Black Shoe Diaries, which is in all likelihood the most popular Penn State blog on the internet, recently took umbrage with an article published by Rivals affiiliate Blue & White Illustrated regarding lacrosse recruiting. The offending portion was the mention that Birmingham Brother Rice maintained a #1 national ranking in high school lacrosse this year. BSD is right in pointing out that this is an erroneous statement, and takes the opportunity to ruminate on high school lacrosse, the viability of varsity D-1 programs in the midwest, and the possibility of a varsity program at Michigan in the future. HOWEVA, BSD is making some assumptions (and drawing conclusions, etc.) that simply don’t hold true.
The BWI article spoke thusly: “All-Americans Nick Dolik (attack) and Danny Henneghan (midfield) will bring championship experience after leading Brother Rice to the No. 1 national ranking this year.” Black Shoe Diaries pointed out the error in this statement by pointing out that Rice finished #21 in a year-end power poll. They go on to say that they dominate Michigan competition, but wouldn’t stand a chance out East. So the Warriors didn’t finish this year #1 in the nation. BWI regrets the error, since the #1 ranking for Rice was not this year, but last year. And the year before. And the year before that. Yes, until this year, Rice was 3-years running considered the best lacrosse team in the nation. BSD: “Geekness aside: only historians in the great state of Alabama would ever consider Brother Rice a national champion.” Except for those three years that they were, apparently. Even in a down year, the Warriors still managed to crack the top-30 among the 3,037 schools in America playing lacrosse. These are not scrubs.
Also, KevinHD, you may have heard of Warrior Lacrosse (for those who aren’t familiar, it’s the largest (only?) reputable manufacturer of lacrosse gear). Huh, what a coincidene, it shares a name with the mascot of Brother Rice. Coincidence this is not. Warrior Lacrosse was founded by a Brother Rice alumnus, and is based in Warren, Michigan. Brother Rice is indeed a lacrosse school, despite being some 500 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Varsity Lacrosse in the Midwest
Black Shoe Diaries says that there’s no way Rice possible could put out enough prospects to fill a full team, noting that the OSU Buckeyes have only 1 player from the Great Lakes State, and only 5 from the Buckeye State. This is qualified with “There are probably some Michigan natives out east, I don’t feel like looking through any more rosters…” This is in relation to a later point I’ll be covering, but I digress. Perhaps you should have spent the time to look through some of those rosters, because they’re littered with players from Michigan in general, and Brother Rice in particular. The least you could have done was look at THE TEAM WHO WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, for god’s sake. The National Champions from Syracuse have three players from Michigan on their roster.
Let me give you a little background for those who don’t know: Division 1 lacrosse teams are allowed by the NCAA to give out 12.6 scholarships. These are generally divided up in partials, unlike football and basketball. Brother Rice’s team in 2009 has 13 players committed or signed to play with Division 1 schools (sadly, the source for this is an article in the Oakland Press that I read in an actual newspaper, and can’t find in a quick search of the internets). So, Brother Rice has more Division-1 players than a Division-1 team. Way to do the homework before running your mouth, Kev.
The Michigan lacrosse team is ridiculously successful at the club level, but is nowhere near the quality of a top-notch D-1 varsity team. Kevin says the midwest ain’t big enough for the 4 of us (the existing three varsity teams in the midwest are OSU, PSU, and Notre Dame – we’ll not mention the potshot he takes at Detroit Mercy in its first year of lacrosse, which took leftovers not from Maryland and New York, but from Michigan State, the second best CLUB TEAM in Michigan). Michigan will have to resort to hoping their terrible players from Michigan will be able to compete with real life lacrosse players from out East, because the Wolverines will never be able to recruit the East coast against other D-1 programs. Never mind the fact that, even without being able to give them scholarships, the club team has players from Virginia, Colorado (along with Michigan and California, probably the most lacrosse-enlightened state outside of the East coast), New York, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Missouri, Maryland, Washington DC, and Connecticut. No, why worry about “facts?”
The truth of the matter is, if the Wolverines were to make the jump to varsity at some point in the near future, they’d be well-positioned. No, immediate success wouldn’t come, but there are certainly some factors working to their advantage. Aside from the aforementioned recruiting hotbed in Oakland County (Birmingham Seaholm and Detroit Country day also produce a number of D-1 players, and Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s is a program on the rise), the team would have the most financially-stable athletic department in the nation backing it, the world’s foremost lacrosse manufacturer just a stone’s throw away, and by the time the leap was made, one of the best lacrosse-specific facilities in the nation will likely be completed (boy, do I ever wish that link went to the blueprint, because it’s awesome).
So basically, don’t talk if you have no clue what you’re talking about and have no interest in researching the actual acts. kthxbai.
For the record, I’m no Brother Rice homer, and the opposite is more likely to be true. That said, you can’t downplay the team’s quality, unless of course you ignore reality.