I recently did a brief interview with the head coach at Ole Miss, Chris Morrison. But before I delve into the interview, I found out some interesting news about Ole Miss in the Lax All Stars Spoon Feed a couple weeks ago. I’m going to rant about it for a couple minutes.
In an attempt to rid the university of it’s Old South heritage and step into the new age, the school is 86’ing just about anything it can. A few years ago, they ditched Colonel Reb. Last year, they amended and deleted the tradition of singing “From Dixie with Love,” because the song ended with “the south will rise again.” These are both causing a stir, and in my opinion, rightfully so.
I really disagree with getting rid of both. C’mon – let’s be real. People in the South aren’t all racist. I’m sorry to disappoint everyone who has a predetermined image of what a southerner should be, but it’s just not true anymore. It hasn’t been for decades. We are, however, a people very much in love with our heritage and tradition, and it seems that a lot of universities are working to take these traditions away.
LSU is doing a similar thing with the Purple and Gold Confederate Flag. We all have opinions, and in mine, I don’t think they should take these traditions away simply because they don’t stand for the ideals they’re being accused of. Just my $0.02.
But despite what I think is right or wrong, Ole Miss is searching for a new mascot, and I think the students got this one right. Since they were the Ole Miss Rebels, they’ve decided to turn their heads to another rebellion. One that took place a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
I spoke with my friend who went to Ole Miss, and asked him if this was the real deal. In summary, he said emphatically “Yes.” There’s a website, facebook group, and twitter thing. Plus it gives me the opportunity to share one of the funnier Robot Chicken skits.
The only thing that could rival this in coolness would be if Ole Miss changed their mascot to War Eagles, just to piss Auburn off.
Now to the Fireside Chat with Coach Chris Morrison…
Lax All Stars: Who are some of your players we should watch out for this year?
Coach Morrison: Davey Marrin, Andrew Lynch, My boy Petey, Zach Lepchitz and either one of my all star goalies Sam Colonell or Nick Loverde should be on opposing teams radars. They all bring great stick skills and athletic potential to the field when they are out there. Each one of them can take over a game when they are playing well.
What do you do to get ready for a big game?
CM: Do to inclement weather it has been very difficult to get on the field to practice. But when we do we focus on making sure we cover each facet of the game and spend ample time making sure we practice accordingly.
What team are you guys looking forward to playing the most this year? Why?
CM: I am very much looking forward to the weekend when Vanderbilt and Central Florida will be in town. They are both great teams with great players. It should make for an interesting weekend, especially UCF who have the nations leading point scorer playing for them.
How is your turnout to home games? What can be done to get a larger turnout?
CM: Our turn out for home games has been great! We have some rowdy fans who help us keep the opposing teams on their toes. The guys have done a great job getting the word out to their friends and it has helped attendance tremendously.
For road games, how do you arrange travel and lodging? Who authorizes the spending?
CM: We have an elected board who take care of all travel arrangements. Brooks Jewett has done a hell of a job watching over spending this year.
What are practices like? How is the practice facility? Game facility? What do you do when the weather sucks?
CM: Practices are pretty laid back this year because of the terrible weather the past couple of months. When we are able to get out there we focus on individual stick drills and situation type aspects of the game for the first hour and then for the remainder of practice we focus on more game type scrimmaging. The game facility is the same as the practice field and they are quick to close it down when there is bad weather.
What is your personal goal for 2010? What are the team goals for 2010?
CM: My personal goal this year is to earn recognition for the team in the SELC, because it is our first year in the league. Team goals will be to show up every game and give 100 percent.
Ole Miss played a full schedule last year, and finished with a winning season (8-6). What has led to this success? What can be done to make it more successful?
CM: Our success can be attributed to the strength our our defense and our goalie. I am hoping this year we can improve on our scoring from the midfield and the attack to possess the ball and make things happen. Getting more players involved will make the team more successful year in and year out.
I noticed you guys are doing some recruiting. Describe what recruitment is like for an MCLA program where the sport is virtually unheard of.
CM: I try to meet with the players when they come visit in the fall and stay in touch with them either through e-mail or text messaging the rest of the year.
Lacrosse in Mississippi is about to take off. Ocean Springs HS has a talented team, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Jackson, MS just started one. How is this growth going to help Ole Miss? How is Ole Miss helping contribute to the growth?
CM: I am hoping that the growth of lacrosse in the state of Mississippi will send more lacrosse players to the university. The team is currently made up of out of state players so I hope to see that change the bigger the sport gets in the state.
Ten years from now, what will lacrosse in Mississippi be like? 20 years?
CM: I am hoping that it catches on like wild fire. And the high school teams throughout the state recognize that this is a great sport and only helps build an all around athlete.
What is your background with lacrosse? How does your background contrast to what lacrosse in Mississippi is like?
CM: I have played lacrosse for 14 years now and continue to play with the Flying Elvis Lacrosse Club in Memphis (where my career started). Hopefully my knowledge and love of the game will rub off on my players and they will continue to be ambassadors of the sport.
How much does it cost a player to play for Ole Miss (all expenses considered)? How do you think this compares to other MCLA programs?
CM: Our dues are $1500 which is about average for the MCLA. I have heard higher and I have heard lower, but it is all based on how much travel you have to do each year. I would like to take a trip out west one year, but that would require the guys getting behind it and realizing dues will have to cover i.t.
Is there a place where we can get Ole Miss lax merch?
CM: All of our practice and game gear can be purchased at Stickhead Lacrosse in Memphis, TN.
Rebelettes or Cheerleaders?
CM: Of course Rebelettes would be my preference!
This has been another Lax All Stars Fireside Chat. Stay tuned to the LAS Network for more interviews and see our full list of interviews here.
And finally, if you appreciate watching the sport grow in non-hotbed areas, check out some professional style pictures of my high school team in action:
About the author: Knox is a 24 year old High School Head Coach in a small area east of Baton Rouge. He played High School ball for four years, and college ball for about 1 week until he realized his collegiate priorities rested with more important things like partying and eventually trying to get his grades up. He enjoys things that most Louisiana people do – eating boiled crawfish and alligator, a cold Abita Amber, anything LSU, his dog, and his beautiful girlfriend, Audrey. Lacrosse is not listed because most Louisiana people have no idea what lacrosse is.
Questions? Want to contribute to the Lax All Stars Network? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org