Panas Player Interview: A Comparison of East and West Lacrosse
As some of you may or may not know, this past weekend was the Northwest Invitational. One of the teams joining us for this celebration of lacrosse was The Lakeland/Panas Rebels, from New York. The boys came out ready to play some lacrosse and defend the East Coast reputation against a fleet of high powered West Coast teams.
Coming across the nation that morning, the team was tired but excited to arrive in Seattle. After shooting around in the backyard and comparing attributes of our two programs, like how many teams we each had, and at what age level kids started playing lacrosse, we went to the local sub shop to grab some food. After the meal, #33 of the Rebels, Phil Hovenich, reported that the Chicken Parmesan wasn’t as good as back in New York. #5 Shane McCarran, was full of questions but mostly wanted to compare pizza. By the end of the night both boys were tired and ready to get some rest.
The next day the Mercer Island coaches took the Rebels to Pike Place Market, where the entire team purchased “I Love Seattle” t-shirts. After their tour of Seattle the Rebels came back and prepared for their first game against Bellevue. The Rebels beat Bellevue handily but admitted to being caught off guard by their tenacious roar in the first quarter. That night I had a chance to pick the boys minds even more as we took them out for pizza. We talked about the style of lacrosse and how West Coast Lax differs from the fast paced transition game that the East Coast is known for. “We only work around once before we dodge for the goal, they work it around two or three times before they think about dodging” said Shane McCarran. Shane then continued to ask questions about Seattle, and wondering about the whether and what the girls were like. Phil added his input about the pizza, New York’s was still better. The two boys then talked about their coaching staff and how it has changed in the last couple of years. Phil Hovenich then talked about John J., the perennial powerhouse that the Rebels play, a team that reached #5 last year in the National Rankings. Phil talked about how playing strong teams consistently is the only way to get better. After dinner we headed home to rest for the next day of lacrosse.
On Friday the day had come where the Rebels would play Mercer Island, and Mercer Island was looking to knock down the Rebels. Both teams ended up playing hard but the Rebels did end up on top. Shane, Phil and I stayed up that night talking about the game. Phil admitted to being caught off guard by #9’s (Greg Mahony) stunning goal in the first 9 seconds of the game. When it was all said and done Shane was surprised by the level of play from the two teams they had played so far: “I think our entire team underestimated you guys”.
The next day the Rebels were excited to play Issaquah but most of all Bainbridge. The Rebels dismantled Issaquah quickly and went on to play Bainbridge that night. Sitting in the stands anyone could tell that the Rebels were pumped for this game, despite playing three games in the past three days and about to play their fourth. Two dominant teams played each other but again the team from New York came out victorious winning all of their games.
Shane and Phil and the entire Rebel team enjoyed their trip to Seattle. They were surprised at the level of play, and were interested by the differences in their style of lacrosse and our style of lacrosse. Playing east coast teams is a great way for lacrosse in Washington State to grow, and the easiest way for teams in Washington State to get better.
By Hap Giraud