Oct 23, 2012, 4:02 PM EDT
Ryan Mix is a junior attackman on the Notre Dame lacrosse team. He will be blogging for UNDerground throughout the year, giving fans an inside look at Irish lax and the Notre Dame experience.
Dear sports fans, every year at Notre Dame we strive to provide the world with an entertaining, interesting, and informative blog following our team from the fall to the season, including all of the adventures we have on the way. This year, the reigns of blogging have followed the “Irish tradition” of being passed down to the next crease attackman. It began with the legend, Ryan Hoff, whose most popular works have been published in Crease Attackmen Quarterly, as well as I Have No Idea How He Scored That Magazine. The blog then went into the hands of Nick “box fake to walk the dog to skinny to low to high rip” Beattie. I realize the futility of trying to live up to the integrity of these bloggers, but alas, I will do my best.
It is only fitting that the first blog of the year surround our Playing for Peace event in Chicago, where Notre Dame hosted the Bellarmine and Detroit Mercy lacrosse teams and a bunch of fans. Afterwards, the teams then participated in community service activities in the surrounding Chicago areas. It is so cool to be a part of an event that can blend lacrosse with helping in the local community.
Our team arrived a quarter after Bellarmine and Detroit Mercy had begun doing battle in the sunny, yet freezing cold morning. As my California blood remained warm under my two sweatshirts, jacket, earmuffs, beanie, sweatpants, long johns, and adidas cold gear, I was able to catch the first half of the game before heading into the locker room to get dressed to play.
We began with playing Bellarmine immediately after the conclusion of their first game and were eager to finally be on the field with a team wearing different colors than our own blue & gold.
We went on to conclude that day finishing 2-0, defeating Bellarmine 14-4 and Detroit Mercy 16-7. A full recap of the games can be found here. It was awesome to see all of the Notre Dame fans that had traveled from all over the country just to support a fall scrimmage. I even recall the local children starting a “Let’s Go Irish” chant.
As soon as hands were shaken at the conclusion of the game, we headed to go see our team managers to grab food and learn where we would be headed to do community service. Half of the team was to stay at the high school and aid in a lacrosse clinic, as well as put a couple of new coats of paint around the school. The other half of the team grabbed food (the ever-so-delicious Jimmy Johns) and headed out to St. Malachy School. I was one of these “chosen few” and we were then briefed on the many tasks at hand including window cleaning, cement mixing, floor rewaxing, and shed building.
Upon arriving to St. Malachy School we instantly went to work. Splitting up into three teams, window washers, cafeteria floor rewaxers, and shed builders. I was appropriately placed as team leader for the window washing crew, as this best allowed me to expose my talent – a fear of heights and shine, in front of everyone, on a ladder. Junior defensemen Steve O’Hara was placed in charge of building the shed, as he enjoys picking things up and putting them down more than anyone in Division I lacrosse. The cafeteria floor job was handed to junior Marty “Good Approach” Collins, most likely because of his love for recreating the cafeteria scene from High School Musical.
After a couple of hours of work, the school was looking brand new, and the team assembled to attempt to finish the shed. This is where we realized that Stephen O’Hara’s muscles did not do a very good job reading instructions, no matter how many Bulgarian split squats he did. Luckily junior Jim Marlatt came in to save the day. The team then snapped a few photos, thanked our hosts and jumped back on the bus to pick up the rest of the team before departing for Soldier Field to watch the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take down the Miami Hurricanes.
The bus pulled up outside of the stadium, and the team rushed off to go see our parents who had set up a tailgate right outside the stadium. We ate some delicious food and even ran into a bunch of alumni who had come out for the game. The atmosphere was great and I’m pretty sure I saw ND alum and former bloggers Nick Beattie and Duncan Swezey inside rolling and swim-dodging their way through the crowd to greet the team. It was awesome seeing all the alumni and parents put together an unreal tailgate for us. I have never seen so many Irish alumni return to continue to cheer on Notre Dame. After we finished eating and socializing, we walked into the stadium and got up into our seats.
The sold out crowd was going insane as Notre Dame was introduced, and continued to stay rambunctious as the Irish went on to defeat the ‘canes, 41-3. We then boarded the bus and began to head back to South Bend. On the bus ride back, I realized how incredible the trip had really been. Not only had I gotten the opportunity to play the sport I love, but I also was able to help out in a community that desperately needed our service. Of course, the conclusion at Soldier Field was just icing on the cake.
Following, are the accolades associated with the trip.
Rookie Performance of the Week
This week’s rookie performance goes to attackman Eddy Lubowicki for throwing a documented and unnecessary amount of twelve-and-a-half fakes before scoring his first career goal.
Alumni Performance of the Week
Although many alumni were present this weekend, the award has to go to short stick d-middy Devon Dobson for saving the world on Wall Street (providing coffee to those in need) while we were all out having fun. Thank you Devon, we could not have done it without you.
Community Service Performance of the Week
Kyle Runyon, plain and simple. This photo (and outfit) is enough evidence.
Sweet Lefty Finish Off of a Fast Break Performance of the Week
This week’s award goes to Matt “KavLax” Kavanagh for a sweet lefty finish off of a fast break.
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