Training Camp: Day 1 Notebook
Day One of training camp is in the books. Players and clubs took the field for the first time in over 9 months, but you'd never tell from the lacrosse that was on display. The athletes looked to be in phenomenal shape and their skills were even better. Here are some of my takeaways from the day.
Top Story Lines
- Chrome will finish in the top three of the Championship Series. New faces, new look, new energy, new club. It was only two practices but there was a noticeable difference in team camaraderie and overall culture. It was a mixture of focus and fun. The last place team lacked this major ingredient last year.
- Archers' Grant Ament looks the part of the number one overall pick. To no surprise, he was taking reps as the starting X attackman. The thing that stood out the most was his incredible vision. He displayed a multitude of passes. Drawing the slide and hitting a teammate on the backside pipe, finding the cutting middie, and even more impressive were the cross-field thread the needle darts. He had the poise, patience, and confidence of a ten-year vet. There is no doubt that he will make an immediate impact.
- Chaos' defense was impressive despite the huge offseason losses. The club has major voids to fill with the departure of Brodie Merrill and most recently the news of Johnny Surdick not being able to travel. One pole that stepped up and stood out was Dan Coates. He played aggressively and was causing havoc for his short stick teammates. The unit stifled the offense in the last session of the day and ended the practice on a huge save from newcomer Dillon Ward. I admit I placed a question mark by this unit before we landed but they are changing my mind.
Club Highlights and Notes
- Tom Schrieber and Josh Currier were developing their pick and roll chemistry.
- Eli Gobrecht can guard anyone in this league.
- Bunk Bed Bros were doing Bunk Bed Bro things.
- Rob Pannell is on a mission to prove he is the best in the world.
- Transition Defense still looks a little suspect.
- The offense was really finding its groove near the end of practice and moving the ball selflessly.
- Rookie Bryan Costabile was getting reps in on the defensive end, which is surprising given the depth of that midfield unit.
- Paul Rabil is here to remind people that he is one of the greatest of all time.
- Chris Cloutier and Ryan Brown were splitting reps at attack.
- Overall the team was vibing and having fun.
- Josh Byrne looks healthier than ever.
- Blaze Riorden got a little bruised up and Dillon Ward stepped in to take the majority of the reps.
- They walked out to practice in the same color pennies rather than split up offense and defense. I thought this was really cool and showed what type of culture they are trying to build.
- Rookie Matt Gaudet was taking reps as the starting Attackman.
- Brendan Kavanagh can shoot, like really shoot. He impressed his teammates, coaches, and the onlookers.
- The defense was in sync despite all the turnover in the roster.
- Sergio Perkovic was getting plenty of reps on the defensive end. A role that he was owning towards the end of last season.
- Quote from Chris Collins, new Defensive Coordinator, “Day one of training camp is about getting back to the basics and building the foundation of a championship team.”
- I asked him about the importance of Eddy Glazener and he compared him to the middle linebacker of an NFL team. A guy that can do multiple things, but most importantly he coordinates his teammates.
- Relying on veterans Brodie Merrill and BJ Grill to build chemistry on the defensive end.
- Grill is establishing himself as a team leader. He was conducting the stretching lines and mentoring the younger players during water breaks.
- Team is placing an emphasis on two-man games and early offense.
- Defensive Coordinator Brendan Dawson on the progress of the unit, “We have a lot of great players just trying to find the group that works the best together.”
- On the two short stick D-mids Steven DeNapoli and Kyle McClancy, “Really good defensive players, good communicators, and very instinctive and that was on display today.”
- Newcomer TJ Comizio played very solid defense on both midfielders and attackmen.
- Zed Williams and Brad Smith were splitting time at attack.
- Jay Carlson was taking most of the reps in the third attack spot open.
- The defending champs started slow. Head Coach Jim Stagnitta made them stay in a single drill for over 30 minutes to clean things up.