Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twitch's Travel Diary - Part 1

Finally got a chance to sit down with Twitch Spolenski, Assistant Coach at the Lax Ranch and Phlebotomy Major at Russet Junior College, about his trip to South America earlier this year.
LR:  Twitch, can you give us some background on how you came to be in South America?
TS:  Blood and honey, Dude.  There was a group of phlebotomy students going to Brazil for the semester to study blood samples from Amazon natives and give free vaccines.  This one dude had to back out so they needed another person.  The recruiter chick was super hot and said we’d get there in time for Carnaval – that’s Spanish for Fat Tuesday - so I jumped at the chance.
LR:  Was it hard to give up the lacrosse season?
TS:  There’s not much that could pull me away but it was, like, a great opportunity to be part of the study and travel in a different country.  And did I mention the recruiter was a doll and a half?  Cute little pink scrubs…
LR:  So what happened when you got there?
TS:  Well, as it turned out I was alone on the flight – the recruiter lady didn’t actually travel with the group.  I got there just in time to drive to Rio for the big party, though, which was great.
LR:  Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro – it’s the ultimate party.  Was it everything you imagined?
TS:  Not at all.  There were drunk, half naked chicks everywhere, huge parade floats, music, and I missed it all.  As I stepped off the bus, some fool dropped a wine bottle out of a window and it knocked me out cold.  I woke up in the drunk tank the next morning with a Japanese tourist, three old men who looked like regulars, and this midget dressed like Elvis – except this little dude’s costume was made of whipped cream and glitter.  I’m sure he expected to be somewhere else when it dissolved – and we all wished he was.
LR:  Were you able to explain what happened to the police?
TS:  I did my best but did you know they spoke Portugese down there?  I mean, I listened to five Spanish tapes on the flight down and they don’t even know it!  Who the F%#@ speaks Portugese?  That country’s, like, across the freakin’ ocean!
LR:  So is Spain, actually...
TS:  Oh, thank you Mister Atlas.  Well, I found out, through some creative diagrams and a little help from the Japanese dude, that they found me on a heap of oyster shells in an alley behind some dive and I was charged with drunken vagrancy and solicitation – don’t want to know how they came up with that last one.
I was there until the end of the month.  Apparently they clean out the cells once a month and it’s easier to let everyone go then hose them out.  Three and a half weeks after being found on an oyster pile, I could have used a good bath myself…


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

11.02.01 Interview with Coach Cavallo

It’s been a busy two months since Eva Cavallo joined the Lax Ranch as the head coach for the girls.  We finally got her to sit down for a few minutes and catch up:
LP:  Eva, your background is amazing – N. Carolina Captain, Team USA starter – what brings you here?
EC:  Well thanks.  I couldn’t have had a better college experience as a player and travelling with the USA squad was amazing.  Wherever we went the audiences were enthusiastic and friendly.  Until we have a professional league for the ladies, though, that’s about as far as the ride goes so I’m here for my graduate studies.
LP:  What are you studying?
EC:  I studied social psych at NC so I’m continuing that with a specialty in education.
LP:  What kind of challenges have you encountered in starting a girls program in an area that’s new to the sport?
EC:  It’s been amazing.  Everything is new so we have the opportunity to start our own traditions and incorporate the latest ideas.  It does take a lot of work, though, to start from scratch like this.  When I was little, I played with the boys until we had a girls team.  I miss the aggressiveness of the boys game but also appreciate the finesse of the girls game.
LP:  So what’s your stance on maintaining the separation between the guys and girls sport?
EC:  I like the fact that the girls game holds to the original sport more than the boys.  In many ways the guys game is lazy – it takes much more focus to catch with no pocket.  At the same time, many girls would be happy to strap on the pads and kick some butt.
LP:  What kind of response have you gotten from the team and community?
EC:  I love the people here – they’ve been very welcoming and supportive.  The coaches understand the importance of having the girls team, the players are thrilled to have an opportunity to play a field sport, and the parents have been fantastic.  People call me “Coach” all over town and I still catch myself looking around to see who they’re talking to.
LP:  It’s still early, but after your preseason games the last few weeks, what expectations have you set for the team?
EC:  We’re going to have a great time.  These girls are tough and competitive so I think they’ll do well but they also like to have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously.
LP:  And what about you, do you get a social life?
EC:  Oh, I’ll be fine.  I’ve met lots of great people in class and around town - I love the old cinema on the square.  Twitch, the assistant coach for the boys, has been showing me around town and brings me coffee before practice - which is funny because he has trouble riding his scooter and carrying two drinks.  I think he’s hit most every car in the parking lot.  He’s sweet, though.
LP:  Anything else you’d like to finish with?
EC:  I think we hit the important points.  I appreciate the support and look forward to a great season.