Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NCAC player of the week

Westlake, Ohio – Oberlin College senior men’s lacrosse player Jesse Kane was named as the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday evening.
*Check out the full press release on the Oberlin college athletics website www.GOYEO.com.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Beginning (3/28/09)

At this point, what beginning do we have? This beginning is the beginning of lasts. It's our last night in Hilton Head, it has been amazing, but bittersweet like I couldn't even imagine. Every year spring break is a chance to better get to know the guys that maybe you didn't know all that well, or to grow closer with those you did. This year was no different, I got to hangout with some great guys for a week in an awesome spot. How could that be bittersweet? Well, that would be because my time with them is limited (it's always been limited, but the limit is oh so close this time). Tonight Jesse and I took a nice long walk around Palmetto Dunes talking about senior year: life (the rest of this year, the summer, next year, real life), the universe (creationism, Palmetto Dunes, the mountains), and everything (girls, my deeply disturbed psyche, burning man). While we were talking I was thinking about how you only get the full four years with the other guys (or guy in our case) in your class and it occurred to me that the quality of the guys on this team and the friendships is why our alumni game is so well attended. We just don't have enough time with each other, even though there are moments when it seems like we spend too much time together.

As we are getting ready to leave I come to the realization that I didn't hangout enough with each of the guys, but looking back I can't think of time that I want to trade to hangout with someone else, simply because the time I'd be trading in was spent hanging out with another one of the guys and is equally as valuable.

I had to get that out of the way before I was going to be able to sleep (I'm writing this somewhere in the range of 3 am the same morning the bus leaves Hilton Head) and/or write about the annual team dinner at Steamers (a seafood place here on the island) paid for the legend himself, Don Jacobs(lacrosse alumni & father of current player Alex Jacobs). As always it was amazing and an absolute glutton fest of seafood. There is one legendary item on the menu, the shellfish platter, that everyone talks about and a much smaller percentage actually eat. It is really more shellfish than anyone human should attempt to eat, I got it freshmen year and thought that ordering it again would provide a nice symmetry. Besides that, one of the two veggies on the team decided he was coming back, so hopefully we'll have video up soon of his first bite of meat in a very long time (it was steak). We have a tradition of it being one of the freshmen's birthday at Steamer's, mainly so we can all cause a ruckus by singing and laughing at the confused look he gets. This year instead of the wait staff bringing a desert with a candle in it, our waiter thought what he really should do was take a fat handful of whipped cream and put it in his face. We're thinking this guy eats too many doritos and drinks too much mountain dew (get it? he's too extreme).

For those of you reading this (and I know there are some, I've heard of you through the grapevine), please let me know who you are and how I'm doing. You can go ahead and comment away, or send me an email ( matthew.hollenbeck@oberlin.edu ). I'm thinking about keeping my regular blog appearances going once my spring break tenure is up and I'd like some input.
- Matt Hollenbeck '09

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Third Plague (3/26/09)

I have to put in some corrections (because my mom emailed and heckled me), it was 900 miles, and I also got both aloe (which has come in real handy if you get the title of this post) and a bunch of goodies in addition to the spf 15 sunscreen.

So we won, despite what amounted to a plague of biting sand flies of biblical proportions. We beat SCAD in triple overtime, with some strong goaltending, timely goal scoring, and some real strong late defensive stands. It was awesome to get that weight of our shoulders, I think this will help us move forward, knowing that we can win even in the face of adversity. The win really lifted the guys' spirits, which were already pretty high after having spent the day hanging out in Savannah.

Savannah is an amazing city, beautiful, tree canopied streets of the old south, but with a very alternative, liberal vibe. We had a great time walking the city, wandering into cool little shops (including an amazing candy shop), and having two awesome meals, Vic's on the River for lunch and the Distillery post game. Jesse and I had Joey take what will most likely be the senior day program cover, a nice romantic picture of us staring deep into each others eyes standing on a bridge in a Savannah.
- Matt Hollenbeck '09
P.S. Coach Walz was the first player out in our final game of Risk, I went out last.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beach Bums (3/24/09)

Ok, ok, I've been slacking in this whole blogging thing. Hopefully I'll be better now that I've finally pulled my computer out of my bag.

I'm not going to say much about last Saturday's game, but we came out flat and lackadaisical, hopefully we can get our heads on straight and play to our potential during spring break.

Over the past few days, we've had a couple of good hard practices, plenty of beach time (including a beach football game that featured "accidental" full contact and me picking off a pass and running it in for a touchdown and the win), and the annual trip to the Piggly Wiggly. Today we had an early practice so we could have all afternoon out on the beach, and by we I mean the rest of the guys, because I'm sitting back in my condo taking care of an "undisclosed lower body injury". On the plus side that means I get to get caught up on the blog (yay!), I can make sure the jerseys get taken out of the laundry machine, and stay out of the sun (because all I have is spf 15, really mom? spf 15? if you're going to bring sunscreen 500 miles why spf 15?).

Tonight is the final showdown between myself and Coach Walz on the Risk board, I'll let you know who wins the game of Global Domination.

Tomorrow we have our scrimmage against SCAD, we'll also be spending the day in Savannah, so hopefully we'll have some good stories for our next blog entry.

Longest Bus Ride Ever (3/20/09)

For Jesse and myself this is our fourth and final spring break. It's amazing how quickly my college career has gone, it seems like just yesterday we were on our way to spring break with Andrew Crosby playing the guitar, singing about Palmetto Dunes. Everyday, and especially on this trip, I hope that we can be as good to this team as the seniors before us have been. Between that desire and the rapidly approaching end of my career make each game and every moment with this team extra important and memorable.

Like this one, when we're stuck in traffic somewhere north of Nashville at some ungodly hour of the night. We decided not to put on another movie (after finishing our fourth of the ride), and the bus has been stationary for about a half hour (people around us have gotten out of their cars and are milling around), so as you can imagine the boys are going a little stir crazy. Even at times like these, when I have to put on headphones so I don't have to listen to them anymore, I can't imagine being a part of another team.
- Matt Hollenbeck '09

Here we go again - 3/20/09

Today we left for spring break in Hilton Head, SC. During our 11 day trip we'll have games against Sewanee and Guilford, plus a scrimmage against SCAD. I'll be blogging during the trip (through Coach Cohen, so we'll blame delayed and poor quality posts on him, even though it's probably my fault).
- Matt Hollenbeck '09

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yeomen @ Shenandoah U.

Greetings Obie Lax Blog visitors!

So unfortunately our second match didn’t go as smoothly as we all had hoped. It looks like Oberlin Lacrosse ’09 will have to wait another week until we get another crack at our first W. Even though losing to Shenandoah University 8-9 in overtime is less than ideal, I think we all walked away with a tiny presence of gratification. We were facing a team that not only had beaten us the last time we met two years prior but also had a sideline roughly three times as large as ours. We dominated in nearly every aspect of the game right from the start but somehow still managed to lose. Though disheartening, for us it will hopefully be the motivating factor going into Sewanee this Saturday to perfect our game.

Having such a small squad really has created an interesting dynamic to the sport and it pushes us to work twice as hard in nearly every facet. One of the Shenandoah attackmen commented to me during the game that he was impressed with the amount of talent our team had despite our low numbers. Coach Walz also mentioned that he talked with a few Oberlin Lax Alums that were there and they said that it was the best Oberlin lacrosse they had ever seen. Of course this is in no way a consolation to losing a game we absolutely should have won, but it at least says to me were making progress. After last year’s season, progress is the only thing this team should be exhibiting.

Any who, I could go on but perhaps I should let the rest of the season speak for itself. Junior defenseman Joey Pope signing out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fast break defense

• The first thing all team defenses must do in a fast break defense is simply making the call “fast break”. This allows everyone to know we are in an unsettled defense and to react accordingly.
• The defense must then get in their “fast break triangle”. Its important to remember that once a fast break is called, the defense is no longer man-to-man, it’s in a zone.
• To effectively execute your fast break defense, proper communication is imperative. The top of the triangle should identify himself as the point man; he will make the call as to whether the defense needs to rotate or if they can hold. The two remaining close defenders drop to the right & left pipes of the goal calling back right & back left
• It’s important to remember that once one player rotates in the triangle, all must rotate as one. You must trust your teammates in this situation and not hesitate. Once the point man slides to stop ball, he must make the wheel or rotate call. (Terminology will vary from program to program.)
• The following will be described in steps, but it’s EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that it’s executed in unison. Once the wheel call is made, the following occurs:
o The point man slides to pick up ball once he has made the offensive player move the ball on. He drop steps down to the goal to get to the back left pipe as soon as possible.
o The player on the back left pipe slides cross crease ending up on the back right pipe.
o The player on the back right pipe slides upfield to pick up the point attackman. If the point attackman receives the ball it’s especially important to slide on an angle similar to a C or a banana, forcing the shooter to either hit him or the goalie near pipe.
*NOTE: Whenever sliding or breaking down on ball, never take a flat angle to the offensive player. Be sure to take an angle that will force the ball carrier down the alley or the shooter to shoot near pipe.

Hugh Robertson

Above is a photo of Hugh Robertson coaching lacrosse on the Oberlin campus in the late 40's. While a student at Oberlin Hugh was instrumental in organizing the first game west of the Alleghenies in 1941. It took place on the Oberlin campus featuring The Oberlin Yeomen vs. The Kenyon Lords. The 2009 season is dedicated in his memory.