Men’s lacrosse mixes work and play in offseason

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Men’s lacrosse mixes work and play in offseason

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Photo by Maggie Casey

Trib File Photo

Photo by Maggie Casey

Photo by Maggie Casey

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Training can sometimes be a nagging reality for many athletes, but this year, the men’s lacrosse team switched things up.

“All fall we did competitions, whether it was in the weight room or 6 a.m. down at (Valley Fields),” redshirt sophomore midfielder Kyle Whitlow said. “We had a lot fun and it was a good way to get in shape and come together as a team.”

At the end of last semester, players split into five teams to battle it out in the inaugural annual Thanksgiving Throwdown.

Competitors participated in different fitness events including sprints, individual tug-of-war, power wheels and other workouts.

After a nearly month-long competition, one team came out as the victor.

The Beumans, captained by Whitlow, were in dead last after a strong start and had no sign of turning things around. However, slowly but surely, the team rose from the dead and pulled within two points with one day left in the competition.

On the final day, the Beumans won all the day’s events to take the win away from the Dauntless Red Coats and the Bone Collectors.

Following the Thanksgiving Throwdown, the lacrosse team closed out the semester with a football bowl series.

Once again players were split into teams and played in a playoff style tournament for the chance to play in the second annual, unofficially sponsored, Cargill.com Bowl.

Sporting NFL jerseys from various teams or pretty much any jersey from any sport that was available, the teams battled in intense games of touch football. Faceoff specialist Paul Ripportella won the day earning MVP honors and led his team, captained by redshirt sophomore faceoff specialist K.C. Kennedy, to the championship.

The winners hoisted a homemade trophy made of tin foil, plastic and a potato chip bowl, over their heads in celebration.

“It helps a lot during the day because you kind of get into a schedule and into a routine and you’re going through it everyday and something fun like playing in the football game comes up and it just lifts everyone’s spirits,” Kennedy said. “It just lifts everyone’s spirits and you’re just really focused after the game. It’s the little things like that that make it more fun with the boys.”

Coach Joe Amplo said having these unconventional competitions is important to break up the monotony of training during the fall.

“At the end of the day, it’s supposed to be fun,” Amplo said. “It’s a long fall semester, training wise, and we don’t get to see an outside jersey at all in the fall and we demand a lot of time from (our team). We demand their effort so for us to make it as fun as possible is a big, big goal for us.”

Now that the fall is through, winter brought the team indoors and back to the grind. With the season opener against Lehigh less than a month away, the team has knuckled down, but continues to work hard while having a little fun in the process.

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