility:
We’re in the process of looking at doing a full reconstruction of Elbel Field. … We’re currently looking at converting that to our full-time field with FieldTurf and lacrosse lines. It would be open to other folks but with a new brick facade and limited access… Right by there, near the train tracks, on the opposite side of that we’re looking at building our own facility. It’ll house offices, with a weight room, a training room, locker rooms and laundry facilities. It’s a multimillion-dollar project.
It doesn’t sound like it’s as far along as I’d previously thought, in terms of regent approval, but the blueprints are certainly really cool.
And I didn’t intend for most of the post to be about this, but I guess that’s sometimes how life happens. Rebuttal to the rebuttal from Black Shoe Diaries. I was originally going to spend a bunch of time doing some actual research and perhaps journalism-like activities, but I decided I don’t care enough, and I’d just like to clear up a few things instead.
Most of the stupid arguing is over the Brother Rice dominance, which is pretty far from important to me. The only take-home point was that a theoretical Michigan varsity team would recruit from that school. That said, did Brother Rice win the Mythical Lacrosse National Championship in 2008? Per Black Shoe Diaries:
Other than this self promoting, unreferenced photo from the Brother Rice website, there isn’t any evidence any of this is even close to true.
Except, like, there is. Funny what typing “Brother Rice lacrosse championship” into Google will find you:
The Warriors went 23-0 last year and finished No. 1 in the STX/Inside Lacrosse national rankings.
Yes, Brother Rice definitely decreed from on high that they earned a national championship, and not some third-party organization. As far as the two previous years that Rice claimed National Titles, their veracity is certainly in question (ESPN:
The Warriors have won 11 of the last 13 state championships and five of the last eight Midwest titles. They’ve also gone undefeated three times since 2004, and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.
certainly doesn’t back up the claim, though it does speak to the fact that Rice is, almost without question, the dominant midwest team. The only indications I’ve seen of the previous two national titles do indeed come from Rice), and the details may not be quite right, but the point is the same: Rice is no slouch in the lacrosse world. Consistent top-25 finishes (even in down years) means that the school can compete. Are they always the best? Almost certainly not not, but that’s absolutely tangential to the point, that they produce D-1 prospects, and hopefully enough for Michigan to use a number of them to be competitive at the next level.
As far as the 13 D-1 players (and yes, saying “more than a D-1 team” was a joke: D-1 lacrosse teams are only permitted to grant 12.6 scholarships, which they give out in partials. The 13 Rice players moving on to D-1 will only get partial scholarships as well, of course). The 2008 team featured 11 D-1 players, and like I said, I can’t find the original article (from the Oakland Press circa late April if there are enterprising VB fans out there) about the 13 number from this year. In a rudimentary search of the internets (“brother rice lacrosse roster”), encompassing approximately 5 minutes, I found at least these players, with likely many more:
Class of ’08
Joey Fontanesi – Maryland
Michael Hamilton – Hofstra
Andrew Cote – Johns Hopkins
Class of ’09
Nick Dollik – Penn State
Danny Henneghan – Penn State
TJ Yost – Quinnipiac
Brian Walker – Yale
Lacrosse recruiting information is epically hard to find, and rather than scour the roster of every D-1 team to find Rice alumni, I think the point is made. Of course no lacrosse team is going to be fielded entirely of players from Michigan (just like even Maryland and Virginia’s teams are not composed entirely of native sons), but there is definitely some talent in the state. Don’t miss the forest for the trees here.
“There are probably some Michigan natives out east, I don’t feel like looking through any more rosters, but the point is a UM team would be competing with ND, OSU and perhaps PSU for midwest recruits and there simply aren’t enough to go around (and keep in mind they don’t stand a chance of picking up guys who Cuse, Hopkins or Maryland think are worth a phone call). “
That’s stupid. Of course no Michigan team would field a roster composed entirely of midwest players. I said as much in my original post. Thank you for making an asisnine statment, implicitly attributing it to me, and then rebutting it. Michigan would absolutely have to recruit the east coast, the same way they have been, with 16 current players on the roster who come from states that touch the Atlantic Ocean. Sure, as a new program, Michigan would probably have a ton of trouble recruiting, but as Brian mentioned last week, since when has Michigan struggled getting kids from New York to come here? With (potentially) some of the best facilities in the country, it wouldn’t take long for Michigan to build a respectable, though not Syracuse/Maryland/Hopkins-level recruiting ability.