Posted at: 04/08/2014 3:20 PM
Updated at: 04/09/2014 11:19 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Almost a foot of snow coated the Northland late last week, but thanks to the grounds crew at UMD, local lacrosse teams got to play their first games of the year.
For the second spring in a row, Mother Nature has dealt a wintery blow. Duluth-Superior head coach Scott Wishart says he's had to be pretty creative when it comes to team practices.
"Last year was pretty eye opening for us," Wishart said. "We did some different things, whether it was practicing in parking lots or gyms or airplane hangers we've practiced in before. This year we're a little more prepared."
Proctor coach Matt Blaeser says training for an outdoor sport in a cramped space is difficult.
"Not being able to get outside, it really hurts with long passes and stuff, and conditioning," Blaeser said. "You can't run that full length of the field in a gym."
"It's tough. You've gotta stay motivated in those gyms because it gets really hot," said Cooper Carlson, Chargers senior midfielder. "You've just gotta work hard and grind it out."
Despite limited practices, both teams came to play and went home victorious.
"They were ready to go right away, first games, intensity, bench is really loud, everybody was ready to go," Blaeser said. "It's nice."
"Our defense played really well," said Luke Hannan, Proctor junior attack. "We moved the ball on offense to give the d a little break"
Lacrosse is still fairly new to Minnesota, the Northland in particular. But it's growing quickly.
"It's exploding with the amount of competition that's in the area," Wishart said.
Wishart has seen his players improve drastically in just three short years.
"It was pretty raw when we came in but the kids want to play," he said. "So when the kids want to do something, they put their mind to it, they work at it outside of practice."
"We used to be playing on muddy dirt fields with nobody coming out to support us, and now it's grown to this," Carlson said.
This lacrosse community is a tight knit one, with players willing to lend a hand and learn from each other.