PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's men's lacrosse team will blog throughout the 2014 fall season to keep fans up-to-date with current happenings on and off the field. Follow along here!
Entry 1 – The Senior Class (10/10/14)
Another year on Hawk Hill is upon us, and as a senior class, were more than motivated to get back on campus in August. We returned with a sense of eagerness and anticipation to begin the fall season and showcase our individual training efforts from the summer. With the addition of 17 newcomers, the competition at SJU has been at an all-time high.
The fall season started with our fitness and strength testing in addition to our small group skills sessions. These skills sessions stress the importance of our fundamental skills and allow us the opportunity to begin to implement our basic systems. After two weeks of skills sessions we transitioned into our “fall ball season,” which includes full team practice as well as lifting and conditioning sessions. During our fall ball season, the emphasis is on team practice and getting familiar with each other on the field. The competitive nature at practice, which has become a staple of our program, requires each player to foster the mindset that will be necessary throughout our spring season. The new additions to Sweeney Field have had a dramatic impact on the quality of our experience as players.
On Friday, September 26th, we held a free clinic for the youth players in our area. This clinic enabled us to interact with younger players and teach them basic lacrosse skills in a fun environment. Following the clinic, we had our first inter-squad scrimmage of the year, which gave our fans a glimpse of what is to come in the 2015 season. In just under 10 hours following the scrimmage, the whole team participated in the Kinney Center 5K Run/Walk for Autism Awareness. As a team, we were able to generate the most donations for the event out of any group that was involved. The following morning, Sunday, September 28th, we commemorated the 2014 team, as well as our graduating seniors.
We have spent the following two weeks of team practice preparing for our fall scrimmage against Villanova. Up to this point, we have worked tirelessly as a group and are very excited to showcase our efforts from this fall season against another team. We thank you for your continued support of our program, as well as your efforts to make the 2015 season a success!
Entry 2 – Dale Stasco (12/3/14)
The transition from being a high school athlete to a college athlete is one of the biggest challenges in my lacrosse career. I was unsure of what being a college athlete consisted of until I arrived on campus this fall. One of the differences I encountered during my transition involved the amount of time you put into being a Division I student-athlete. As a Division I athlete, our daily schedule is very time consuming; whether it is practice, strength, film, or meetings, you always have something to do.
On top of that, you have to make sure you keep up with your homework and studying. Being a freshman in college, you have to figure out how to manage your time properly and take care of your body. If you don’t take care of your body, you will not be able to compete as a lacrosse player at the college level, and your grades will most likely suffer as well. Being able to maximize the use of the academic and athletic resources provided really helped me manage my time properly and get off to a strong start.
The overall biggest change is the skill level of all the other players around you and the amount of competing that takes place every day. Whether it’s in the weight room, the track, or on the field, everyone is always working as hard as they can to try to be the best.
Entry 3 – Mike Rastivo (1/29/15)
The past two weeks have been the most exciting time of year for us as players. Everything we worked towards in the fall season from an individual and team standpoint comes together as we compete for spots. Returning as a sophomore, I know how critical the preseason weeks are due to how quickly opening day is approaching.
The coaching staff is doing a great job teaching and making sure we move as efficiently as possible so we are fully prepared to travel to Richmond for February 7th. The team emphasis has been to make us tougher, both mentally and physically, as well as being solid fundamentally. Although this is only my second year as a part of the program, it is evident that there is stiffer competition at every single position from last year. The positive energy from captains and the senior class trickles all the way down to our freshman class, creating an atmosphere that makes everyone excited to make the most of each practice every single day.
Entry 4 - Rob Watts (3/25/15)
As a team, we are extremely excited about opening up conference play this upcoming Saturday at Bryant University. After completing the first half of our season, we competed in some very exciting out-of-conference games. The early part of our season featured three separate road trips to the state of Virginia as well as multiple games with challenging weather conditions. Although we are not satisfied with the outcome of some of these games, we are confident they have prepared us for the remainder of our season.
During our spring break, we had the opportunity to go on a team-bonding trip. After a long bus ride home from Charlottesville, we spent the afternoon playing paintball. This was a good opportunity for us to enjoy some time away from lacrosse together. The day concluded with a team meal which was enjoyed by all. Following this fun day of competition, we were all eager to get back to the practice field.
Over the last two weeks, we have returned to the three staples of our program: fitness, competition, and the weight room. Our daily practices encourage competition at every position through some of our favorite drills. The overall theme of every practice has demonstrated a committed effort to improving our fundamental skills. We feel strongly that by rededicating ourselves to daily competition at practice, our team will be poised to be successful once NEC competition commences.