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2012 College Lacrosse All Traditional Team

There was a time when everyone played with traditional stringing. As the game has evolved, mesh came into vogue almost completely, and those days of beautiful hand strung sticks as far as one’s eye can see are now long gone.  However, there are a few hold outs; guys who just refuse to go gently into that good night… Great lacrosse players who still use traditional.

This is the All-Traditional College Lacrosse team for 2012.  It’s made up of great players who use traditionally strung lacrosse sticks.  The criteria are two-fold and incredibly simple: be good, and use traditional as much as possible (preferably all the time).

If you know of someone else, who you believe deserves traditional recognition, please drop their name, school and a link to a photo of them using traditional, and I’ll consider them for inclusion!  It’s a fluid list.

The 2012 All-Traditional Team

Steele Stanwick, Virginia

Duh.  Stanwick has been tearing it up for years, is known for his traditional/pita pocket that his father strings, and is one the best quarter back attack men to ever play the game.  He likes the traditional because it creates a pocket everywhere, and this is on display as Stanwick can cradle vertically or horizontally with ease and can snap feeds and shots out with velocity and accuracy.  Steele is definitely one of the top traditional MVP front runner right now.

steele stanwick virginia traditional lacrosse

Justin Ward, Loyola

Ward is Loyola’s third leading scorer as a sophomore behind Lusby and Sawyer and has been rocking traditional all year as far as we can tell.  He has been a key player in the #1 seed’s success and is any easy choice for the all-traditional team.

justin ward loyola traditional lacrosse

Wells Stanwick, Johns Hopkins

The younger Stanwick was out for portions of the year with an injury, but when he was healthy, he was dangerous.  23 points in 13 games (4 starts) for a freshman is great.  Wells has a bright future at Hopkins, especially with the departure of Boland.  If any parent out there is questioning whether or not to learn how to string traditional for their son, look no further than the Stanwicks.  Do it, parents!

wells stanwick hopkins traditional lacrosse

Bobby Smith, Notre Dame

One of the few poles to use traditional pretty much constantly in the college game, Bobby Smith quietly does work for Notre Dame.  He’s not flashy, but he’s effective, and his traditional stick is a thing of beauty to see out on the field.

Second Team

Eric Lusby, Loyola

The leading scorer for the Hounds was using traditional earlier this year but departed to mesh later in the season.  We hope he just broke his favorite stick and didn’t pull a Jeremy Thompson on us.  Maybe we’ll see the tradish make a comeback at the Final Four.

eric lusby traditional loyola lacrosse

Drew Federico, Fairfield

This freshman out of West Islip has 17 points in 16 games and was the Stags’ 6th leading scorer.  He rocked traditional for all or part of the season, and has a bright future in CT.  Here’s to 3 more years of traditional, Drew!  Maybe convert some of your Fairfield teammates?

drew federico fairfield traditional lacrosse

Honorable Mention

Jack Reilly, Johns Hopkins

When Hop went Old School with their helmets, gloves and uniforms, Reilly took it a step further and went Old School with some traditional.  A longstick with a traditional is far to rare these days, and with all the goals some of these guys are scoring, I’m surprised more haven’t opted for the traditional path.  Still a nod to Reilly for going the extra mile.

hop old school zima gear traditional pocket

Miles Thompson, Albany

The Thompsons all seemed to use a number of different sticks this year… sometimes in the same game, and one of Miles’ sticks was traditional with a signature braided leather bottom.  Thompson had 35 goals and 25 assists this year, but who knows how many were scored with what stick?

The All-Time Traditional Team

Just to give you an idea of where this is coming from, I’m going to list a couple of guys who used traditional when almost no one else did.  This list is also a work in progress, so nominations can be made in the comments.  These are some of the best to use traditional after the mesh revolution took over the sport:

Doug Shanahan, Hofstra

Shanahan used a Rock-It Pocket, and when I saw him play box lacrosse a couple months ago, he was still using a RIP.  That’s consistency!  He took face offs, played tough D and was a beast on offense.  He also won the Tewaaraton and almost made the NY Jets.  And he didn’t use mesh.  Hallelujah!

John Glatzel, Syracuse

Glatzel was one of the most entertaining defenders to watch… maybe EVER.  His stick was so active, and the long strings coming off his traditional were surely some mesmerizing trick he used on attack men to strip them of the ball.  When he had the ball in his stick he was a magician with it, which made sense, since his brother Tom was an attackman at Notre Dame.  Josh used traditional and played defense.  Tom used mesh  traditional as well and played attack (EN: Thanks Ty Webb!).  Still, advantage: brother John.

Mike Springer, Syracuse

Springer’s traditional was sort of unique.  The pocket was shallow (relatively speaking) and had good hold so you could still pass with it.  But it also had a wall of shooters strung pretty tight, and this allowed for Springer’s cannon of a shot to come release so quickly.  Mike’s traditional (and later mesh) was strung with a purpose, and it was effective!

Chris Rotelli, Virginia

There have been a lot of guys on Virginia who used traditional, but Rotelli will be my representative because I know where he got his tradish from… well that, and because he is one of the best lacrosse players ever. Rotelli can’t string traditional.  Neither can his dad.  But a friend from back in Providence can!  Sam Fleischner provided Rotelli with strung heads, and Rotelli provided us with endless hours of amazing lax highlights. Seems like a fair trade for the good of the world.

*Loyola players and Princeton players from the late 90s through early 2000s (Hubbard, Hess, Massey, Dwan, Battista, Hanford) were not included in the list because those two teams stuck with traditional longer than most.  Good on ya, Tigers and Hounds!

So now it’s your turn to help me complete the lists above!  Thanks to 24SevenLax and Tommy Gilligan for the photos!

WHO ELSE used traditional this year in college?  I’ll take any great player from any division or league.

WHO ELSE should be on the all-time traditional lacrosse team?