US Lacrosse - Men's Game Live from the MCLA
US Lacrosse Men's Game team are out in Orange County, Calif. for this week's MCLA National Tournament. Stephen Berger and Brian McGettigan will be providing daily blogs on the scene from the event, which concludes Saturday with the Division I and Division II title games at Chapman University.
We arrived in beautiful Orange County, and the first plan of attack was to find the nearest IN and OUT Burger to fuel up - because our next stop was over to the the fields at UC Irvine where the MCLA opening rounds are being held.
When we got on site, we set up the player "chill zone" where all the players can hang in between games and relax. Player and coach interviews will also happen thre, and we had a chance to meet the teams and welcome to the tournament as they had practices all day to prepare for tourney time Monday morning!
After setting up a UC Irvine we headed off to find our lodging beautiful Newport Beach. Steps from the Pacific Ocean - we had am hour or so to relax before heading off to the MCLA Coaches social. That was a gatherling of all the coaches from the teams that made it from both divisions - out of a total of 216 teams, only 32 made it to nationals - so a huge congrats to those coaches and teams for all their success and making it to the championship rounds.
A few of the US Lacrosse efforts while we're here at the championships...
1) Coach and officials recruitment: Our goal here is to connect the people currently playing the game with youth leagues, local officials associations and coaches associations - helping them get in the pipeline to coach and officiate the game as a way of staying involved and help grow the sport.
2) The Sportsmanship Initiative: All 32 teams are supporting our initiative this year by wearing our helmet decals and following the games, they will be a showing great class and honoring the game to show the fans what it's all about.
3) Engage the NCO Community: We want to have a community talk with the coaches and players to find out the challenges and issues that they run into so US Lacrosse can be better equipped to support the growth of the game. These kids are at the forefront of the tremendous growth of the game, so hearing from them is a huge step that we can take this weekend.
After the social - it was time to head home and get a little rest and relaxing before a long day Monday UC Irvine for Round 1!