Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Interview with Head Coach Bull Morton

We caught up with Head Coach Bull Morton at last weekend’s tournament.  He agreed to give us a few minutes while the team warmed up.
LR:  Coach, tell us a little about your history with the sport.
BM:  Boy, things were sure different when I was this age.  No plastic and aluminum, just blistering hickory.  I remember the first synthetic sticks – freakin’ pipes they were.  None of us had any teeth – it was great.
I was a coach for my own kids’ teams while they were growing up.  It’s a great opportunity to work with young people, teach them discipline, hard work, and otherwise mold the men who will run the world one day.
LR:  Are you still close to your sons?
BM:  Ronny’s back east - promoted to manager for the White Castle last year.  Stephen – or Stephanie, as he prefers to be called now – travels quite a bit.  Drops his mom a card now and then.
LR:  So what’s it like building a team in an area where the sport is still so new?
BM:  It’s the toughest job in the world to introduce such a complex sport and I’m glad to be able to help these kids – they’re completely clueless but work hard.  (To the team) Arms up, Duke!  The key is to lay down a good foundation of expectations and communication.  Kids will perform to the level you set for them – they want to make you happy.  So I set that bar high and let them know exactly what they need to improve to achieve their goals. 
Being a coach is more than a hobby – it’s a calling.  It takes more than a big heart and a Fox 40, it takes vision and leadership to move forward on all cylinders.  I wasn’t born with the ability to make these players great, but there’s a responsibility for those of us with the knowledge to mentor these kids and younger coaches so the sport lives on.  360 degree communication, 24/7 - (To the team) Let’s try passes that don’t bounce, guys!
LR:  And how are the parents taking to the sport?
BM:  They bring their kids on time and pick them up.  Anything else is handled through the booster club.
LR:  This is the team’s first preseason tournament.  How’s it going?
BM:  You kidding?  We’re getting our butts kicked out there.  But that’s how you learn, right?  Trial by fire.  (To team) Pinkie!  Don’t eat that, son!
LR:  So you have a list of things to work on when you get back?
BM:  Mostly little things, like banning Twitch’s Red Bull and banana pregame smoothies, but overall we’re on the right track – just need some more time.  And better conditioning.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Interview with Twitch Spolenski, Assistant Coach at the Lax Ranch

LAX POOCH:  What made you choose to work with younger players?
TWITCH SPOLENSKI:  Ah, I love working with the junior bros.  It’s important to pass on the spirit of the sport, y’know?  Like, if a little guy has great dodges and corner shots but his flow’s all wrong, he needs someone to help him out, right?  Become the complete player.  And the practices fit my school schedule.
LP:  You’re a student?
TS:  Yeah, part time at the community college.  They have a rockin’ lax scene there.  Like, the pro scouts should be spending time at our practices cuz that’s where the real talent goes after high school.  We don’t get bogged down with all the distractions of a D1 school - spending all your time in the library or whatever.  Sometimes I have to pull a double at the sub shop, but otherwise my time is devoted to the lax life. 
LP:  What are you studying?
TS:  I’m a medical student – well, not, like, that kind; I’m working toward my associates degree in medical technology so I can be a phlebotomist.  Y’know, the guy that takes blood samples and stuff.  Whoa, like a vampire…
LP:  Fans love to hear about equipment, what kind of stick do you use?
TS:  Well, I keep this one by the door, so, like, it’s usually the one I use.  I have some better ones, though.  My favorite, though – ooh, my favorite is this one that was made by Alfie Jacques.  The legend.  That guy makes ‘em out of wood and stuff – yeah, steams the wood and bends it.  Strong.  But, y’know, I met him and, like, when he looks at you, it’s like he knows, right?  He can tell the bros from the posers and, like, he looks straight into your soul and knows, dude.  Yeah.  Alfie.  Anyway, I don’t use it – it’s hanging on the wall but it’s cool.
LP:  So what do you see in the future for lacrosse?
TS:  Girls.  Well, I see girls all the time, y’know?  They dig the lax bros.  But no, I mean girls playing.  I think we’ll have a girls team here this coming season.  Like, the sport is growing really fast for the girls and it's great to see.  Me and some buds were watchin’ the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, y’know?  And there was this underwear model, right?  And she was carrying this girls lacrosse stick and had, like, these kind of shoulder pads and elbow pads, right?  And we were laughin’ cuz girls don’t wear pads but it, like, just occurred to me that what they were really saying is that lacrosse is cool, y’know?  Like, underneath it all, ladies, you’re lacrosse players.  That’s cool.  And hot.
LP:  We’re about out of time.  Anything else you want to mention?
TS:  Naw, we’re good.  I’m proud of my little lax dudes and like working with them.  They're learning a lot at these pre-season tournaments and we'll have a good season.  There were these, like, little sandwich things on the table before.  Any chance of scorin’ a couple more for the drive home?  Mom’ll be working so I’m on my own for dinner.