So how do you continue to build a top lacrosse program in a country that thinks it’s just a bunch of crazy guys chasing eachother with sticks? Go the the ILF U19 World Championships and kick ass! There’s a solid core of players now ready to bring the mens team to the 2010 world games with a new sense of pride and passion. Also, make friends with other nations, and prove that you can play at this level with a depleted roster and three coaches that have almost no idea what they are doing on the international stage. Then make your team get up at 6am, after they’d been drinking until 3am, on the day after all your games are over and make them run sprints for thinking they can get away with anything. That will surely make you a topic of conversation the next day at the skills competition.
Now for a summary:
Wow. Two thirds of Bermuda’s summer lacrosse events are over, and man am I exhausted. The U19 worlds finished on a great note and I think Bermuda has impressed the world. Again. US Lacrosse magazine named us best dressed. http://laxmagazine.cstv.com/sports/outloud/spec-rel/070208aaa.html Two world game entrants, two best dressed trophies. To those that thought we’d look ridiculous in the red shorts and blazers off the island, you were right. But what a spectacle for everyone to see, and a nice conversation starter. It will be a must going forward.
The organizers even played some Collie Buddz during the US/Canada championship game in respect of Bermuda. Between the wonderful black rum, red shorts, pink beaches, and great music the international lacrosse community is falling in love with Bermuda Lacrosse.
As far as the tournament goes, what a great job the organizers did and what a beautiful location to play lacrosse. It couldn’t have been organized better, except for maybe putting in an off day between the round robin and play in games. The accommodations, meals, and transportation, however, left a lot to be desired. How anyone can think that world championship athletes can survive on pancakes, syrup, and kool Ade is beyond me. And about that shuttle service running every 20 minutes (which Australia confirmed is what they were promised as well…), well, I thought Bermuda was on island time but man were they slow. Some of our guys were waiting at the field for 3 hours without a shuttle showing up to bring them home. Horrible organization on that end.
Our games went very well. We started out 2-0, and finished tied for second place in our division. Due to the tie breaker rules we received the 4th seed for the play-in games despite beating the team that finished with the 3rd seed in round robin play. So we got another quality win against Finland before playing Wales to determine 9th/10th place overall. Having a short roster of only 18 to begin with, we went down to 15 for the final game due to injuries and other lacrosse commitments for our players. We lost that final game 8-3.
Overall an incredible victory for our organization as we finished dead last without a win in 2006. The friendships made on the trip will last and help us grow in the future. The players became pretty good friends with the US team, but Wales were truly top notch competitors. Sharing a dorm with them was a fun experience and we’re looking forward to spending some time with them in 2010. Everyone at the tournament, from the Wales coaches to the first aid trainers at the field, had a great time together.