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Youth Vs. Experience In Lacrosse

0 - Published November 4, 2011 by in College, Pro Lacrosse, Youth

Old guys Vs. Young Guns!

Editor’s Note: Muamer Razic is back on LAS after a little hiatus and he’s exploring the issue of Young Players Vs. Veterans.  Which of these approaches to building a team will result in more success, and more wins?  24SevenLax is also talking young bucks vs. old men, and of course, they have a slightly different take on things, being old men.  Also, the Terps’ (NCLL) jerseys are pretty sick!

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These past few days I’ve been pondering the topic of age in lacrosse. And this Young’uns vs. Vets debate has been in sports for a while.  Don’t ask me why, but I found it a very debatable topic and well, I love listening to what other people think. This may come as a surprise to you, but I’m not always right!  Ha.  Veterans with savvy and experience vs. Youngsters with legs and ambition.   The youngster side believes that it’s better to have a young team that has players with ambition, legs, and high levels of cardio rather than a team with savvy, experience, and maturity.

So the question for me is, “is it better to have a team with young studs or vets?”

The reason why this question is so difficult to answer is because both sides have their advantages. Youth, of course, has ambition, legs, stamina, and that unabashed youthful creativity. All of these are great assets to any team. Having young player’s opens up a lot of doors; for example the pace you play at is more likely to be a lot higher than that of an older team. In my eyes, youngsters also tend to be more creative which makes them more appealing to the fans. I mean come on, would you rather see someone take a simple shot on goal or would you rather see someone sprint down the field, do a few sick dodges and then blast one into the goal? Let’s say it ends up on ESPN’s top plays, it would DEFENITELY draw more attention to the game which is what everyone wants to see happen (I think).

Veterans have more experience, and are probably more mature then the younger players.  Having a team of vets (take Casey Powell for example) makes your team more known because some of them may be considered “legends”.  Now let’s be honest, a team with legends on it is pretty intimidating. I would be pretty intimidated because you know that these guys know what they’re doing and aren’t going to make silly mistakes that the youngsters might. Also, having a team of vets would get rid of players having egos. If you think about it, those guys have played long enough to know that your ego will get checked soon, so no having egos will allow them to have a lot of teamwork. And teamwork is what wins games. No matter whom you play for, if there isn’t any teamwork then there might as well not even be a team.

By no means would either team be perfect. The young guys would have problems and so would the vets. With the youngsters you have to worry about them being big-headed, selfish, and just an overall jerk.  You may be thinking to yourself that “Oh! That’s somewhat of a stereotype, there aren’t that many players like that!” As sad as it is to say, there are. So unless they overcome that then the young team won’t succeed as much as they should. You also have to think about the things you have to teach them; plays, different styles of defense, etc.

On the other hand, a veteran-only team would have problems with the players running out of energy. As much as they want to play the whole game, most older players can’t. Another problem is if they’ll be able to cope with the physical requirements of lacrosse.

In my personal opinion I would go for the youngsters. I may be biased because I’m young myself, but I think that if you give kids the opportunities to prove themselves, they will surprise you and excel at what you ask them to do. I think it’s harder to fill the gap that’s left when older players decide they want to retire. You may think that replacing a veteran with a young stud would be better for the team, but I believe that it’s harder doing that. That young buck would have to have the right intangibles to be able to work well with the team.  So while I like a team of young guns, I can still see the benefit of having a number of veteran players.

Now check out this somewhat incomplete table I created below, and you can see some of the older and younger guys in the MLL game, and which teams they play for!

Rattlers

• Anthony Kelly (31) – now with Ohio

• Greg Bice (30) – now with Ohio

• Josh Galloway (22)

• Tom Guadagnolo (22)

• Jovan Miller (22)

Lizards

• Chris Fiore (30)

• Tim Goettelman (34)

• John Grant Jr. (37)

• Jay Card (22)

• Brian Karalunas (22)

Nationals

• Casey Powell (35)

• Brodie Merrill (30)

• Jeremy Thompson (24)

• Scott Rodgers (24)

Casey Powell Hamilton Nationals MLL championships

Casey Powell is one of the few older Nationals.

Outlaws

• Brian Langtry (35) – just retired

• Billy Bitter (23)

• Matt Bocklet (25)

• Sean DeLaney (24)

• Adam Ghitelman (22)

• Andrew Hennessey (23)

• Connor Martin (23)

• Brendan Mundorf (27)

• Peet Poillon (24)

• Max Seibald (24)

max seibald denver outlaws swim move

Seibald's game is only getting better!

Cannons

• Ryan Boyle (30)

• Kyle Sweeney (30)

• Jordan Burke (24)

• Brian Farrell (23)

•  Paul Rabil (26)

Bayhawks

• Chris Garrity (30)

• Dan Hardy (24)

• Danny Glading (25)

• Steven Brooks (27)

• Joe Cinosky (25) – now with Denver

• Michael Evans (24)

• Kyle Hartzell (26)

The beautiful thing about sports is that most teams that succeed have a mixture of vets and young studs. I don’t think you can have one without the other!  The most successful teams have a mixture of both, but I still like a young team, like Hamilton Nationals.  They had some great veteran leadership, but the bulk of their guys were young guns.  That’s my kind of team!

So what do you guys think?  Vets or Young Guns?

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