by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – This is a subject I bring up every year, mostly because it’s an evergreen topic with the constant procession of seniors entering the winter of their playing careers.
We’re into April, and that means senior days will be occurring on an almost daily basis. There will be some awkward man-hugs, some crying moms and a lot of memories shared.
It’s a very surreal time – that last lacrosse home game – only to be matched in a couple of weeks when the seniors grab their diplomas and think to themselves, “Now what?”
While I can’t answer the graduation question, I can tell every senior lacrosse player that these next couple of weeks do not have to be the end of your relationship with the sport.
Wherever you land after graduation, I promise you there will be a coaching opportunity in lacrosse, whether it’s at the youth, high school or college level.
Depending on where you are in the country, there are going to be youth teams coached by parents who have a remedial grasp on the sport.
By playing in the MCLA, you’re a near-expert in being able to teach youngster the fundamentals of the sport. You’re already capable of jumping in as an assistant or specialties coach at any high school. There will also be opportunities to be an assist collegiate coach for some of you.
Don’t pass up these opportunities, especially if you passion for the sport has not waned.
What is the MCLA D-I Game of the Week for the period ending April 7. #mcla19
— MCLA Tournament '19 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 2, 2019
If you’d to make a little money in the sport, become an official. I never played lacrosse, but became an official in California and within a year I was the ‘R’ for varsity high school games in Idaho and Minnesota, pulling in over $100 for officiating varsity-JV doubleheaders.
Nothing to retire on, mind you, but a pretty easy way to pile up some nice scratch in the spring while getting a run in and staying connected to the sport.
Further, there are areas of this country starving for officials, especially dependable ones who have a feel for the sport. If you put in your time and become a college official, that’s when you can really make some bank. Just ask your current coach how much of the annual budget is set aside for officials.
Go and get yourself a chunk of your dues back.
If those two options won’t work because of time or work constraints, join a post-collegiate club team. You’d be amazed of the networking opportunities it provides as well as keeping the door open for reentering the sport at a later time.
Long story short, Senior Day and this last month of games doesn’t have to be the end of you and our sport. In reality, it can be just the beginning.
My Five Picks
No. 6 North Dakota State (4-5) at No. 7 St. John’s (4-2), 2 p.m. – Saturday
If the assumption is the UMLC-II will fill out the entire semifinals again this spring, these two teams would be considered the favorites to miss out on that honor. There is just something missing with these two outfits and it’s tough to know whether they have time to figure it out.
NDSU’s 10-man ride doesn’t create the angst that it once did and the Johnnies defensive reputation took a hit in Allendale. Neither has a prolific offense, so this is a true coin flip. Since we’re in Collegeville, we’ll give SJU the nod, 12-10.
View this post on InstagramShoutout to @pearl_lacrosse for the sweet hat along with the custom ball! Junior Arthur Antonio, along with the rest of us, is looking forward for this weekend’s opponent: a conference matchup vs UCSC! Come out to Dairy Field at 6pm (the MCLA had it listed as 1pm for awhile, which is incorrect) to help support your Aggies!
A post shared by UC Davis Men's Lacrosse (@ucdlax) on
No. 13 UC Santa Cruz (9-2) at No. 10 UC Davis (6-4), 6 p.m. – Saturday
With no AQ, the WCLL teams need to pile up as many ranked wins as possible, which makes this game especially important. The Aggies’ spring break trip to SoCal was troubling, losing to both San Diego and Montana – a pair of teams that Davis will have to go up against in the at-large discussion.
The Slugs had their eight-game winning streak snapped by the College of Idaho, but Santa Cruz was in the contest the whole way. UCSC has all the momentum right now, so I’m going to ride them on the road. Slugs, 10-9.
No. 17 Stanford at No. 22 Santa Clara, 6:30 p.m. – Saturday
This game will determine who be the second and third seeds out of the WCLL South, meaning a first-round home game is on the line. Neither of these outfits has been particularly active of late. Santa Clara hasn’t played in two weeks while the Cardinal have been on a three-week snooze (thanks to a cancellation).
I’m still thinking about the Bronco’s underrated road win against USC a couple of weeks ago. Give me Keaton Collier’s production and a Santa Clara win, 9-7.
What's the MCLA Division II game of the week for the period ending April 7? #mcla19
— MCLA Tournament '19 (@MCLA_Tournament) April 1, 2019
No. 4 St. Thomas (4-2) at Minn.-Duluth (7-1), 7 p.m. – Saturday
This is it. This is when the Bulldogs prove that the whole things has been for real, and they haven’t just been acting as a placeholder for the Tommies the entire season. St. Thomas has appeared particularly vulnerable this spring, but their reputation is tough to dismiss. I’ll do it at my own peril. Doggies, 13-11.
No. 6 South Carolina (9-2) v. No. 13 Michigan State (6-4), 12 p.m. - Sunday
These two semifinalists from last year head to Nashville in hopes of picking up one last quality win before cleaning up business at the conference level. Michigan State looked strong against Virginia Tech last week and took a big step in getting back in the at-large hunt.
South Carolina is sitting a lot more pretty in terms of the qualifying for nationals, but a win over the defending national champions could be worth a seed or two, which is just as important. I’ll take the Gamecocks with an overtime strike, 9-8.
View this post on InstagramThe final home game of the regular season is this Saturday at noon! Huge divisional matchup against #5 Chapman. This is the last chance to see the boys play at home in 2019! Don’t miss it!! #SDSU #MCLA
A post shared by San Diego State Men's Lacrosse (@sdsumenslacrosse) on
Slides & Rides
Make sure you check out the SLC Game of the Week tonight as Grand Canyon hosts Arizona State in one of the last remaining chances for the Lopes to grab the committee’s attention…Central Florida travels to Florida State in hopes of grabbing the top seed in the SELC Southeast division. Fanvuu will have the stream…Washington vs. Oregon on Saturday will likely determine the top seed in the PNCLL playoffs…Michigan State battles Georgia Tech on Saturday in Nashville…Auburn and Georgia tangle to determine the last spot out of the SELC Southwest…UConn at BC on Sunday afternoon should be a fun one.
View this post on InstagramBig home game this weekend against @msumenslax in Washington-Grizzly Stadium! Come out and support the boys as they try to lay claim for the best team in Montana. #gogriz @umontana @the_mcla @sethbodnar @umgrizzlies #raceforsaltlake
A post shared by University of Montana Lacrosse (@grizlax) on
Very curious to see how Western Oregon fares against Cal State San Marcos and College of Idaho this weekend in the Boise ‘burbs. The Wolves can score, but can they defend?...the Copper Cup between Montana and Montana State will have serious at-large implications…the LSA tournament brackets will be wrapped up at the conclusion of the weekend…top-ranked Duluth proved too much for No. 7 St. John’s last night, 15-8.