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College Crosse Prospectus: The Face-Off Debate Continues

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NCAA Lacrosse: Men's Championship Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING, College Crosse Nation!! Thanks for making us a part of your day! Here are your links for June 9, 2017.

What You Missed

We began our dissections of the 2017 season with the independent teams. And you can check out every dissection here once they’re published.

The Academic All-Americans, aka the GET YOUR GRADES UP team, were announced.

Is Maryland Terrapins and La Salle College High School great Matt Rambo the greatest Philly lacrosse player ever?

Lacrosse The Nation

Jordie from Barstool, who is also an assistant coach at Springfield-Delco, who’s looking for their second straight PIAA state championship on Saturday, responded to some of the critics that want to change or get rid of face-offs.

‘Twas not too long ago when the face-off position in lacrosse was just “hey, this kid can’t catch and throw but he still wants to play. Let’s make him take face-offs”. Sure, there has always been some skill and strategy involved with face-offs. But the FOGO position wasn’t always treated like the specialized position that it is today. Because today, you can go to any summer tournament across the nation and see kids that are playing U9 ball who are training to specifically become face-off guys. The position has taken off over the last few years and players like Trevor Baptiste are the result of that. Guys who have become so dominant at the position that they’ve become Tewaaraton finalists. Guys who can completely change the game However, as the face-off position continues to evolve and play a bigger role in the game, there’s plenty of resistance that has come along with it. We’re at a point in the game now where there are people who are seriously advocating for changing or getting rid of face-offs and/or the FOGO position entirely.

And these are the people who I am currently furious online at.

I agree with him. Why change the face-offs at this point? Just why? During the 1979 season, face-offs were taken away from the game and it turned out to be a bad idea that draws were reinstituted in the middle of the season.

What would you change about them too? Do what the MLL does and allow all four wingers on one end? Maybe not. Leave the FOGO on for a minute after the draw or make someone else that was on the field for the last goal take the draw? Hockey doesn’t even do that either. If you want to make personnel changes after a goal for a face-off, you can do that!

Trying to change the rules to something to try and make the sport mainstream might hurt the sport even more. Less players are going to want to play lacrosse if you take face-offs out (again) or limit their roles. Just like camps and schools for offensive and defensive players and goaltenders, there are schools and clinics for face-off specialists as well.

Finally, most of the negative talk, if not all of it, has come from people who’ve never took a face-off. What do you know about draws that guys like Greg Gurenlian or Jerry Ragonese don’t?

Moving on, the Cornell Big Red announced that Connor Buczek has been promoted from volunteer assistant to full-time assistant coach.

He will serve as the assistant offensive coordinator and his duties will include coordinating the extra-man offense, working with the goalies, and running the substitution box during games.

"Connor is a proven leader with an incomparable work ethic," said interim head coach Peter Milliman. He knows what it takes to be successful at Cornell is dedicated to helping our players become better athletes and better young men. He has always had a profound impact on our team and we are extremely lucky to be able to keep him in Ithaca."

As a volunteer over the past two seasons, Buczek was primarily responsible for coaching goalies and running the substitution box during games. During that time, Buczek, a recipient of a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, was a student in Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management. One of the best business school's in the country, he was in rare company, as one of just two individuals, and the only one from Cornell, to be admitted directly from undergraduate studies.

High school news: In New York, Westlake’s head coach Hunter Burnard is torn between his state championship game Saturday at 5:30 and his wedding, which is also scheduled for Saturday at 5:30. More from Scott Rapoport of CBS New York.

Burnard said he and [Ali] Steinberg planned the wedding six months ago, never figuring his team would ever make it to the state championship. That turned out to be a huge bowl of wrong.

So now, the coach has been put in a very tough situation. He has to choose between the championship game and his wedding.

CBS2’s Rapoport asked Burnard’s players what they want him to do.

“I’d rather him be at the game instead of the wedding, to be honest with you,” lacrosse player Nick Ryan said.

“We’d like to have him there, but we understand,” another player said.

Hey look, John Tillman is still on the road.

Even football coach DJ Durkin was very impressed by the success of the Maryland lacrosse programs, pens Don Markus of The Baltimore Sun.

Durkin recalled watching the men's and women's lacrosse teams win national championships on successive days over Memorial Day weekend, adding to the nine titles the Terps took back to College Park during the 2016-17 season and bringing the total to a Big-Ten best 25 regular-season, postseason and national championships Maryland has won since joining the league in 2014.

"It gave me chills," Durkin said. "Our whole family was sitting and watching it, it was just unbelievable. To Cathy [Reese] and John [Tillman], great job. You're the best. I'm very proud to be part of the same athletic department that you coach in."

Tillman, whose teams had won or shared three regular-season titles and two conference tournaments before winning the program's first national championship in 42 years, understands that he inherited a program that was in a completely different place than the one Durkin was taking over when he replaced Randy Edsall after the 2015 season.

"In DJ's defense, and with some of the other [football] coaches, I don't think he's had the infrastructure to be successful," Tillman said. "When you look at the other programs [in the Big Ten], the bells and whistles, the facilities, the infrastructures they have, it's very conducive to recruiting the best kids…It becomes a little bit of an arms race."

Nick Manis was the team’s keeper of the speaker.

Remember when there were rumors that the Yorktown boys team on Long Island harassed the Somers girls team? According to the Somers superintendent, that never happened.

Edward Lee of The Baltimore Sun reviews and previews the Loyola Greyhounds and also how Pat Spencer will continue to compete even after his last game against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

“Pat’s a competitor,” [Charley] Toomey said. “… I think Pat was a little disappointed that he didn’t create a few more opportunities for himself when he had a chance, but Pat is also one of the most unselfish kids in our program. So he’s really about getting others involved. If somebody slides down to him, he’s going to move the ball. He’s always going to make the right decision. That’s one that you keep growing from. It was very similar to the BU game where they pressed him out and they challenged us... It was a physical matchup and a tough matchup, and the way they played it, you give them credit. But I don’t see that happening an awful lot in Pat’s career. Pat will learn from everything as will we as coaches. We will put him in different spots to attack that matchup. I know he’s handling it the right way, and I know our program is, and we’re going to learn from it, and teams are going to have a bear on their hands as Pat Spencer becomes a junior.”

Toomey said Spencer is motivated enough that he does not need to use that memory as inspiration for next spring. Instead, Toomey said he would like Spencer to concentrate on assuming some of the leadership roles picked up by midfielder Brian Sherlock, attackman Zack Sirico, defenseman Jack Carrigan and long-stick midfielder Ryan Fournier who have since graduated.

Peter Lasagna for Inside Lacrosse has a great story on how Victor head coach Jim Andre has spurred the Blue Devils into a New York power.

Over in PA, Aaron Carter of The Philadelphia Inquirer previews Conestoga’s preparation for Saturday’s AAA state title game against Avon Grove.

[Tommy] Sopko, who leads the team with 75 goals and 42 assists, said the strength of Conestoga's attack is its depth and willingness to share.

"Every single guy on our team can play," he said. "Anybody on the field - long-stick, short-stick - can score. When anybody has the ball on their stick, we're just really confident in what we can do."

Henry Berg, a fellow senior, will play at Mount St. Mary's and is second on the team with 48 goals and 21 assists.

Georgetown-bound junior James Reilly has procured 63 percent of his faceoff attempts and could figure prominently in the final by keeping Conestoga's high-powered offense operating with possession.

Here’s a great women’s lacrosse story about Australian lacrosse great Courtney Hobbs wrapping up her international career next month.

More international news: The Scotland men’s team is asking for money to help pay for them to go to Israel for the 2018 FIL World Championships. You can donate to them here!

Philly Jawns

Former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry defends former PHL17 news producer Colleen Campbell and her tirade from Sunday.

The new Inquirer Sixers beat reporter didn’t have the best first day you could have.

World News

James Comey testified before members of the Senate Intelligence Committee. You can watch the full thing here.

Video of the Day

Probably the most entertaining thing from the entire 2017 NBA Playoffs.

That’s it for today!! I’ll see you out there!! Make sure you follow us on social media!

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Managing Editors: Safe Fekadu, Chris Jastrzembski, Ryan McDonnell