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The Florida Adventures: Part II

Mar 19, 2013, 3:20 PM EST

It’s been a while, but junior attack and new bagpiper Ryan Mix checks back into the In The Crease blog with his latest post – part two of “The Florida Adventures.”

Irish Lax fans – as we are two games, and victories, into the season, I thought I would take a moment to look back at an event that helped us get off to such a great start. What is starting, and hopefully continuing, to become a tradition here at Notre Dame is our annual preseason trip to Orlando. Each year, our coaching staff and alumni line up a team trip down to the Sunshine State to warm our toes and get the ice off our sticks before the season begins. This year was no different.

The adventure began the night before we headed off to Orlando. Everyone on the team was emptying out travel bags of long sleeves and sweatshirts and making room for bathing suits, flippy-floppies, and Ray-Bans. In sophomore and fellow California native Kyle Runyon’s case there was almost not enough room for all the Cali swag he wanted to bring on the trip. As evident in his summer attire:

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The next morning, we all met in the locker to begin our day of travel from the snow to the sunshine. Packing away our beach attire, the team changed into our travel wear – coats and ties. After all, although much fun was to be had in Orlando, it was a business trip and we were going to take care of business.

After a quick meal, senior midfielder Ryan Foley gave his weekly report on attire once we had arrived at the airport:

Fashion Report: Orlando Trip

The theme of the season seems to be…..safe. And it is just that with an array of khakis, blazers and simple (borderline first communion) ties. Not a lot of risks being taken, but that will surely change throughout the year.

Best Dressed – Manager Joe. Strong, simple and fundamental is Joe’s fashion game as he sports a form-fitting custom tailored blazer and a power-striped blue tie. Topped off with dangling tasseled loafers, this fashion icon is ready to manage the heck out of 2013.

I could almost feel the warmth as the plane came closer and closer to Orlando. As soon as we touched down, and put on our assorted Br-Oakleys and other shades, we headed to baggage claim then onto the bus. We then made our way straight to Disney’s Wide World of Sports to get to work. After a great practice in the sun we headed back to check into the hotel and grab a delicious meal from LongHorn Steakhouse. I had one of the most delicious steaks I have ever had in my life and waited with freshman defenseman Matt Landis as he pondered for over an hour how he wanted his steak cooked. After dinner we had a quick film session then hit the hay.

The next day was one of the most challenging we had all preseason. Taking full advantage of the beautiful weather we had two practices spaced out over the day. The practices were broken up with a great meal provided by alumni David Earl’s favorite restaurant, Earl of Sandwich. In the second practice, we continued to work hard until the sun set (as evident by a great candid photo of David Miller trying his best to look like he is not posing).

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The next day was also no easy task. After breakfast, we headed back to the Wide World of Sports to scrimmage team U.S.A. at 10 am. It was awesome to play against some of the guys I grew up watching and idolizing. It was also great to catch up with Denver Outlaws midfielder Jeremy Sieverts, who is now holding down Newport Beach while I am gone, as well as coaching with my father at my old high school. I was sure to remind him to keep an eye on my little brothers and also that he has no left hand. As former Terp teammate David Miller would say “he’s just a big middie run hard.”

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After the game, we headed back to the hotel for a much needed shower and nap. My roommate, and aspiring crease attackmen Eddy Lubowicki, woke me up just in time to start stretching out before we jumped back on the bus and headed to scrimmage Jacksonville.

Although we were tired and beat up it was another great opportunity to compete against an awesome opponent. As the sun began to go down, we were able to play Jacksonville under the lights in perfect weather. After the game, panting and exhausted, the team headed up to the ESPN Zone for a dinner with the parents before heading back to the hotel.

The next morning was tough to begin, but we knew we had an awesome day ahead of us. After breakfast, we headed back to the Wide World of Sports for a youth clinic put on by Monsters Lacrosse. The kids were great and enthusiastic to learn from our team. It also provided Coach Corrigan an opportunity to see what current Notre Dame players might make perfect future assistant coaches. My pick goes out to long stick middy Tyler Andersen for perfectly teaching the art of the wrong foot bounce shot on the run. After going over some fundamentals, we dove right into 2-on-3’s and 3-on-4’s. Everyone was having a great time and the session ended with a classic game of sharks and minnows.

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After thanking the kids for coming out, the team headed over to the backfields for some recovery yoga/tanning. I’m not sure what I accomplished more, stretching my sore muscles or losing my South Bend snow tan. The yoga experience was great and really loosened us up before the impending plane ride. Namaste.

At the end of the trip I look back on the hard work we put in. It truly was a business trip in a location that allowed us to be as productive as possible. I want to give a special thank you to all who were involved in the trip, especially Chris Sforzo and Monsters Lacrosse for allowing us to have an unbelievable fan base in Orlando. Hopefully this can be a tradition that happens every year for Notre Dame Lacrosse… or at least for one more year.

Stay tuned for my upcoming blog on the Penn State road trip.

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