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 #1 – Week of January 16th-January 22nd 2012
“Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.” –William Foster
This is the quote that we found on our new shirts as we came into the locker room before preseason. Not only was it put on our shirts, but also on the front of our playbooks to serve as a constant reminder of what we need to do day in and day out to reach our expectations for this season. Along with the shirts there were shafts, sweats, cold gear, cleats, and beanies in each of our lockers. Coach Starsia, the perfectionist he is, showed great disappointment that our gloves were not in just yet. They arrived on January 16th though, the day of our first practice. With the team more excited than I’ve ever seen, we stormed into Sanford Fieldhouse to begin the upcoming 2012 season.
The theme of the morning was playing together, working hard, and taking pride in what we do at all times- on and off the field. To really exemplify this, the seniors voted freshman Geoff Sullivan as the member to carry out the lunch pail. It represents the attributes previously mentioned, and gets awarded to the player who had the best week of practice. After a lot of stick skills and going over offensive and defensive concepts we finished the day. In all, Monday was full of energy with guys really eager to play lacrosse.
Tuesday began bright and early with our lifting tests in bench, squat, and the vertical jump. This was the ideal showcase for guys like Jeff Ledwick, Colby Wilson, and Justin Kirchner to display their strength to the team. It was obvious that this morning was something these three had been looking forward to all of winter break. Big Willy, who is actually only 165 lbs, put up the biggest squat, while Kirchner broke the team record on the bench as a sophomore. After every guy on the team went up in these three categories, our practices began.
The motto for the day was tempo and toughness, and it is not very hard to build toughness when you are playing lacrosse outside in sub 20-degree weather for multiple hours (especially for a guy from Florida). We got up and down a lot on Tuesday and saw any of the rust from our sticks disappear. Obviously there was room for improvement all around, but for the third and fourth practices of the year, we were playing pretty well. Tuesday night would see us rewarded with a steak dinner courtesy of Alex Kinnealy’s family. However, as the apple crumb dessert was put out for us, Coach Murphy made sure to get up and announce that our conditioning test would be prior to the start of the next day’s morning practice so be weary of delving too deeply into dessert. Without hesitation, freshman Ryan Walsh got up and put a pretty healthy serving of it on his plate; the Walshy we all knew.
Wednesday saw the last day of two-a-days for us, but also the dreaded conditioning test. It was hard to find a guy on the team without some sort of injury or soreness to worry about before going into the fieldhouse to run 300-yard shuttles. Luckily, almost every guy passed and also improved on his times from the fall, which pleased the coaching staff. These practices consisted of a lot of 6 vs. 6 and ended with best of ten 4 vs. 3s (offense against defense). After the defense made 6 stops to the offense’s 4 goals, the defensive personnel switched to offense and vice versa for the offensive personnel. With the defense needing one more goal to win, we worked the ball around to find an open man on the crease and finish it off, thus sending the offense to do a minute of burpie push-ups…glorious.
Thursday morning kicked off with a lift sending each player down a line of seven upper-body machines and having us perform our maximum repetitions on each, plus one repetition with assistance. Tim Cashman had the misfortune of his spotter being our lifting coach, Aaron McLaurin, and having more along the lines of five to six assisted reps. Following our lift, many guys had a sigh of relief because practice wouldn’t immediately follow. Instead, we had about three hours to rest up before getting after it again. For some people, like James Queeney or John Donnally, I assume this break was taken with Chuck Monteith, our athletic trainer. These are two guys who I don’t think ever left the athletic complex because when they’re not in the locker room or classroom (especially Queeney with his 4.8532 GPA), they can usually be found in the trainer’s room.
Thursday’s practice consisted a lot of just flying around and playing rather than standing and listening to coaches. Additionally, we began our man up/man down work along with going over our rides and clears; it was as Coach Murphy likes to say: a players practice. Friday wasn’t too dissimilar either. Lots of 6 vs. 6 at two ends, station work to emphasize offensive and defensive principles, and there may have been a drill named after a former captain thrown in there too…the Bosco drill?
What better way to end the day than a trip for the boys to Ye Olde Pizza Pub, although they got rid of the “Ye Olde” just this year. While there, Coach Abbott may have over ordered a bit much considering he asked for 20 pies, 200 wings, and 10 orders of tots. Normally many of us could stomach this amount of food, however it doesn’t help when the fire alarm of the restaurant goes off midway through the meal causing the restaurant’s evacuation. As most of us left, the only crew that seemed to remain in the building eating, as if nothing occurred, were the juniors who were more than happy to take any leftovers back to their townhouse (affectionately known as townhouse Glee A).
Fortunately, this dinner debacle didn’t have any bearing on how we would play on Saturday-our last practice of the week. We started at 10 am with most of drills creating a competition between the offense and defense, and ended with a pretty even split for winning. The conclusion of practice consisted of our first team man up going against our first team man down group to see who reigned supreme. The offense took this one with middies like Peter Baum and Ledwick ripping corners to bring a solid end to the week.
All in all it was the most fun I’ve had in a preseason, and I think you would be hard-pressed to find a guy on the team who would disagree with that sentiment. While all of this is preparation for our first game against Bryant on February 11th, Coach Murphy reminded us that a week from Saturday would be our first test against the Delaware Blue Hens and to make the most of every practice leading up to it. We then huddled around Coach Murphy and broke it down with a commonly used word for this occasion, together. As the team jogged back to the locker room, our sights were now set on the start of school and the upcoming warm (to us) adventure to Delaware.
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.