After each year of NCAA Lacrosse rolls to a stop, we go through and reward all the D1 players who used traditionally strung lacrosse sticks. It can be a regular six or eight diamond pocket, a pita pocket, or something crazier… as long as it uses leather and string, it’s eligible! The player just has to be play a lot, use a traditional stick, and be seen by me. It’s pretty simple really.
This year saw a slightly smaller set of players use traditional, but out of the ones who did, you will recognize a lot of the names. These cats can ball, and they do so using the old way, the tested way, the traditional way!
Traditional Team Of The Year: Notre Dame
The Irish have at least three or four players on their roster who consistently use traditional, and the Irish players either string it themselves, or have a teammate do it. Their stick bucket actually has some leather in it, and it’s not just from one player. Last year, Cuse took the Traditional Team of the Year award with a couple contributors who use tradish… but this year? It’s all Notre Dame! They win it for depth, for starters using it, and for a longstanding relationship with traditional pockets!
Hats off to Will Corrigan, Henry Williams, Liam Kennedy, and Michael Shepardson (as well as some others, I’m sure!) for consistently rocking the old way of stringing!
Non-Traditional Team Of The Year: Loyola & Syracuse
How does a team go from having a pocket named after them (the Pita aka Dog Track. Dog Track + Greyhound = get it?) to not having anyone on the team with traditional? Harry Kutner was a grad student last year, and he was the last one to rock the Dog Track. What is happening at Ridley? Come on, Hounds. I’ll string you a couple for next year. PROMISE! Just get back on the track.
As for the Cuse, they were my Traditional Team of the Year in 2013, but they have gone from four guys who rock leather to one or none (as far as I can tell). Unacceptable. They made the finals last year, but got knocked out early this year. Coincidence? Of course. Cuse still needs more traditional.
First Team All Traditional
Miles Thompson – Albany – Miles’ pocket has become so famous that we did a post on it! All traditional, all the time, and always impressing. Miles scored more BTB goals than many players scored total goals, and he did it using a traditional pocket his brother, Jerome, strung up for him. He’s also a Tewaaraton finalist. Very well deserved! His pocket has also been called a “six shooter”, and it’s been around a long time, since at least the STX Turbo days.
Wells Stanwick – Johns Hopkins – Wells, like Miles, is a repeat customer of the All Traditional Team. Like his brother, Steele, before him, Wells will go down as one of the most dedicated and skilled traditional users in recent memory. He’s not as flashy as Miles, but Stanwick is a prolific scorer and dodger, and uses fundamentals like few others. He does all that rocking a pita pocket strung by his father. That’s awesome.
Will Corrigan – Notre Dame – Will is the first player on this list who strings his own traditional pocket. I’m sure the other guys can do it, but Will does do it. He’s also the coach’s son! Corrigan isn’t the biggest player for ND, but he plays smart and has a really high game IQ. It shouldn’t be a shocker that he uses leather and lace! We love everything about the guy but the fact that he’s an avid traditional fan? Next level stuff.
Do we see a pattern on the First Team? Stanwick, Thompson, Corrigan… all using traditional. Longtime lacrosse families who rely on skill over pure athleticism? Check. Players with nasty handles, who love the game? Check. Sweet looking pockets that function perfectly? Check.
Welcome to the first team, fellas! Maybe I need to have T-shirts made up for these awards next year? Maybe I’ll surprise these guys and get some made up this Summer! Actually, that would just surprise me. On to the HMs!
Zed Williams – Virginia – Williams switched to mesh later in the year, but early on, he was rocking traditional, and we were loving it. I am really hoping Williams strings up a storm this summer and comes back to UVA with plenty of traditional for next year. We need new blood in this old traditional game, Zed! Maybe you can convert a teammate or two? Cough, cough, Pannell, cough, cough.
Henry Williams – Notre Dame - Williams runs the wing for Notre Dame on face offs, and is featured in our LSM Final Four preview! #32 uses a very wide, 4-diamond structure on his stick, but also uses mesh from time to time. We’re hoping the trad makes a comeback for Final Four weekend! It’s too pretty not to see Memorial Day weekend, Henry!
Liam Kennedy – Notre Dame – We’ve got photo proof thanks to Sean Christman!
— sean christman (@stc_29) May 24, 2014
Michael Shepardson – Notre Dame – He’s the giant pole on the left in the ND team photo. St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton, FL represent the tradish!
Lance Yapor – Hofstra – Sorry, Lance. You used traditional for most of last year and we gave you no credit whatsoever. We’re throwing you the HM this year even though you used mesh in 2014. Our bad, man. Still, HM is something!
NCAA D2 Traditional Shout Out
LIU Post – #3, Octavio Bernabo
I’m loving this guy’s stick! Plus LIU Post made it to the D2 title game. A worthy winner!
Why aren’t more people on the All Traditional Team?
Who knows, but in 2015 I want to see a LOT more guys get back on the train! If you’re a college player, and you want a traditional stick, ask your teammates first. They can string you a pocket and then help you adjust it as it breaks in. Your second option is to learn it yourself, but that takes time, and you need to study more, right?
You can also buy a custom pocket from a store, like StylinStrings, which is always a good option, or in a worst-case scenario, you can reach out to me directly. I might just hook you up. Congratulations to all the guys on the list, and if we missed someone, comment with their name, number, school, and a link to photo proof if possible! Verified additional team members will be added on to the team!