I was fortunate enough to participate in the Regional Box Lacrosse League’s inaugural series of box lacrosse games back in October/November. The Parker Rangers went 3-0 to be the winners of a best-of-five series. The flawless run came along with the awarding of the first-ever ‘Front Range Cup’. That’s all well and great, but what’s really interesting is how the initial successes of the first series has propelled the league forward.
In a few short months, the Colorado-based league has doubled in size. Four teams will compete for the Front Range Cup starting in late August. A winner will be decided in late-October of the four teams. What happens next is even more exciting.
We’re Talkin’ Expansion!
In addition to adding teams, the RBLL also added a sister league. Minnesota will have their own RBLL this coming fall to mirror Colorado’s. Both teams will fall under the umbrella of the brand spankin’ new IBLA (Interstate Box Lacrosse Association). When a winner has been decided in both states, naturally a national champion must be decided.
November 4th will be the beginning of the national best-of-five series in Colorado.
Regional Box Lacrosse League Draft!
Before we get going with Colorado’s second season (or Minnesota’s inaugural), players must be divided up fairly via a supplemental draft. While we don’t have much information regarding individual prospect players, we do have an idea as to what each team is going to be looking for.
We’ll start with the reigning champions, the Parker Rangers. I was fortunate enough to run with these boys for the second two games of our 3-0 sweep of the Mile High Stars. What the Parker Rangers had play to their favor in that series and will continue to have moving forward is the vast majority of the experience. The Rangers play the efficient and smart game for the win.
The significantly older squad boasts a lot of seasoned vets. If I’m going to go out on a limb, they’re going to look to pick up a couple of young dumb idiots who will do all the work. A couple guys fresh out of college, no box experience but a full tank of gas. A willingness to learn could help the young Rangers earn those second line O opportunities and help keep veterans fresh to do what they do best.
Mile High Stars
Although they went down 3-0 in their club premier, don’t doubt the Mile High Stars. These boys will be looking for revenge in round two. With the lessons learned in round one, I think they’ll get some wins. Extremely evident back in November was the sheer lack of box lacrosse knowledge. I think the Mile High Stars will be looking to add any offensive guys that have some more experience between the boards.
Their youth and speed earned them loose balls and goals in November. They’re just short a real leader out the D door, two experienced forwards, and a quarterback to lead the offense. Head Coach Dave Dennenberg was saying all the right things to his guys on the floor, and the learning curve was easily visible. Just wait for Dave to whip the young guns into shape. Also watch for the drafting of some seasoned guns out the O door to echo coach’s words.
The two newer teams are sheer speculation, but that’s kinda my thing. The Denver Buzzsaws came in hot with arguably the best worst logo I’ve ever seen. Shortening their moniker to the Buzz, the metro-based team will be one of the more attractive teams for local players in the Denver area. The potential ease of having practices and having committed players will play well into the Buzz’s favor. I don’t have many details as to who Denver has lined up as far as protected players, but I’m predicting the Buzz build out of the back end.
A punishing defense and solid goaltending can take it’s toll on experienced veterans who tire easily, and can frustrate young American field players without the tools necessary to break through rough D lines. Offense is a learning curve that any competent player can adapt to, but having a couple bruisers and a brick wall behind you takes the pressure off and allows for proper development. Denver Buzz needs to protect the hive, because without the hive there’s no point in stinging corners. Awful figurative language. Sorry.
Colorado Springs Wolves
Last, but probably not least, are the Colorado Springs Wolves. This will be the furthest hike from the other 3 teams, located south down I-25. My words of wisdom for the Buzz also apply here, but I don’t think there will be much of an issue for the Wolves. That makes more room to draft offensive power. Colorado Springs will have a nice reservoir of military boys to draw from locally.
Urgency to draft big D guys will be lesser than the other three teams all looking to acquire the same couple of big fellas. Where I believe Colorado would do well would be to try to grab someone else’s players who weren’t able to be protected. Then they can use them as bartering chips if their original clubs want them back bad enough. Either they’ll get a good player, or they’ll get something beneficial in trade.
Not a Bad Lot
With just the schools in the area, there will always be new players available after they’ve finished their college careers. I think that Colorado really is poised to do well with their Regional Box Lacrosse League. In my opinion, Colorado is our generation’s California. I think the influx of East Coast transplants helped lacrosse to boom. Likely at a rate we have yet to see in our sport’s history.
Postgrad lacrosse players looking for work, the beauty of the Rockies, or just getting the hell out of Upstate New York (speaking from experience) will continue to fuel growth in the region. Providing a real Canadian box lacrosse experience for senior aged players is only a natural progression. I’m looking forward to seeing how this second series goes for the boys out in Colorado.
Any players interested in the Regional Box Lacrosse League should sign up ASAP. There are a limited number of draft spots available.