by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
Bragging about community service activities is unseemly. Giving to charity or helping out the less fortunate should be something you do for yourself and for your own reasons. There’s really no reason to trumpet acts of kindness in order to stake out some kind of individual or moral high ground.
That’s why the 16 team that are participating in the LAX Coaches vs. Cancer contests this week in Vegas, SoCal and Atlanta should be proud to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. If everything goes according to plan, these contests will raise $5,000 for the cause.
It’s important to remember that these programs didn’t have to buy the shirts. They didn’t need to make a donation. They could have used the travel expenses to go somewhere else.
They did it because they had a duty – whether to their school, their community or to themselves – to use their God-given abilities to play lacrosse to help someone who may not have even heard of the sport.
And the 16 teams participating in the LAX Coaches vs. Cancer event are by no means the only MCLA teams who have done something to help others.
There were teams raking leaves for the elderly. Others picked up trash to beautify their neighborhoods. Also included are the hospital visits to entertain sick children or running a clinic for local youth players who don’t have access to the teaching they crave.
There are a myriad of other community service projects that are never noticed outside of the locker room walls, but they still add a crucial element to a young man’s experience that isn’t always apparent in day-to-day college life: selflessness.
MCLA members should be very proud of what they and their fellow teams are doing. It speaks to a level of character, commitment and humility to lend a hand where it is needed without a tangible reward. It’s not always easy to pay tuition along with the dues that are often necessary to play in the MCLA, but our student-athletes are doing that and still giving something back.
Should MCLA teams and student-athletes stand up on a hill and let everyone know how much they’re doing for their communities off the field? Of course not. Should those same teams and players go to sleep every night with a significant measure of satisfaction?
No. 1 Chapman (3-0) vs. No. 4 Brigham Young (3-0) – 6 p.m., Friday
There are a lot of cool games in both divisions at the LAX Coaches vs. Cancer event in Henderson, but this is the one that stands out in the pack. Newly-minted No. 1 Chapman gets two days to enjoy its perch before facing the fourth-ranked Mormon Machine that has breezed past three quality opponents heading into this contest. Both teams have been loading up on goals – Chapman has averaged 15.3 per outing, BYU with 17.8 – but I’ve got a hunch this one will devolve into a grinder with the defenses standing tall. First one to nine wins.
No. 13 Boston College (1-1) at No. 8 Arizona (4-1) – 4 p.m., Saturday
The last time BC faced a defensive juggernaut, it got chewed up and spit out by the Georgia Tech meatgrinder a couple of weeks ago. Arizona is not too far behind the Yellow Jackets in terms of defensive acumen, but the LaxCats’ confidence might be waning a touch after getting torched for 16 goals by Colorado. Zona may have the ultimate trump card, however, as the Eagles have to play Grand Canyon on Friday night and if there’s anything we know about the Lopes this year, it’s going to be a taxing, one-goal affair. Advantage ‘Cats.
No. 14 Michigan State (0-0) vs. No. 2 Georgia Tech (5-0) – 5 p.m. Sunday
With all due respect to Auburn on Friday night and the rest of the teams on the Georgia Tech schedule, the Spartans are the only thing standing between the Yellow Jackets and an undefeated regular season. The Wreck has passed every test so far and have reaped the individual and team rewards, and it’s tough to think State could slow down the train in Cam Holding’s debut at this LAX Coaches vs. Cancer contest. Stranger things have happened, though.
Watch the game HERE.
No. 13 Sierra Nevada (2-0) vs. No. 11 Cal State Fullerton (5-0) – 12 p.m., Saturday
This is a tasty little matchup for D-II connoisseurs who are starting to ballpark brackets for Orange County (or is that just me?). In all likelihood, both of these teams will make nationals – the Eagles as the WCLL champ and the Titans as the SLC runner-up (or champion). Neither squad has really tested itself to this point, but if we were going to make some broad-based assumptions, defense would appear to be SNC’s milieu while Fullerton is the offensive juggernaut. Keep an eye on this one.
No. 6 St. John’s (1-1) vs. No. 5 Grand Valley State (0-0) – 1:30 p.m., Saturday
Where do teams from Minnesota and Michigan meet for a neutral field game? Nashville, naturally. Fortunately for Music City, it gets to host one of the better rivalries in MCLA-II. It was just two years ago that these two squared off in the national championship game, with the Lakers pulling out a 12-11 victory. The Johnnies gained a measure of revenge with an 18-11 triumph last year during the regular season. It’s the opener for GVSU while SJU is regrouping from a loss to Duluth.
Follow Grand Valley State this weekend as they “takeover” the_mcla
This Sunday matinee features a pair of teams trying to break into the next level of Division II. They’ve always been pretty solid, and neither is a stranger to the national tournament, but the Wolverines and Sailfish have large aspirations this spring. Maybe even Final Four-type dreams. That’s a long way off, however, and this game will go a long way in proving who’s ready and who needs a little more seasoning. PBA’s immediate dilemma is solving the GCC duo of Caselli and Hall.