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Idaho Lax: Interview With Sam Fritkin, Boise High School

Yes, there is lacrosse in IDAHO. In fact, Idaho is actually where I began learning the game back in 7th grade. I even live there now!

Back when I started playing barely anyone in Boise knew what lacrosse was, and a decent equipment provider was tough to find. But by the time I was in high school, things had quickly changed – community leaders came together to found a legitimate lacrosse store, youth and junior high teams started to become feeder programs for the high school level, and a high school lacrosse all-star game was born.

Boise Idaho MapA couple of weeks ago, we ran a lacrosse t-shirt campaign and challenged readers to submit their own designs. Readers who participated were asked to provide their mailing address so we could send them a free pair of LAS Game Socks. And that’s when I noticed reader Sam Fritkin‘s location -> Boise, Idaho. This called for an interview!

Sam is a senior defenseman at Boise High School. Below he fills us in on his team’s expectations this year, talks about the growth of the sport in Idaho and drops some solid knowledge about Boise for you out-of-state readers (pretty much everyone!).

What position do you play?

Sam Fritkin: Defense all the way!  I’ve been playing defense since the 6th grade, that would be 6 years now.  I played with a short stick back in the 4th and 5th grades, but I’m a natural defender.

What was your team’s record last season?

Sam Fritkin: We went 12-0 during the regular season but lost in the regional championship game to Timberline.  It was a cold rainy day.  There’s only one day a year where a man can cry, and losing a championship game is a respectable reason to use up that one day.

An attackman’s worst nightmare…
So, tell us a little bit about high school lacrosse scene in Boise, Idaho. How many teams? What’s the competition like?

Sam Fritkin: We have 12 teams in Boise, and Timberline currently has the powerhouse team with a few teams that pose a threat.  Before I lived in Boise, I played lacrosse in Las Vegas where lacrosse is huge, and comparing Boise competition to LV competition all I can say is Boise is still growing.  I believe that in the next five to ten years, Boise will be one of the most competitive lacrosse cities in the west.

Would you say the sport is growing quickly there?

Sam Fritkin: Lacrosse is beginning to get huge in Boise.  Youth leagues are starting to get bigger, which means that in the near future lacrosse will easily be twice as big as it is now.  One of the community service projects that our team does is go to local elementary schools for their lunch times and pass out some sticks and balls and teach the kids a bit about lacrosse.  These kids will begin lacrosse at such a young age that by the time they’re in high school they can be dominating the field.

Have you ever gone out of state to play? Tournaments? Camps? Which ones did you attend? How did you feel you (or your team) stacked up against the other competition?

Sam Fritkin: Before this year, I used to go to every Adrenaline tournament in California with Team Vegas and All-Idaho.  Those recruitment tourneys are a great experience and a ton of fun.  No matter how the team does in those tournaments, I always play to win and always feel my team is better than my opponent.  Besides the Adrenaline tournaments, I have played teams from all over Nevada, Idaho, California, Utah, Arizona, Washington, and Oregon.  I love playing out of state teams because the style of play is so different compared to teams from a home city from which you get so used to each opponent’s style of play.

Boise Braves rush the field after a big win.
How are the Boise Braves looking going into the 2011 season? What is the team looking to improve upon this season?

Sam Fritkin: Well, for starters we lost 14 players from last year on our varsity team.  There are only a few people who started in varsity games from last year that are still a part of the team.  It’s going to be a tough season, but I feel if everyone pulls together we can still pull off an upset for the championship.  Right now we need to improve on our defense as I am the only defender left from varsity last year that played a good amount.  If we can get everyone who’s coming up from JV ready in time for the season, we can easily have a championship season.

As a senior leader, what are some goals you have for your team this season?

Sam Fritkin: Basically I want everyone to commit themselves to everything they do.  I believe that if you are committed then you give 100% at all times, and that is what wins games.  If I can instill a sense of commitment in my team, then they can learn to commit themselves to things and go far in everything they do.

Getting that check in!
What are some of your personal goals this season?

Sam Fritkin: I personally need to break an opponent’s stick this year on a wicked stick check.  I have been told by many people in the league that I have the hardest stick checks, and I figure breaking someone’s stick in a game would be a gnarly way to show it to everyone else.

Best place to eat in Boise?

Sam Fritkin: Boise Fry Company is the best, hands down.  Getting my fries with a burger on the side.  They have a ridiculous amount of choices you can have with different potatoes, cuts, salts, and dipping sauces; everything they have is prime.

Idaho potatoes, anyone?
Idaho potatoes, anyone?

Are you a Boise State football fan?

Sam Fritkin: I have never really gotten into the Bronco Nation scene.  I moved to Boise about a year and a half ago and just thought it was pretty funny how everyone was all stoked for BSU and I was just the kid from Vegas who they would try to convert everyday.  I have decided that I won’t be a fan of a specific college/university until I go to one.

Are you planning to play lacrosse in college? Club or NCAA? Why?

Sam Fritkin: I will definitely be playing lacrosse in college.  I’ll be in the MCLA for sure.  The NCAA is too uptight for me and all the NCAA schools that were recruiting me didn’t have my intended major of chemical engineering.  MCLA is much more laid back and still competitive.  This allows me to have much more fun in college!

The Wonderboy, solid choice for a d-pole.

What’s your stick setup like? What type of head? Shaft? String job?

Sam Fritkin: Well, my stick is cheap, real cheap.  I am known from everywhere I’ve lived in to break my heads.  I broke 11 heads and a shaft last season alone from my checks.  Right now I have a STX Bionic head I got for around $30 with a Maverik WonderBoy shaft which is my warranty back up.  I string my heads with a pocket in the bottom third of my head with two straight shooters and a U shooter.  The lower pocket helps a lot with keeping the ball in the stick which is nice.  I also have a minimal amount of whip so everything stays consistent in my passing.

What’s your favorite song to listen to on gameday?

Sam Fritkin: I don’t have a favorite song to listen to on gameday, but I do enjoy to listen to some old school rap to get my mind on something other than the game.  Big L, Wu-Tang, maybe some B.I.G. to get things bumpin.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for Metallica and things like that to get me pumped, as long as it’s not screamo crap, I’m really down for anything musical.

Good call. Thanks to Sam for the interview and teaching us all a little about lax in Idaho!