McNuttins of March by McNutty
Here’s some little random thoughts I collected whilst watching the lads play this week. You don’t have to agree with ‘em, but enjoy anyway. Let them make you think.
I heard from many of you concerning last week’s snarky comments about lopsided league alignments this year. All of you were kind enough to agree with me. As a further, and probably ongoing, FYI, I give you this: There were 46 league games this past week. Here’s the scores of 16 of them, all of which count towards earning a playoff berth: 26-0, 20-1, 22-5, 20-9, 19-0, 19-5, 19-4, 16-3, 16-2, 22-0, 16-3, 19-0, 20-1, 21-0, 14-0, 23-0. That’s seven shutouts. We are clearly in the golden age of goaltending.
Three weeks in and I continue to see faceoff men sent off the field because their stick has tape on the head. Gentlemen, as of this year, you may not have any tape touching any plastic if you are planning to take a faceoff. Figure it out.
Speaking of rule changes, fans…how many of you like the new substitution rules? How many of you didn’t notice? What new substitution rules? (Here’s a hint, how long has it been since you’ve heard a horn at a game?) Personally, I think it’s been less of a factor than I anticipated. But also, I don’t think teams have put much effort into using the new wider substitution box to their advantage. Wait till teams start scoring some fast break goals ‘cause their O-Mids have a twenty yard lead on the defenders.
The NW Invitational is this weekend on Mercer Island. It’s bigger than ever this year, 18 teams, and will offer some of the best lacrosse so far this season. And you can’t miss Big Dave’s BBQ. Come on. More information here and a preview here. It’s a real treat that we have it in our area.
In a world that obsesses about numbers, we need a better stat gathering system than we have today. It’s not enough to only track stats that happen in league games. I know that’s important, but additionally, we need total stats, league and non-league.
Coach Pattison’s Seattle Academy crew. Will they be challenged in D2? Could Wenatchee give them a game? If we are to ever find that out, it likely won’t be until the D2 Championship game.
Will Eastside Catholic run the table? They sure are loaded, and Coach Macilvennie seems to have stepped in without missing a step. No small feat given how quick he had to get going. Personally, I think the Crusaders go undefeated the rest of the season. The only question I have is will they be battled-tested enough to make a playoff run? On the other hand, no other team has core players with more deep playoff experience. ECs seniors have gone 5-3 in the playoffs with appearances in the Quarters, Semis and Finals. I don’t think they’ll get rattled.
And now a new feature, hopefully not recurring very often. Here I talk with a team’s key player who is injured and unable to participate. I think I’ll call it:
This week’s feature is Riley Johnson, Seattle Academy’s stud junior midfielder. Johnson is a two-time All-Conference player and Captain. The quick among you will realize that means he’s made All-Conference every year he’s played in high school. Hopefully this injury doesn’t jeopardize that streak. A strapping young man with an easy smile and a clear comfort in his skin, Riley currently attends University Prep school in Seattle.
McN: So tell us about your injury
RJ: I got hit in the jaw by another player’s helmet. We were winning by a lot and I think he was a little frustrated. It felt intentional but I don’t think he was trying to hurt me. But he’s a football player without much lacrosse experience and I think he just did what he knows how to do. It broke my jaw in two places and the doctor said I’ll be out six weeks. We were in the emergency room at Children’s Hospital until late at night.
McN: How’s your team going to overcome your absence?
RJ: Actually, I think they’ll be fine. We are so deep that we can score from a lot of different positions. And actually, this will open up some playing time for the players behind me. It will help us have a better bench and more experienced players when the playoffs come.
McN: Tell us about this Seattle Academy team. What has impressed you so far?
RJ: I’m impressed with how much talent we have. Everyone can play, and we all know each other from the league last year. Also, Coach Pattison has been awesome.
McN: Tell us more about what you like about Coach Pattison
RJ: He is incredibly focused on the teamwork stuff with us. Building us together as a team, staying positive. He trusts us to be able to play, he’s not super dominating, making us do it exactly his way. He’s not rigid, he knows that we know what to do. Like on offense, we have a system, but we aren’t rigid on the plays we run. It’s great to have that feeling as a player, especially on offense.
McN: Do your long term plans include lacrosse after high school?
RJ: Oh absolutely. I’ve talked to a number of schools. Hartford is very interested and I’m interested in them. But my number one choice right now is Holy Cross. I’d love to go there, I just need to get the right academic test scores.
McN: Lastly, does your girlfriend think you kiss differently now, with a jaw that’s broken in two places?
RJ: Uh…I don’t really have time for a girlfriend.
‘til next week,
Question, comment or death threat? Email me here: mcnuttySL@gmail.com