Last spring, in an effort to see what life was like in the MCLA’s Division 2, we spent an afternoon with the College of Idaho Yotes as they took on the Montana State Bobcats. Today we catch up with the star of that piece, and current ‘Yotes Senior, Jeff Ball. Jeff started his career out playing attack at the University of Utah. In 2009 he transferred back to his native Idaho in an attempt to take the C of I to the next level of the PNCLL.
Lax All Stars: You guys started pretty hot last year but fizzled out. Does this team finally have what it takes to make to the PNCLL tournament?
Jeff Ball: Yea I definitely think that our team has what it takes to get to the PNCLL tournament. It has been our team’s goal since we lost the bid last year in a three way tie with Willamette and Portland. This year we have a large freshman class that will add depth to the team as well as we are returning our entire offense.
Who are those guys on offense that are going to make a difference?
Jeff Ball: Nate Hampel, Jon Osterburg and Jake Reisterer are returning seniors that play midfield. On attack Vicente Aranguiz and myself will be returning, we will also be joined by Josh McDowell, a Freshman from Vermont who will add a lot to our offense.
We heard you’ve got a new coach this year. Can you give us a little background on who he is, and how he ended up with the position?
Jeff Ball: Yea, his name is Matt Gier and he is a College of Idaho alumni. He started the program here at the college and is currently working for the school. Coach Gier not only brings experience but commitment to this program. As the head coach he has been able to provide much needed structure to the program, whether in practice and games or fundraising and recruiting.
What has recruiting been like for you guys? Is there any structure or organization there, or are you not sure what you’re getting until the freshmen come on to campus?
Jeff Ball: The recruiting structure right now is primarily through the school. Prospective students that are interested in playing lacrosse tell their advisor who then contacts Matt Gier to schedule a meeting. This process gives us an indication of the number of incoming freshmen who are looking to play.
Do you have any personal goals for the season? How would you like to finish your playing career?
Jeff Ball: I would like to end my carrier by helping push this program to the next level. I want to be a part of the first College of Idaho team to make it to the PNCLL playoffs and establish ourselves as a competitive program.
The Yotes missed out on last year’s playoff when they lost a three-game tie-breaker by one goal. Their quest to redeem themselves starts March 6th, when they host the Montana State Bobcats in a rematch of last year’s opener.
This has been another Lax All Stars Fireside Chat. Stay tuned to the LAS Network for more interviews, and see our full list here.
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