Editor’s Note: Welcome David Wagner back to LAS! Last time around, David relayed stories to us about the wonderful world of old man lax at Vail. This time around, David hit up Lake Tahoe, and he provides an older gentleman’s take on the current Summer club lacrosse scene!
Okay, okay ,I know what you’re thinking, what the “insert expletive text here” was Mr. Old School doing playing at Tahoe? Well kids, I’ll explain, but we’re going to be covering a few topics, so buckle up, take your ear buds out, and try to pay attention.
First of all, I live in Nevada, and while I know most of you young knuckleheads playing at the Tahoe tournament are from Cali, so let me help you out; the tournament is held in Incline Village, Nevada! Yes Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas or California anymore, you’re in the state of Nevada. Thusly, I am at the tourney as I want to help support and grow the game in my home state.
Second, when I started playing lacrosse again a few years ago, there weren’t many options in my area and since I travel a lot for work, I needed a club that was okay with me not being able to participate in many practices. Luckily for me, I stumbled across the Central California Lacrosse Club also known as the FresnoLacrosse Club (http://www.fresnolacrosse.org).
Now the Central California area is not known as a final destination for lacrosse addicts, but there was a core group of laxers there that loved the game like most of us. So they formed a club and over the years have cultivated locally in the area anyone with any kind of a lax pedigree and even more impressively, they have always welcomed and encouraged new guys to join up and learn the game.
So yes, the Fresno guys are committed to growing the game and there’s a wide variety of skill sets on the club. But there’s not a better group of guys and laxers anywhere!
Want more proof? They let a fossil like me join the club and play with them! So while practice is always beneficial, the Fresno club has a refreshing policy that says if you can come and play, then do it, if you can’t, then we’ll see you when you can. So if you’re a homeless laxer looking for a club to play on, definitely drop an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael Dean is the current club president and they are always looking for guys that love the game of lacrosse and want to play!
Finally Mr. Hotshot, why can’t I play? It’s my state and my club team is there – I’m playing. But don’t worry, there is more on why I shouldn’t play, later on in the article.
However as Clint Eastwood (aka: Dirty Harry ) once said – “a man’s gotta know his limitations!” So in actuality this is a not so subtle appeal to Curt Wegener, the founder of the Lake Tahoe tournament (http://www.norcallacrosse.org/events/2012/tahoe.htm) to add new brackets! The success and growth of the Lake Tahoe tournament is well known and 2012 was the 22nd year it has been held with the field now expanded to 32 teams.
Is it time to consider adding age divisions and offering another cool alternative to the Vail and Lake Placid tournaments. I am sure there are numerous expense, logistical, and other issues that would need to be dealt with to expand the tournament beyond the current 3 day format. But with the growth of the game (especially on the west coast), the great location, the history and quality of the tournament, in my opinion, it puts the tournament at a place where it makes sense to give it some serious thought. Well it’s only an opinion, what do you guys think…
Should the Lake Tahoe Tournament add in a Master’s division?
Okay, now it’s time to talk about why I shouldn’t be playing at Tahoe. It’s called perspective, you knuckleheads! I have played supermasters and grandmasters in Lake Placid and Weston (FL). I have played grandmasters in Vail. I usually get in anywhere from 3 to 8 games in a tournament.
I have lost a toenail or two from a cleat stomp, and had my thumbs and fingers jacked by hard checks, but other than the expected sore old bones and muscles, nothing major injury-wise. I play two games against you Tahoe hotshots and I look like I have been through a medieval interrogation!
The reality is that the lax talent playing at Tahoe is pretty exceptional! I’ve got 30+ years on most of you hotshots, so yes I got my butt kicked, but at least it was by some quality laxers! It’s very cool to see how good “west coast” lax players are now. Keep it up hotshots!
So in closing fellow laxers, while getting old pretty much sucks overall, there are small upsides every now and them. At halftime during our second game on Friday, I went over to the sideline to speak with my chick. I ask her: So what do you think? She says: you need to do a better job protecting your stick! I respond: yeah you’re right. She responds: okay give me a kiss, now get back in there and have fun.
Now while this is going on, one of you hotshots from the other team ( Ryquins Piranha’s) runs up to his chick looking all happy because he’s playing lax at Tahoe, and they are ahead at halftime. What does his chick say – she lays into him like a “housewife from NJ” just giving him all sorts of grief about some random text message she got during the game. The poor hotshot is just completely deflated by this turn of events. He mumbles something and runs back for the safety of the team sideline.
So what’s the upside of getting old? Generally there’s a lot less “chick/dude drama”! But the real key here is that if you take care of yourself, you still get to play lacrosse, and you’ll probably have the most fun of your life!