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The Roots of the Game with Dr. Opie

0 - Published October 16, 2009 by in Lifestyle

Head_Shot5_smiling,_herk_photo_in_background,_good_photojpgLacrosse has been around for a really long time.  Some Native American Indian nations/tribes have been playing for hundreds, if not thousands of years and while we aren’t looking that far back (yet), it is always good to know where you come from and what the game was like before the youth of today had ever heard of it.

LAS is lucky enough to have found Prof. Frederick Douglass Opie, Associate Professor of History and Director of African Diaspora Studies at Marist College.  Dr. Opie wants to be very clear that he isn’t just some bookworm professor.  He is ALSO an avid lacrosse enthusiast and on his blog he has been telling stories about lax at Herkimer JC, the all-important summer ball and Syracuse University, where he played his last 2 years of college lax.  He hasn’t gotten to the point in the story where he wins ILF Gold in Perth in 1990 but it is on its way and if it is anything like some of his older posts, you just know it is going to be top notch stuff.

So welcome Dr. Opie to LAS, check out his blog and marvel at his seemingly endless lacrosse experience.  Reading about some of his experiences might help you shed a little light on your own and at the very least will be entertaining, enlightening and super duper laxxxy.

For those with keen eyes, yes that is a picture of Dr. Fred Opie playing lax back in the day in his photo from today.

Blogger Frederick Douglass Opie is associate professor of history at Marist College. He is the author of Hog and Hominy:  Soul Food from Africa to America, (Columbia University Press 2008), Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923 (University of Florida Press, 2009), and a forthcoming book Black and Latino Relations in New York, 1959-2008, (Columbia University Press) In addition to his academic career Opie has a history in lacrosse. He earned All-County honors as an attackman at Croton Harmon and he was a two-time NJCAA All American at Herkimer in 1982 and 1983 playing defense. Opie also scored and assisted on goals as part of the General’s man up offense. Opie continued his collegiate lacrosse career at Syracuse University where he played in two national championship games in 1984 and 1985 in which Syracuse lost to John Hopkins University in both years. He won post-collegiate club championships with the Long Island Hofstra and Maryland Lacrosse Club teams in the USLCA and earning All USCLA honors two times. Opie played professionally for the New York Saint in the Major Indoor Lacrosse League (MILL) from 1989 to 1990 and he  played defense for Team USA’s World Championship team in 1990. From 1989 to 1992 Opie served as the Defense Coordinator at Gettysburg College for Head Coach Hank Janzyck. He has served as the Faculty Advisor for the Marist College Red Foxes Men’ Lacrosse Team since 2003 and on the Board of Directors of US Lacrosse since 2006. He lives with his wife and two children in New York’s historic Hudson Valley. 

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