International Men

 
July 9, 2014

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FIL 2014 Preview: Yellow Division Breakdown

By Brett Amadon | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | World Lacrosse 2014

With plenty of attention on the Blue Division and favorites like Team USA and Canada, Brett Amadon will be breaking down the other divisions in the lead-up to the FIL World Championships, kicking off next month in Commerce City, Co. Catch all the action by picking up your tickets today!

Teams listed in alphabetical order. View the full schedule of the event here.

Previous Breakdowns: Green Division | Grey Division | Orange Division | Plum Division | Red Division | Turquoise Division | White Division

Bermuda 

2010 Results: 3-4 overall (1-2 group play), 18th place

Head Coach: Steve Colfer

Names Worth Knowing

D - Jake Nichols (Babson College)

M - Tyler Masters (Skidmore College)

M - Drew Jenkins (Syracuse University)

Nichols will anchor the Bermudan back line as a smart defenseman with a quick stick to scoop up any ground ball within his reach. Masters is a speedy midfielder who could see time with Jenkins, a faceoff and ground ball machine, when Bermuda opens up play this week against France.

Origin

Despite being an offshore financial center located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda has had cultural influences from the North American East Coast for quite some time. In 2002, lacrosse became one of those influences. A few years after some businessmen began organizing local pickup games, the Bermuda Lacrosse Association (BLA) was established. Mike Totman, Ernie Theriault and Kirk Bridgewater were instrumental in developing the game's popularity between both Bermudians and expats living on the island. Today, Bermuda boasts five FIL Tournament appearances (men's in 2006, 2010 and 2014, and U-19's in 2008 and 2012).

Outlook

Bermuda received a rude welcoming in 2010, getting blown out 16-2 at the hands of Poland before dropping its second game 11-5 to eventual group winner Finland. However, Bermuda recovered to sneak by Denmark and earn a spot in the middle bracket. Despite playing the Poles to a tighter contest, Bermuda still walked away with a 14-10 loss before again bouncing back to knock off Norway 8-4 with a stellar defensive performance. Playing in the 17th-20th place bracket, Bermuda held on for a one-goal win against Latvia, but fell 12-7 to Slovakia to finish in 18th place.

France

After a facing tough competition in 2010, going winless against Scotland, New Zealand and Latvia, France will be looking to rebound in Denver. (John Strohsacker)

2010 Results: 2-5 overall (0-3 group play), 27th place

Head Coach: James D. Johnson

Names Worth Knowing

M - Felix DeClercq (Roberts Wesleyan College)

A - Francois Labbé (Lille, France)

D - Nicholas Rodricks (Connecticut College)

DeClercq is a classic midfielder for France. A fast, strong dodger who can shoot with either hand, DeClerqc currently plays for the Redhawks up in Rochester, N.Y. Labbé, who was France's captain in Manchester 2010, is a big attackman who is tough to move and dangerous around the crease. Rodricks is a quick defenseman with a high lacrosse IQ. He consolidates the defensive unit and will captain the team in 2014.

Origin

Starting as a pickup sport, it was expats from the United States who helped lacrosse get footing among the locals in Paris. In Lille, the homegrown players had their interest sparked by the play of nearby Belgium. Eventually, Lille and Paris formed the nucleus that first appeared at the European Championships in 2008 followed by its first FIL World Championship in 2010. On off years between the EC and World Championship, France competes in the Celtic Cup with Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Outlook

Group play proved to be problematic for France in 2010, going winless against Scotland, New Zealand and Latvia. Finishing with a goal differential of minus-42, the closest contest for the French was a 10-goal loss at the hands of Latvia. Moving onto the lower bracket, France was again overmatched, losing 15-4 to Austria, but managed to knock off Mexico 10-6 to avoid elimination from the tournament. Instead, France was placed in the 25th-28th place bracket, where it dropped a close contest to Denmark before winning its final game of the tournament, 10-8 over Argentina to finish in 27th place.

Ireland 

2010 Results: 6-1 overall (3-0 group play), 9th place

Head Coach: Tom Prior

Names Worth Knowing

M/A - Sean Gibson (Stepaside, Co. Dublin, Ireland)

M - Paddy O'Leary (Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland)

D - Ryan Licht (Bridgewater, NJ)

Gibson is the all-time points leader in the Irish Lacrosse League, having broken the 100-point mark in January 2014. Since 2008-09 inaugural season, there have been 26 games played in the ILL and Gibson has averaged over four points per game during that time. O'Leary is a strong dodger who loves to shoot on the run and utilize his speed against other defenseman. Licht has both NLL and MLL experience following his time at Nassau Community College where he won two junior college national championships.

Origin

Lacrosse in Ireland dates all the way back to the 19th century, when the first lacrosse club, the Ards Lacrosse Club, was established in 1872. In 1876, thanks to William George Beers, the sport got a boost when he traveled to the UK and Ireland with a team of Kahnawake Indians and members of the Montreal Lacrosse Club to play in a number of exhibition games. On November 24 of that year, the Irish Times published the names of lacrosse clubs that had developed throughout Ireland, including Dublin and Belmont. Due to all of this activity, the Irish Lacrosse Union was then founded in 1879 in part by Captain Hugh C. Kelly, who was also captain of the Irish lacrosse team for seventeen years. With the establishment and management of an Irish national lacrosse team, Beers invited the team to travel to the United States and Canada to play in multiple matches. A scrapbook of this trip still exists today in the National Library of Ireland in Dublin.

Outlook

Ireland showed the world it was a team to be reckoned with in 2010, cruising through the group stage with a perfect record and goal differential of plus-50. With its closest contest being a 16-3 win over Switzerland, Ireland advanced to the upper bracket where they handled Sweden before losing its first game of the the tournament to Scotland 15-9. Playing in the ninth-12th place bracket, the Irish ran away from Finland 17-6 before handling Sweden 15-8 for the second time in the tournament to finish in ninth place.

One World, One Team, One Dream. With the help of Aimee Dixon, Uganda's dream of playing international lacrosse has come true. (Courtesy Uganda Lacrosse on Twitter)

Uganda 

2010 Results: First Time Competitor

Head Coach: Andrew Boston

Names Worth Knowing

A - Joshua Kenneth Okecho (Kings)

M - Castro David Onen (Panthers)

D - Michael Bahiizi (Strykers)

Origin

Making history on an international scale, Africa's first national men's lacrosse team, Team Uganda, will be playing its first game in the FIL World Championships on Friday against Ireland. The initiative to get Uganda into the World Championships was dubbed the Dream 2014 Campaign. Crafted by Aimee Dixon, who played college lacrosse at Louisville and had a stint with the US Olympic committee, the campaign's motto was "One World, One Team, One Dream." Last year, Dixon moved to Uganda to create a development plan for the Uganda Lacrosse Union (ULU) as well as a school for impoverished children. The Dream 2014 Campaign details the spread of lacrosse in Uganda, starting with Fields of Growth International in 2010, in a documentary called Kandote (to dream). The website also includes a short story that describes the hardships Uganda's players had to face on a daily basis, including losing their parents to disease, problems with the government and violent surroundings. Through it all, Uganda made it to Commerce City, Colo., where they will be led by a coaching staff that features head coach Andrew Boston (Delaware), offensive coordinator Tom Schreiber (Princeton), defensive coordinator Tanner Scales (Virginia) and Casey Lavallee (Hebron, Conn.).


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