365 days ago, Jeff Brunelle made 10 predictions for 2010. Some were a little crazy. Others solid as a rock… Or Iraq.
Lou Holtz was Lou Holtz at the Convention. 1 for 1. Not a bad start! 2 MCLA teams went D1, sort of. The UM announcement was unofficial and Marquette was official but we’ll give it to him. 2 for 2.
I can’t remember a big bball recruit ditching basketball for lax but it could have happened. 2 for 3 now but I could be wrong. Feel free to correct me on this one!
We saw more Bros but none like Brantford or Con Bro Chill. They didn’t disappear though so Brunelle is now 4 for 5. There was more music and more lax outside of just the Pros… 5 for 6. Brand marketing has continued to evolve and now Jeff is 6 for 7. Killing it!
Neither the MLL nor the NLL has made sufficient strides with their online content. Swing… as a miss. 6 for 8. I also don’t think the Pros have taken things into their own hands any more than they already were. 6 for 9. Jeff’s final prediction was that technology will play an increased role in everything and he was spot on. LAS’ own growth is the best example of this!
7 for 10 ain’t bad at all! Now I’ll do my best to come up with TEN NEW predictions for 2011. This could get interesting!
10. More box lacrosse. We might not see more NLL teams but I think we’ll see more leagues as organizations like ULax now run box leagues, HS kids are showing more interest and the Winter leaves a lot of the North with few options. Year round lacrosse is here. No reason to not spend at least a quarter of it playing box.
9. The increased focus on high school travel teams will generate a push-back to more local play and pick-up leagues, especially in isolates areas and hot bed areas where there are more kids than travel teams can accomodate. Wayne Gretsky got great by playing in his backyard with his friends. Are we creating machines or lacrosse players? Using all of the time traveling to instead play would result in better players. It also serves as a breeding ground for creativity as the guys you play against all the time know your “best moves”. It forces you to adapt and grow.
8. We will see the continued growth of Inner-City Lacrosse. There are guys like NLL Pro Johnny Christmas doing it in Philly, some of the fellas over at Pro Athletics in LA, and long-standing groups like MetroLacrosse in Boston. Mat Levine, who runs Citylax in New York City has been particularly successful in seeing his high school programs grow (and in only 5-6 years!). He had a late Laxmas wish for a field in NYC where lacrosse could be played by all the public school teams. Something accessible by train in one of the 5 boroughs. Perhaps I’m biased, but in my humble opinion, some wealthy New Yorker, who went to Hopkins and tried out for the lax team there, should really step in here and grant this wish!
7. International Lacrosse will continue to grow. Sure, the World Games are over… or are they? Don’t forget that the World Indoor Games will be held in Prague late this Spring. The number of teams playing is smaller but it still helps. I truly hope their is media available for us here stateside. Or I’ll just have to go to Prague in May. Oh no. Teams like Thailand, China, India and others seem ready to start putting forth teams and I think we will see this in next year’s ASPAC games, which will take place in July. At least I hope we see it. Even if the teams don’t appear yet, the game is still growing all around the world and we all need to work to keep that going.
6. Colorado wins the MCLA title over Michigan. Sure, this is the craziest thing I’ve ever written but it’s definitely possible. ASU came in to 2010 hot but a bit up and down, really found their form later on and then almost made history. Colorado is poised to do the same this year. They lost blah blah blah and blah blah happened… yeah, I don’t care. It’s a push for sure but I’m sticking with it. Now make me proud, you Buffs.
5. Stony Brook makes the final 4. Now this is a team that lost some serious stuff. But I get the feeling like they’re ready to reload and will bring it when it counts. Hell, they could even make the Finals or win the whole shebang. It’s not out of the realm of possibility. But for them to make the Final 4, when everyone knows about them, is a challenge enough. If Crowley is super human, they could definitely do it. Lots of talent there still.
4. Tufts repeats as D3 National Champs. A transfer in and one of the holes on D is filled. Boom. Guarantee there are two kids who can handle a pole on that team and if there aren’t, they will convert a shortie and he will dominate. Tufts is all set if Steve Foglietta can get hot at the right time again. The confidence is there and the pieces are all there. This is probably a pretty safe bet, assuming they make it out of the always competitive NESCAC, at least.
3. Canada wins the World Indoor Championships again, Merrill is NLL and MLL defender of the year. All 3 need to come true for this to count since they are all so obvious.
2. A little shoutout to 412. Indiana makes the MCLA tourney. Good luck with that one! You’ll need it, my friend. Some stiff competition out there!!!
1. A team in either California or Florida announces their plans to leave the MCLA for the NCAA. This announcement will be for 2013 or 2014. Maybe even 2015. But it should happen, so it won’t. Still, maybe if I say it, it will happen. And I’ll look like a genius. Done!