This week’s JuCo Report features the official NJCAA Preseason Poll, an interview with Chuck Wilbur (the Head Coach of Onondaga Community College), and some final preseason thoughts from yours truly. The season starts up on Feb 21st for a number of NJCAA Men’s Lacrosse teams… the season is nigh! It’s NJCAA Polls time!
The NJCAA Preseason Poll uses a system of points to determine who the Top 10 will be. 6 voters rank the teams, and 10 points are given for a #1 vote, 9 points for a #2, and so on down the list.
If you want to see my take on the NJCAA Preseason Top 10, check out last week’s JuCo Report!
1) Onondaga – OCC is back at #1 with 60 of the possible 60 vote points. No surprises there.
2) Nassau – Another relatively easy pick here with NCC, checking in with 53 points. Only one voter thought NCC wasn’t the #2 team in the country.
3) Essex – CCBC Essex was only 4 points behind Nassau in the #3 spot with 49. 5 voters put them at 3, one voter put them at #2.
4) Genesee – With 40 points, Genesee was the clear cut #4 pick.
5) Anne Arundel – And here is where it gets tight. AACC got 30 points…
6) Howard – Howard got 28 points…
7) Delhi – and Delhi had 27 points. This 5-7 group is very tight in the eyes of the voters.
8) Harford – Harford rolls in to the #8 spot with 18 points, just ahead of…
9) Suffolk – Suffolk who comes in with 14 points, good for the #9 spot.
10) Monroe – Monroe closes things out with 8 points and the 10 slot.
ASA and Dean also received votes, but didn’t get enough points to crack the Top 10. ASA and Dean split 3 points between them.
Calling ALL JuCo Cars!
If you have JuCo Lacrosse photos from scrimmages, gear photos, video from fall ball, video from scrimmages, video from practice, newspaper articles, etc, etc, etc… PLEASE send it in to me! LaxAllStars.com truly wants to make sure NJCAA Lacrosse gets the attention it deserves, so please help us out by submitting stories, photos, video, and anything else you can think of!
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Final Preseason JuCo Thoughts
While there aren’t a top of great games super early, there is plenty to look forward to in the first month or so of NJCAA lacrosse this Spring. Onondaga plays #7 Delhi, #6 Howard, #8 Harford, #3 Essex, and #4 Genesee all before April 1st. Essex will play Genesee, Suffolk, and OCC in the same stretch. Essex also finishes the year with four top 10 games. Nassau has a big game with Anne Arundel on March 7th, and on the 14th they play Genesee. ASA will play Anne Arundel on March 19th, can they win out before then? Finger Lakes, if they are legit, could win all their games through April 7th (except for their tilt with OCC), and that would put them at 9-1. That’s a lot of “if”s for now. Delhi opens with OCC on Feb 28th, and by March 22nd they will have played Genesee, Monroe, and Nassau.
So while the season might start a little slowly, it picks up pace quickly. Without any upsets, the poll will stay how it is… but week 2 and week 3 could see some movement and changes.
Interview With OCC’s Chuck Wilbur
You guys graduated a lot of talent last year. Will this year see more freshman stepping in, or sophomores stepping up? Where do you have the most returners?
We are really excited about this year’s team with returners as well as new freshmen. With our whole defense returning in Tyson Bell, Oakley Thomas, and Dan Scanlon, and ssdm Adam Bomberry and Dalton Wenzel as well as LSM’s Chandler Allen and Logan Ball, that is a strength with talent and experience. We think we have as much, or more, talent on offense than we have had in the past.
[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=Da79I_avOZg” splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Da79I_avOZg/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”2014 NJCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship: Onondaga Vs Nassau”]
When you look at the rest of the NJCAA, do a couple of programs strike you as ready to make the jump to the next level? If so, which programs and why?
I think there are a lot of programs who seem to be going in the right direction, which will help the JuCo landscape and make it even stronger… Howard, Anne Arundel, and Finger Lakes just to name a few. Those coaches are working hard to take the next step.
What are the keys to developing a strong Junior College program? And how is recruiting different from NCAA Lacrosse?
A lot of the JuCo schools don’t know their full rosters until the day school starts, whereas a lot of the 4 year schools are signing kids as sophomores in high school. I think having support from your administration is number 1 for any successful JuCo team. Our facilities and support are better and nicer than most 4 year schools, so we are fortunate.
There is activity on the West Coast when it comes to Junior Colleges playing lacrosse, although they play in the fall. Do you see NJCAA Lacrosse expanding westward in any way any time soon?
I HOPE SO.
What are your team’s biggest challenges this year? Is the pressure of winning starting to get to you now? Or has it become routine? Explain this to those of us that don’t know what it’s like!
It’s always a pressure to win situation for every school that’s been successful… but if you have that pressure of winning then you’re doing something right. The biggest challenge will be getting our team ready to face a lot of very good competition that is out there. I don’t think many people realize how much talent is in JuCo lacrosse. I would take the top 5 in JuCo Vs the top 5 at a lot of the 4 year levels.
[fvplayer src=”https://youtube.com/watch?v=8qYc9FLsHp4″ splash=”https://i.ytimg.com/vi/8qYc9FLsHp4/hqdefault.jpg” caption=”2013 NJCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championship: Onondaga Vs Nassau”]
What is the most rewarding thing about coaching an NJCAA lacrosse team for you?
Helping kids fulfill a dream of getting to a great 4 year school, and watching boys become men as they mature as people.
Thanks to Coach Wilbur for a great interview!
From JuCo To NCAA – Three Stars
Randy Staats, a former OCC All American, is tearing it up for Syracuse right now with 4 goals and 3 assists in two games for the Orange. Staats also had a strong showing for the Iroquois Nationals this past summer at the World Lacrosse Championships.
Lincoln Liesemeyer, another former OCC player, and while he’s not as well known as Staats, Liesemeyer does have the distinction of being the first ever D1 lacrosse player to come from Hawai’i. He is now a Captain for Furman’s D1 team, where he is also a starter, and he picked up 2 GBs in Furman’s opening season loss to UNC, and 1 in their loss to Lehigh.
Tim Barber, our third OCC guy on the list, scored two points for Cuse against Siena and saw time at the midfield against Cornell, in another win for the Orange.
As Dowling, Adelphi, Cabrini, Mount St. Mary’s, and a number of other NCAA programs kick off their seasons, expect to see some different names on this list week to week!
That’s all for now, until the next JuCo Report!