by Jac Coyne | MCLA.us
LA CROSSE, Wis. – When the two youngest Arbon boys get together, it’s on.
“They are best of friends, but the competition never really ends,” said the boys’ father, Todd. “Throwing rocks to see who can hit the tree stump first, game night, target shooting, watersports, snow sports, motorcycle riding or just grilling the best steak. The competition and teasing and back-and-forth are a never-ending backdrop.”
That competition will take center stage again when UVU and Kade, the Wolverines’ starting goalie, entertain USU and Brock, one of the Aggies starting attackman, in Orem a 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The attackman versus goalie dynamic wasn’t always in play. Kade, Brock and oldest brother Jake – an All-American at BYU in ’15 – were all brought up as attackman in Draper, Utah, and the competitions were fierce.
A degenerative joint issue in both knees sidelined Kade for his entire junior year of high school, and with Corner Canyon High needing a goalie his senior season, he grudgingly stepped between the pipes.
With two older brothers trying to keep him under their thumb, Brock became a cagey player with great reflexes and vision.
What is shaping up to be the best MCLA Division I game next weekend? #mcla20
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“He’s the consummate little brother, the one that saw every move and trick in the book as the brothers increased their skill levels,” said Todd.
The father will also be injected into the competition on Saturday, as Todd is an assistant at Utah Valley with Kade. It will not be an easy role for the old man to play.
“It is a challenge for me to cheer for [Brock] when we play, but the boys on [Utah Valley] fully understand and fortunately root for him, too,” said Dad. “This is competition in the purest form, between brothers. No amount of money can make up for a letdown between them.”
With the Arbon rivalry as the backdrop, the two schools have created the “Brothers Cup Traveling Trophy,” which will go annually to the winner of this rivalry -- a competition that straddles both divisions of the MCLA.
In addition to the Arbons, the name of the trophy is a nod to the geographical make-up of the two programs.
“We are the last two universities in the state with mostly local high school players,” Todd said. “As such, most of the kids have played each other many times during the years. It is a fun game because of the amount of talk back-and-forth on the field and from the bench.
“But the stakes are big for the Arbon boys.”
MCLA D-I No. 20 Minnesota plays D-II No. 1 (St. Thomas), No. 3 (Duluth) and No. 7 (St. John's) from Fri-Sun. How do the Gophers fare? #mcla20
— MCLA Tournament '20 (@MCLA_Tournament) February 5, 2020
SLIDES & RIDES
- Minnesota embarks on a three-day tour through the UMLC Division II this weekend, starting with St. Thomas and ending with St. John’s with Duluth sandwiched in between on Saturday. One might assume this is a high-risk venture with the very real possibility of losing at least one – the Gophers lost to Duluth last year. Just the opposite is true in reality, as those three opponents will prepare Minnesota for the UMLC-I schedule as well as any non-conference teams.
- Washington State makes its triumphant return to the MCLA and will get a trial by fire, visiting Oregon and Oregon State over the weekend. Took a lot of hard work to get the Cougars back up and running, so good luck to them.
- Met a bunch of the West Virginia guys at the US Lacrosse convention and optimism is running high in Morgantown. The Mountaineers have a 43-man roster and a schedule featuring seven non-conference games from three different opposing leagues (including the RMLC). They’ll open up the season against No. 8 Florida State on Saturday at LaGrange (Ga.)...you can watch No. 11 Concordia-Irvine played No. 10 Cal Poly HERE.
- Keep an eye on Claremont-Loyola Marymount. The winner will have a leg up in the Race for Salt Lake out of SLC-II…the second leg of the Taco Trophy takes place on Sunday as Trinity entertains Incarnate Word…UT-Dallas returns to the MCLA with a bang, playing three games in two days against Oklahoma State, MSU Denver and Kansas State…Louisiana and Baylor both have LSA title aspirations and they’ll meet on Friday night in Waco with the game being streamed by our friends over at StickStarLacrosse.
- Reminder: scores are due on MCLA.us by the home team within an hour after the game. Stats are due 72 hours after…remember to get your nominations in for the Dominant Performance of the Week presented by Warrior and the PEARL Goalie of the Week to email@example.com ASAP.