The 2012 season is here and we wanted to work closely with college programs to bring a part of the excitement to you. Throughout the 2012 season we will highlight lacrosse programs on our space for all of our readers to follow. Player blogs serve as a unique outlet for programs to showcase their season as it develops, plus highlight everything they have to offer a student-athlete. In contrast, families and fans get a glimpse into the program’s athletic and academic regimen.
Jason Coppersmith, Senior Defenseman from Boca Raton, Fla.
BLOG ENTRY 2
Week of January 23rd -January 29th 2012
Monday, January 23rd not only marked the start to our second week of practice, but also the beginning of classes for us as well. We all went through every one of our classes for twenty-five minute periods, thus marking the beginning of the spring semester. Practice started at 4:30 that day with a very up-tempo pace. A good chunk of practice consisted of station work, and each station had a physical aspect to it.
One of the stations was a 1 vs. 1 from about ten yards above the goal where a player was situated in the middle facing upfield, and two offensive guys were to either side of him. Coach Murphy would throw the ball to one of the offensive guys and he would try and get top side on the D man. Well, the most entertaining matchup of the day had to be in my group with Jeff Ledwick playing defense on freshman midfielder Matt Reyes-Guerra-Dunn (The Law Firm). It was a top-heavy affair in which Matt ended up literally running over Ledwick, and sparking guys to jump around and yell, it also marked the end of our time at the station.
At the end of practice as we brought it in as a team; Coach Murphy looked back on the day with great enthusiasm and credited the defense for playing very well. Before we broke it down, he also announced that the lunch pail would go to Colby Wilson for the first week of practice- a guy who undoubtedly deserved it for his prior week of work. Once we were done with practice, we went inside and changed to go to an evening lift (only because of the weird schedule of the day), and then we were done for the day.
After the lift, a bunch of seniors got together to work on our season’s warm-up CD. A lot of suggestions were thrown out there, but the most notable one had to come from Jared Madison. Jared pushed very hard for some Little River Band to be on there, but none of us really knew if he was joking or actually serious based on his taste in music.
After spending a good hour or so on the CD, I headed to the library to find myself surrounded by no one…except Jim Queeney of course. I guess not too many people were given homework on the first night of school.
My Tuesday began with Pat Shanley and I going to our wonderful morning class called Age of Cathedrals, after that we had time to sit around the house until our 1:20 classes, which would be followed by practice. Tuesday’s practice was not all that great. First of all, the weather outside was terrible: back and forth with rain and snow, and tons of wind mixed in as well. Then, to make matters worse, mostly for me, the locker room’s speaker system died (given the nickname DJ Coppy by Ben Shapiro). In my mind, the afternoon was already doomed. With all the crappy weather, and lack of tunes, our sticks weren’t where they needed to be either. Energy and hard work were emphasized in this case, and guys just kept pushing themselves despite the atmosphere. Following practice, we all knew we had a bad day, but made sure not to let it carry over to Wednesday.
Mondays and Wednesdays are our designated lift days, and depending on each player’s schedule, he can lift either at 10:30 am or 2:00 pm. For me, 10:30 works, and a bunch of us kicked off our day with a pretty good upper body lift before heading to classes. However, for Shapiro, the lift got off to a rocky start. After being pulled into the compliance office on the way over to our lift (something about only being registered for one class…), Benny showed up one minute late to the gym. Coach McLaurin didn’t seem to care what made Ben late, but only that he was. He was kindly escorted to the wall, and performed a nice little wall squat before joining the rest of us. The afternoon’s practice saw a total 180 turn around from Tuesday.
While we were stretching and warming up, the coaching staff made sure to remind us that the preseason coaching poll for the Patriot League came out, and we were picked to finish third: something that we all took personally. With this revitalized intensity, practice seemed to fly by. We played bball (which is when the nets are twenty yards apart, facing each other, and it’s a 3 vs. 2 going each way), we also scrimmaged for thirty minutes, and we ended practice with man up/man down. As we ended practice it was evident that the coaching staff was very pleased with our day’s work.
Thursday’s weather was very similar to Tuesday’s and called for us to move practice back until 6 pm and play on Tyler’s Field (the astroturf field). Unlike Tuesday, people were more prepared to play in these conditions, and made sure we weren’t making mistakes up and down field. We went through a lot of 6 vs. 6 work by doing our apache drill (a scramble to a ground ball while starting in the crease), and our mineola drill (middies come in from the top, attack from one side, and D from the opposite side). Coach Murphy made sure to remind us of how important taking care of our sticks is after a practice in that sort of weather, and he informed us Friday would include a run-through of everything.
When I say everything, I mean it. After classes let out on Friday, guys came down to the locker room with bags packed and ready to leave after practice. We started by going through what our pregame drills would be, and followed it up by going over our rides and clears. Next, we had a situational scrimmage from face-offs, and finally ended with man up/man down. After we got back to the locker room, waiting for us in each of our lockers was a black Nike tracksuit with Colgate Lacrosse on it, and a maroon Nike polo to wear for the bus ride. All together we looked like a team, but when in small groups and striking poses, we could make for a gang of some sorts or an excellent boy band. (See picture attached of Myself, Colby Wilson, John Donnally, Jared Madison, and Kevin Gordon in back)
Everyone was excited to get on the bus and head down to Delaware. It would be our first time facing someone other than ourselves in 2012, and Coach Murphy made the exceptional decision of having us stop to eat at one of our favorite restaurants in Binghamton, Pizza Grande (although really called Grande Pizza; I’ve never known why we’ve screwed the name up all of my years). After seeing Jared Madison shove down his chicken parmesan and pasta in about five minutes, the senior class made him aware of how upset we were that he past his prime of three minutes and thirty seconds.
We got to our hotel at about 9:45 pm that night in Delware with the rooming situation being a freshman, his mentor (each freshman is assigned a senior or junior mentor to assist him with whatever he needs throughout his first year), and a third player from the team. My room was Conor Braddish, my mentee, and Kyle Stanich. We stayed up to watch my Heat take down the Knicks, then fell asleep to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The next morning we had 9:15 wake up calls to get up and head down to breakfast; it was gameday. Once everyone had gotten their fair share to eat and packed up, we loaded the bus and headed across the street for our scrimmage.
It was a beautiful Saturday (sunny and 50 degrees), and as we stepped off the bus towards the locker room, we all were craving to be in shorts and t-shirt. Our wishes were granted as Coach Murphy told us that’s what we’d be wearing for the game. With all of us excited already, we sat down to listen to the coaching staff’s final words before taking the field. First, Coach Abbot spoke about our offensive gameplan, then Coach Starsia told us our defensive strategy would be the same as everyday in practice, and finally it was Coach Murphy’s turn. He said how this was our first time to play in 2012, and to enjoy ourselves out there; he also said there would be mistakes, but just to bounce back. The three things he stressed before having us leave the room were energy, effort, and execution. Many of us heard the message loud and clear.
As we walked out onto the field with guys hollering each other’s nicknames or numbers, you could tell we were ready. Despite losing the opening face-off, our defense held Delaware’s offense, and we were able to strike first with a snipe in the top right corner by Matt Baker (his first of three points on the day). As the game went on, it was evident that this was each team’s first time actually playing. However, it was nothing to get discouraged about, especially when Jared Madison came out and Gabe Lord went into net for us –this was Gabe’s first time competing against another DI program. This kid played lights out, and besides letting up one goal that wasn’t his fault, he completely personified the three things Coach Murphy had told us to do in the beginning of the game. Ultimately it was the Blue Hens who came out on top with a final score of 7-5, and after shaking their hands, headed back to the locker room.
Coach Murphy started by saying he was happy everyone got a chance to play, and included that when our first team is clicking, we can be extremely dangerous. Overall the trip was extremely fun, and showed us what aspects we need to improve on to become the team we want to be. After talking about the game, Coach told us we’d have another shot before Bryant by taking on the Cornell Big Red this coming weekend, and to make sure the score was in our favor. Finally, we put our hands in, broke it down, and headed back to Hamilton.
High School: A four-year letterwinner at Saint Andrews … Won four striaght lacrosse championships … Named all-League and all-County in 2008 … Compiled one goal and 87 groundballs during his career … Also earned four letters in football and one in hockey.
Personal: Jason Coppersmith … Born in New York, N.Y. … Son of Richard and Julie Coppersmith … Has one brother … Major is economics.