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This week we’re changing things up and getting a live action look at Old School in action. The team names aren’t included and neither is the score. But that won’t keep me from watching all of the footage and getting a feel for what it was like to play the game with real bucket helmets and wood sticks.
Lets go on a journey back in time, shall we?
Note: watching in full screen is recommended.
0:05 – This stadium is empty and I have no idea which teams are playing . Doesn’t matter, its still lax-tacular. (Update: commenter laxfan points out that the dark team is likely Army)
0:10 – Just got started and the lack of sound is killing me. To spice things up I’m listening to Yakety Sax as background music from now on. Yakety Sax makes everything better.
1:10 – Close defender in the white jersey hit by an invisible sniper and almost falls out of his Converse All-Stars as the attack hammers home a goal. The defender is going to really going to get a good ribbing at the sock hop later.
1:18 - #17 on the face for the dark team pulls the ol’ “I’m a little teapot” move and then forgets to scoop through the gb. Some things never change.
2:00 – Earthquake!… or someone dropped the camera.
3:21 - White longstick leading a fast break to a quick goal. Those poles look like they weigh 15 lbs. Impressive.
4:49 – Gee-Golly what a sloppy play by the face off man. Are they dancing the Charleston or trying to pick up the ball?
Tip: Really crank the Sax here for maximum effect.
6:05 – Keep getting glimpses of the football field goal posts in the dead middle of the endzone. Whoever thought that was a good idea again?
7:53 - Dark jersey team scores again on a beauty of a high bounce shot. White team’s defense is a real liability out there.
Some initial observations: Overall the pace of play is still comparable to the modern game but the equipment seems a beast to deal with. Lots of gbs and missed passes but no head shots or dirty play that I can see. Lets fast forward a litte bit.
From what I can tell, white is running a 1-4-1 and I’m not quite sure what dark is running (2-3-1 maybe?) .
17:07 – Want proof that the textbook L-fast break has been taught since the dawn of time? The dark jersey team just ran one that was a beaut.
18:26 - Wait a minute…where did the men on horses come from? No way this game was played in the horse and buggy days, right? We need some confirmation.
(Note: cars are seen later on. Turns out it’s mounted police checking out some lax before they go out and arrest bootleggers.)
Enough with the Yakety Sax soundtrack. Time for the #1 song from 1955. Tutti-Frutti by the one and only Little Richard.
19:30 - Lefty white attackman turtles and screws up a 1-on-none on the crease. That was NOT the bee’s knees…
19:37 – …unfortunately the dark defense muffs the ensuing ground ball and the result is a garbage goal going the other way. Little Richard says “Wop-bop-a-loo-mop alop-bam-boom!”
20:05 – The 1950’s version of ball boys aren’t wearing helmets on the endline. Could this be because the shots arent going as fast or do they just not know any better? Remember that this was a time when seatbelts were optional and asbestos and lead paint were great to have around the house.
24:00 – After a slow start, white is starting to dominate the time of possesion. The wood shafts mean that the best shots in this game come from textbook over the top bounce shots to the corners. Let that be a lesson for all of you sidearm rippers out there.
26:28 - Two goals by the team in the dark jerseys! Smelling a comeback even though I have no idea what the score is right now. The vintage gear has me hypnotized at this point.
27:45 – Even back then defensemen were getting into trouble for egregious pushes in the back. #31 was none too pleased because the attackman flopped like an Italian soccer player on that play.
30:13 – Huuuuuuuge save by the keeper. Snatched that shot right out of the air.
31:45 – Yet another long stick starting a fast break for the white team. The defense was caught napping big time.
Over half an hour of action and the rest of the highlights start to blur together. Did you see something that I missed?
One thing that we can be sure of is that the athleticism and team concepts of the game are still evident even back when the gear was Old School.
Was this what you expected? See anything that I missed? Call it out in the comments.
Special thanks to Blake Gaudet for finding the video. Wouldn’t expect anything less from such a Woozley guy and recent state champion High School lax coach.
Go clean out the attic and relive your glory days. Submit your Old School photos and stories to email@example.com.