Friday, November 30, 2012

Sticking to Tradition


Sticking to Tradition
by Charlotte Hsu



(photo by Charlotte Hsu)

Alf Jacques’s hickory lacrosse sticks are coveted reminders of the sport’s sacred Native American origins

In the hands of craftsman Alf Jacques, wood bends and changes in ways it won’t for other men.
From logs of pale, white hickory, he conjures beauty, grace. He splits, steams and shapes the timber until something exquisite emerges—something that gleams.
Jacques, 63, is a famed maker of wooden lacrosse sticks. He has been in the trade for half a century, since his father walked him through the forests of the Onondaga reservation south of Syracuse and helped him pick a tree.

“I was about 13 years old, and we were playing lacrosse here on Onondaga Nation, and the local Indian guys were running around playing,” Jacques remembers. “I didn’t have my own stick, and they cost about $4 or $5 apiece at the time, and we didn’t have any money.

“So my father says, ‘What the heck? Let’s make our own.’ So we went into the woods, found a tree and started making sticks.”

The time that Jacques has poured into his craft has made him not only a master artisan, but a keeper of a centuries-old tradition indigenous to Upstate New York.

Lacrosse may elicit thoughts of prep school, but the game is an ancient North American Indian sport. Its inventors included the Iroquois, a confederacy of six Indian nations whose territory once stretched from the Lake Erie in the west to Lake Champlain in the east.
Jacques is a member of Onondaga, one of the Iroquois nations. To his people, lacrosse is sacred—a gift, they say, from the Creator.
An annual spring game at Onondaga Nation pulls the community together, with seven- and eight-year-old boys playing alongside men in their 70s, Jacques says. The event begins with a thanksgiving to the Creator.

At any time of year, special games may be called to channel the people’s energy to help heal the sick—a concept Jacques compares to prayer in other cultures.

As played in these traditional settings, lacrosse is not the game that most Americans know, but something less restrained. There are no lines on the field, no boundaries, no whistles and no referees, Jacques says. The players don’t wear helmets, pads or gloves. The Onondaga call lacrosse Deyhontsigwa’ehs, which translates roughly into English as “they bump hips.”
In these games, the wooden lacrosse stick is essential. It holds the spirit of the tree, connecting the players with Mother Earth in a way that plastic sticks just can’t, says Jeremy Thompson, a rookie on Buffalo’s professional indoor lacrosse team, the Buffalo Bandits.
Thompson, an Onondaga, is among young people who have expressed interest in learning Jacques’s trade. Of the apprentices that Jacques has mentored over the years, one is still making sticks. Others have quit; not everyone is prepared for the grueling work the craft requires, Jacques explains.
The hickory logs he uses come from trees at Onondaga Nation. He splits each log lengthwise into narrow wooden staffs, which he then shapes, dries, steams, bends, sands and shellacs.

The result is a wooden stick with a crook on one end, the shape of a cane or question mark. The pale, blonde wood is polished to the texture of silk. Other parts include a leather and nylon netting, where the ball sits, and a sidewall woven from handmade cowhide strings.

The entire process involves about two dozen steps spanning at least eight months. As a result, Jacques’ workshop is filled with lacrosse sticks in various stages of completion, from whole logs piled just outside to gleaming, finished products within. The set-up gives the place a feeling of metamorphosis.
Onondaga Nation is a three-hour drive from Buffalo, off Exit 39 of the New York State Thruway. Along the way, the scenery shifts from farms to woodlands as the roads float past the Finger Lakes and carry visitors into the Iroquois heartland.

Jacques’s workshop is below a short but steep hill opening onto a clearing behind his mother’s house. It’s here, in this spacious two-room building, that he and his father, Louis, mastered their craft through years of trial and error.

In the beginning, “We made a lot of ugly sticks,” Jacques remembers. But once the father-and-son team perfected their technique, the market for their product was huge. They produced as many as 11,500 sticks a year, employing several workers and selling to men, women, boys and girls, Jacques says.
Then, in the 1970s, plastic sticks came into vogue, and demand dried up. Louis went to work stringing plastic heads to supplement his income. Jacques found a job as a machinist, making rocket engine parts for Allen Tool.

Even as they took outside employment, the stickmakers refused to give up their trade. After Louis died in 1985, Jacques maintained the family business alone. He emerged from the lean years with a new business model, a new clientele.

Today, he makes about 200 sticks a year. They sell for $250 apiece, and the buyers include native players, as well as teams around the world who purchase the sticks as awards for outstanding coaches and athletes.

Though Jacques remains loyal to wood, he is more thoughtful than upset as he discusses the proliferation of plastic. He sees an upside to the changes: “Lacrosse spread more because of the plastic sticks,” he says.

“If everyone used a wooden stick today, who’s playing?” he asked. “If everybody used wood, there would be no more hickory trees.”
The ease of manufacturing synthetic sticks helped lacrosse explode from a little-known sport into an international phenomenon—an evolution Jacques has observed during his lifetime.
The success is a point of pride. Professional lacrosse may have more rules than the original, Indian version, but ultimately, “it’s still our game,” Jacques says. Like his father, he has played and coached lacrosse for organized teams, serving as goalie at one point for the professional Syracuse Stingers.
For more than 150 years, the Iroquois—or the Haudenosaunee, meaning People of the Longhouse, as they call themselves—have played a major role in popularizing the game.

The confederacy consists of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations. Though many American Indian nations had ball sports, it’s the Iroquois variant that grew into what we know as modern lacrosse, according to a history of the sport by scholar Donald M. Fisher.

White men and Mohawk Indians played their first recorded match in 1844 in Montreal, Fisher wrote in his book, Lacrosse.

Today, the sport is one of America’s fastest-growing, and the popularity presents opportunities for young Iroquois like Thompson to attend top colleges and play professionally.
Syracuse University, Thompson’s alma mater and a lacrosse powerhouse, is one organization that has benefited from Iroquois talent. The Buffalo Bandits are another example.
With the Iroquois population dispersed among reservations in New York and Canada, lacrosse has become an expression of sovereignty.

One task entrusted to Jacques is making sticks for the Iroquois Nationals, who represent the Haudenosaunee in international competition.

The team travels on Iroquois passports and plays against opponents including the United States and Canada. In a field representing 21 countries, the Nationals came in fourth in the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship.

When the team was banned in 2010 from flying to the tournament in England with native passports, the players declined a recommendation travel on American or Canadian passports, said Ansley Jemison, the general manager at the time.

“We’re not US citizens,” Jemison explains, noting that the team draws players from the US and Canadian sides of the border: “We’re actually a sovereign nation.”

When the Nationals refused to compromise, “Everybody I know supported them,” says Jacques, who takes pride in his contribution to the team.

“I like to be a part of it. I like to push the wood factor, you know?…They’re proud to walk out on the field with a wooden stick,” he says. “That’s where the game came from—from us, the Iroquois.”
The wooden stick is part of the soul of the game. Male Onondagas traditionally receive one at birth, and those who have died carry one in their casket. The game continues in the spirit world, where men play with their ancestors, Jacques says.

That’s what sets his sticks apart—not just his workmanship, but his lifelong reverence for the game.

Sticking to Tradition


Sticking to Tradition
by Charlotte Hsu



(photo by Charlotte Hsu)

Alf Jacques’s hickory lacrosse sticks are coveted reminders of the sport’s sacred Native American origins

In the hands of craftsman Alf Jacques, wood bends and changes in ways it won’t for other men.
From logs of pale, white hickory, he conjures beauty, grace. He splits, steams and shapes the timber until something exquisite emerges—something that gleams.
Jacques, 63, is a famed maker of wooden lacrosse sticks. He has been in the trade for half a century, since his father walked him through the forests of the Onondaga reservation south of Syracuse and helped him pick a tree.

“I was about 13 years old, and we were playing lacrosse here on Onondaga Nation, and the local Indian guys were running around playing,” Jacques remembers. “I didn’t have my own stick, and they cost about $4 or $5 apiece at the time, and we didn’t have any money.

“So my father says, ‘What the heck? Let’s make our own.’ So we went into the woods, found a tree and started making sticks.”

The time that Jacques has poured into his craft has made him not only a master artisan, but a keeper of a centuries-old tradition indigenous to Upstate New York.

Lacrosse may elicit thoughts of prep school, but the game is an ancient North American Indian sport. Its inventors included the Iroquois, a confederacy of six Indian nations whose territory once stretched from the Lake Erie in the west to Lake Champlain in the east.
Jacques is a member of Onondaga, one of the Iroquois nations. To his people, lacrosse is sacred—a gift, they say, from the Creator.
An annual spring game at Onondaga Nation pulls the community together, with seven- and eight-year-old boys playing alongside men in their 70s, Jacques says. The event begins with a thanksgiving to the Creator.

At any time of year, special games may be called to channel the people’s energy to help heal the sick—a concept Jacques compares to prayer in other cultures.

As played in these traditional settings, lacrosse is not the game that most Americans know, but something less restrained. There are no lines on the field, no boundaries, no whistles and no referees, Jacques says. The players don’t wear helmets, pads or gloves. The Onondaga call lacrosse Deyhontsigwa’ehs, which translates roughly into English as “they bump hips.”
In these games, the wooden lacrosse stick is essential. It holds the spirit of the tree, connecting the players with Mother Earth in a way that plastic sticks just can’t, says Jeremy Thompson, a rookie on Buffalo’s professional indoor lacrosse team, the Buffalo Bandits.
Thompson, an Onondaga, is among young people who have expressed interest in learning Jacques’s trade. Of the apprentices that Jacques has mentored over the years, one is still making sticks. Others have quit; not everyone is prepared for the grueling work the craft requires, Jacques explains.
The hickory logs he uses come from trees at Onondaga Nation. He splits each log lengthwise into narrow wooden staffs, which he then shapes, dries, steams, bends, sands and shellacs.

The result is a wooden stick with a crook on one end, the shape of a cane or question mark. The pale, blonde wood is polished to the texture of silk. Other parts include a leather and nylon netting, where the ball sits, and a sidewall woven from handmade cowhide strings.

The entire process involves about two dozen steps spanning at least eight months. As a result, Jacques’ workshop is filled with lacrosse sticks in various stages of completion, from whole logs piled just outside to gleaming, finished products within. The set-up gives the place a feeling of metamorphosis.
Onondaga Nation is a three-hour drive from Buffalo, off Exit 39 of the New York State Thruway. Along the way, the scenery shifts from farms to woodlands as the roads float past the Finger Lakes and carry visitors into the Iroquois heartland.

Jacques’s workshop is below a short but steep hill opening onto a clearing behind his mother’s house. It’s here, in this spacious two-room building, that he and his father, Louis, mastered their craft through years of trial and error.

In the beginning, “We made a lot of ugly sticks,” Jacques remembers. But once the father-and-son team perfected their technique, the market for their product was huge. They produced as many as 11,500 sticks a year, employing several workers and selling to men, women, boys and girls, Jacques says.
Then, in the 1970s, plastic sticks came into vogue, and demand dried up. Louis went to work stringing plastic heads to supplement his income. Jacques found a job as a machinist, making rocket engine parts for Allen Tool.

Even as they took outside employment, the stickmakers refused to give up their trade. After Louis died in 1985, Jacques maintained the family business alone. He emerged from the lean years with a new business model, a new clientele.

Today, he makes about 200 sticks a year. They sell for $250 apiece, and the buyers include native players, as well as teams around the world who purchase the sticks as awards for outstanding coaches and athletes.

Though Jacques remains loyal to wood, he is more thoughtful than upset as he discusses the proliferation of plastic. He sees an upside to the changes: “Lacrosse spread more because of the plastic sticks,” he says.

“If everyone used a wooden stick today, who’s playing?” he asked. “If everybody used wood, there would be no more hickory trees.”
The ease of manufacturing synthetic sticks helped lacrosse explode from a little-known sport into an international phenomenon—an evolution Jacques has observed during his lifetime.
The success is a point of pride. Professional lacrosse may have more rules than the original, Indian version, but ultimately, “it’s still our game,” Jacques says. Like his father, he has played and coached lacrosse for organized teams, serving as goalie at one point for the professional Syracuse Stingers.
For more than 150 years, the Iroquois—or the Haudenosaunee, meaning People of the Longhouse, as they call themselves—have played a major role in popularizing the game.

The confederacy consists of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations. Though many American Indian nations had ball sports, it’s the Iroquois variant that grew into what we know as modern lacrosse, according to a history of the sport by scholar Donald M. Fisher.

White men and Mohawk Indians played their first recorded match in 1844 in Montreal, Fisher wrote in his book, Lacrosse.

Today, the sport is one of America’s fastest-growing, and the popularity presents opportunities for young Iroquois like Thompson to attend top colleges and play professionally.
Syracuse University, Thompson’s alma mater and a lacrosse powerhouse, is one organization that has benefited from Iroquois talent. The Buffalo Bandits are another example.
With the Iroquois population dispersed among reservations in New York and Canada, lacrosse has become an expression of sovereignty.

One task entrusted to Jacques is making sticks for the Iroquois Nationals, who represent the Haudenosaunee in international competition.

The team travels on Iroquois passports and plays against opponents including the United States and Canada. In a field representing 21 countries, the Nationals came in fourth in the 2006 World Lacrosse Championship.

When the team was banned in 2010 from flying to the tournament in England with native passports, the players declined a recommendation travel on American or Canadian passports, said Ansley Jemison, the general manager at the time.

“We’re not US citizens,” Jemison explains, noting that the team draws players from the US and Canadian sides of the border: “We’re actually a sovereign nation.”

When the Nationals refused to compromise, “Everybody I know supported them,” says Jacques, who takes pride in his contribution to the team.

“I like to be a part of it. I like to push the wood factor, you know?…They’re proud to walk out on the field with a wooden stick,” he says. “That’s where the game came from—from us, the Iroquois.”
The wooden stick is part of the soul of the game. Male Onondagas traditionally receive one at birth, and those who have died carry one in their casket. The game continues in the spirit world, where men play with their ancestors, Jacques says.

That’s what sets his sticks apart—not just his workmanship, but his lifelong reverence for the game.

From LaxBuzz.com: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Releases “2013-14 Men’s Lacrosse Rules And Interpretations Book”


From LaxBuzz.com: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Releases “2013-14 Men’s Lacrosse Rules And Interpretations Book”

Click on "Lacrosse" to View Rules Book
Click below to View Rule Book


From LaxBuzz.com: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Releases “2013-14 Men’s Lacrosse Rules And Interpretations Book”


From LaxBuzz.com: NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Releases “2013-14 Men’s Lacrosse Rules And Interpretations Book”

Click on "Lacrosse" to View Rules Book
Click below to View Rule Book


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Johnny Mouradian: Johnny on the Spot: The Story of a Lacrosse World Champion


Johnny on the Spot: The Story of a Lacrosse World Champion
Posted by Antranig Dereyan on December 30, 2009 in Interviews · 4 Comments·  Email ·  Print


Born on Aug. 17, 1952 in the largest city in Canada’s Niagara region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario, also known as St. Catharines, he went on to Ithaca College in New York on a lacrosse scholarship and later lead Canada to an upset win over the U.S. at the 1978 World Lacrosse Championships in Stockport, England.


Johnny Mouradian

“I fell in love with the sport at a young age by playing little league box [indoor] lacrosse with my Armenian and non-Armenian friends. And also by being the ball boy for the locally Armenian-owned Junior A Athletics. From there, I got better and better. I was able to get into Ithaca and then on the Canadian National Team, in 1974 and 1978. After my playing days, I coached the national team, helped coach at Ithaca, and was the head coach of my local college in Canada, Brock University” said Mouradian to the Weekly.
His playing career saw him excel in not only two forms of lacrosse—box and outdoor—but also in hockey. This in itself would equal an accomplished life; but for John Mouradian, who’d gained a master’s from Ithaca to become a teacher, the itch of lacrosse was still prevalent in his heart.

“I was helping out the National League Lacrosse (NLL) and in 1992, my good friend, who grew up in Canada and played with me on the 1974 and 1978 national teams, Mike French, asked me if I would be interested in becoming the general manager for the expansion team, the Buffalo Bandits of the National League Lacrosse. It was something I was interested in, so I agreed. And while I was finishing up my master’s degree for my teaching, I was also, with the help of the assistants, putting together the team for our first year in the NLL,” explained Mouradian.

For most players, heading into a coaching role or a front office role is a tricky transition, but for coaches, the switch from behind the bench to being in the office is a little more comfortable.
“I think it was a natural transition for me. Though, I had only coaching jobs before. At the time, there was no official GM, so I, as the coach, was also doing the job of the GM for the teams I coached. Plus, I always want to have new challenges and it was great because I was able to take all the sports psychology techniques that I had learned at Ithaca and build a team, basically from scratch. Along with my staff, we scouted the players we wanted and learned from each other,” Mouradian reflected.

His hard work preparing for the season paid off nicely, with the first of back-to-back championships for the Bandits. He also set the mark that still stands today—22 straight victories.

Looking back on this time in his life, Mouradian had to laugh. “It was a busy time for me,” he said.
Why? Well, he was still teaching, so after putting together a professional team and winning two championships, he had to go home, prepare his teaching plans, and grade papers.

“At the time, all the jobs were part time, the league wasn’t able to handle full-time positions. So, I was still teaching. And being the GM…that was my side job,” he said.

In 1998, Mouradian, along with Bandits coach Les Bartley and team captain Jim Veltman, went up to Canada to take the Ontario Raiders into Toronto, rename them the Toronto Rock, and see what they could do.

“This was another great experience for me because I had my coach with me and I had some ownership in the club as well. I was not only the GM, but also the VP of operations,” Mouradian said.
It was a new team, in a new town, but the result was the same: The Rock won its first NLL championship and would repeat the feat the following year, making it another back-to-back title run for Mouradian.

From Toronto, it was off to another new experience for the now well-traveled Mouradian. The Albany Attack was moving to San Jose under the name of the Stealth. Mouradian fit in perfectly, first as the coach and then, after two seasons behind the bench (where he again put on both hats) he moved back up to the GM role.

His time in San Jose saw no titles. The closest to a title—the 2007 and 2009 seasons—saw a Stealth loss in the division finals. But Mouradian was finally able to be a part of the NLL, full-time, so it was goodbye to his teaching career.

At the start of the 2009 season, however, new team owners decided it was time to move on. Effective immediately, the San Jose Stealth would be known as the Washington Stealth, making their new home in Everett, Wash., a town just 30 minutes outside of Seattle.

“The San Jose days will always be looked upon as good days, but it just didn’t work out,” said Mouradian.

The team’s failure in San Jose? A combination of everything.

“We played in the Shark tank, which is where the San Jose Sharks of the NHL play, and one of the biggest challenges was getting good dates to play there because it is such a big and busy building. So many events take place there…not just the hockey, but other sports, such as the Arena Football League’s Sabercats. So the dates were an issue and due to us not getting good dates, the fan base dwindled. So, though unfortunate, a move had to be made and Everett was the best choice for that move.”

“In Everett, the lacrosse community was already expanding with a Major League Lacrosse field team (the Washington Bayhawks) before we decided to move. The Comcast Arena, where we play now, really made us feel welcomed. They really showed us that they wanted us to go there and we made the right choice,” Mouradian remarked.

The decision to move to Washington was not an easy one, as the owners had many other suitors.
“There was a short list, but our owners really felt more comfortable in Washington.”
Not only has Mouradian made a name for himself in the NLL—he received the GM of the Year Award in 2004, and was inducted into the Ithaca Hall of Fame and the NLL Hall of Fame in 2008—but he is also the GM of Team Canada.

“I am very grateful for everything,” Mouradian is quick to remark.

“I am proud of my Armenian heritage and the people I have met.” Mouradian, who is half-Armenian, grew up in St. Catharines, an Armenian community, and only minutes from St. Gregory, the Armenian Church where he went to Sunday School. “I always go to the Armenian Church when I can,” he said. “I have been to Armenia and want to go back again soon. My biggest goal now is to start an Armenian lacrosse team, maybe play in the World Lacrosse Championships. It will be hard, but with some financial backing and a few good people who want to go, teach, and expand the game to Armenians, I don’t see why this cannot be a reality.”
Armenia Competing in the World Lacrosse Championships?
Although it’s possible Armenia could one day compete in lacrosse on an international level, the difficulty lies in getting there and what to do once the process starts.
John Mouradian, the general manager of Team Canada Lacrosse and the Washington Stealth of National League Lacrosse, wants to start the process of getting Armenia a national lacrosse team.
“It would be great for Armenia to be a part of this sport,” says Mouradian. “In 1978, when Canada won the championship, there were only four countries. Now, there are 33. So, there has been a lot of growth in the game internationally.”

For Armenia to be one of those 33 nations, it first needs to submit a developmental application to be an associate nation. Out of the 33 nations, only 24 are member nations, while the other 8 are associate nations, that is, they have a developing program in their country but it isn’t fully up to par with the member nations. Completing the application is vital and necessary for any country who wants to compete in the world championships. It is done through the Federation of International Lacrosse and according to their website (www.icfld.com), “resources will be given if: The sport is being introduced within an educational system or solid organizational structure. A clear, unified leadership group within the nation is identified. A completed development application is submitted by the developing nation. A development plan is submitted by the developing nation and submitted to the Development Committee (the Development Committee can provide assistance, if necessary).”
It’s not an easy process, but it’s doable.

“We would probably target the 2014 World Championships to get this dream into a reality. Players need to have an Armenian passport to play, doesn’t mean the players need to be living in Armenia, but we would also want to go to Armenia, introduce the game and grow national players as well,” explained Mouradian.

The issue lies with the Armenians who want to play, but don’t have an Armenian passport. Although Canada allows its citizens to have a passport in addition to their Canadian passport—either first or secondary—other nations, such as the United States, don’t allow their citizens to carry another passport if they’re American first. The only way a person can be a dual-citizen in America is if their American passport is their secondary passport. “This is a problem we can deal with once the initial process is taken,” says Mouradian, meaning, once the development application is submitted and the Armenian team is off the ground.

One thing that is needed is a leadership group, or people who can financially back the efforts, he says. “Someone to sponsor the Armenian lacrosse program would be great and would really help us get out of the ‘just talking about it’ stage to, actually the ‘doing it’ stage.”

“My plan is, when I get over to the World Championships this summer, to do some due diligence, see where some of these other associate countries are in their developmental process and how far it took for them to get to where they are now. I also want to talk about what their thoughts are about starting a program. But, the first key is to get the paperwork from the Federation, round up some Armenians from North America (U.S. and Canada) who have played lacrosse, or are playing lacrosse now, whether it be in high school or college, have them get interested in this, and have them be the key contacts for the player research and financial aid. Basically, this is a lifetime project, but something that is well worth it for Armenians and Armenia.”

Johnny Mouradian: Johnny on the Spot: The Story of a Lacrosse World Champion


Johnny on the Spot: The Story of a Lacrosse World Champion
Posted by Antranig Dereyan on December 30, 2009 in Interviews · 4 Comments·  Email ·  Print


Born on Aug. 17, 1952 in the largest city in Canada’s Niagara region and the sixth largest urban area in Ontario, also known as St. Catharines, he went on to Ithaca College in New York on a lacrosse scholarship and later lead Canada to an upset win over the U.S. at the 1978 World Lacrosse Championships in Stockport, England.


Johnny Mouradian

“I fell in love with the sport at a young age by playing little league box [indoor] lacrosse with my Armenian and non-Armenian friends. And also by being the ball boy for the locally Armenian-owned Junior A Athletics. From there, I got better and better. I was able to get into Ithaca and then on the Canadian National Team, in 1974 and 1978. After my playing days, I coached the national team, helped coach at Ithaca, and was the head coach of my local college in Canada, Brock University” said Mouradian to the Weekly.
His playing career saw him excel in not only two forms of lacrosse—box and outdoor—but also in hockey. This in itself would equal an accomplished life; but for John Mouradian, who’d gained a master’s from Ithaca to become a teacher, the itch of lacrosse was still prevalent in his heart.

“I was helping out the National League Lacrosse (NLL) and in 1992, my good friend, who grew up in Canada and played with me on the 1974 and 1978 national teams, Mike French, asked me if I would be interested in becoming the general manager for the expansion team, the Buffalo Bandits of the National League Lacrosse. It was something I was interested in, so I agreed. And while I was finishing up my master’s degree for my teaching, I was also, with the help of the assistants, putting together the team for our first year in the NLL,” explained Mouradian.

For most players, heading into a coaching role or a front office role is a tricky transition, but for coaches, the switch from behind the bench to being in the office is a little more comfortable.
“I think it was a natural transition for me. Though, I had only coaching jobs before. At the time, there was no official GM, so I, as the coach, was also doing the job of the GM for the teams I coached. Plus, I always want to have new challenges and it was great because I was able to take all the sports psychology techniques that I had learned at Ithaca and build a team, basically from scratch. Along with my staff, we scouted the players we wanted and learned from each other,” Mouradian reflected.

His hard work preparing for the season paid off nicely, with the first of back-to-back championships for the Bandits. He also set the mark that still stands today—22 straight victories.

Looking back on this time in his life, Mouradian had to laugh. “It was a busy time for me,” he said.
Why? Well, he was still teaching, so after putting together a professional team and winning two championships, he had to go home, prepare his teaching plans, and grade papers.

“At the time, all the jobs were part time, the league wasn’t able to handle full-time positions. So, I was still teaching. And being the GM…that was my side job,” he said.

In 1998, Mouradian, along with Bandits coach Les Bartley and team captain Jim Veltman, went up to Canada to take the Ontario Raiders into Toronto, rename them the Toronto Rock, and see what they could do.

“This was another great experience for me because I had my coach with me and I had some ownership in the club as well. I was not only the GM, but also the VP of operations,” Mouradian said.
It was a new team, in a new town, but the result was the same: The Rock won its first NLL championship and would repeat the feat the following year, making it another back-to-back title run for Mouradian.

From Toronto, it was off to another new experience for the now well-traveled Mouradian. The Albany Attack was moving to San Jose under the name of the Stealth. Mouradian fit in perfectly, first as the coach and then, after two seasons behind the bench (where he again put on both hats) he moved back up to the GM role.

His time in San Jose saw no titles. The closest to a title—the 2007 and 2009 seasons—saw a Stealth loss in the division finals. But Mouradian was finally able to be a part of the NLL, full-time, so it was goodbye to his teaching career.

At the start of the 2009 season, however, new team owners decided it was time to move on. Effective immediately, the San Jose Stealth would be known as the Washington Stealth, making their new home in Everett, Wash., a town just 30 minutes outside of Seattle.

“The San Jose days will always be looked upon as good days, but it just didn’t work out,” said Mouradian.

The team’s failure in San Jose? A combination of everything.

“We played in the Shark tank, which is where the San Jose Sharks of the NHL play, and one of the biggest challenges was getting good dates to play there because it is such a big and busy building. So many events take place there…not just the hockey, but other sports, such as the Arena Football League’s Sabercats. So the dates were an issue and due to us not getting good dates, the fan base dwindled. So, though unfortunate, a move had to be made and Everett was the best choice for that move.”

“In Everett, the lacrosse community was already expanding with a Major League Lacrosse field team (the Washington Bayhawks) before we decided to move. The Comcast Arena, where we play now, really made us feel welcomed. They really showed us that they wanted us to go there and we made the right choice,” Mouradian remarked.

The decision to move to Washington was not an easy one, as the owners had many other suitors.
“There was a short list, but our owners really felt more comfortable in Washington.”
Not only has Mouradian made a name for himself in the NLL—he received the GM of the Year Award in 2004, and was inducted into the Ithaca Hall of Fame and the NLL Hall of Fame in 2008—but he is also the GM of Team Canada.

“I am very grateful for everything,” Mouradian is quick to remark.

“I am proud of my Armenian heritage and the people I have met.” Mouradian, who is half-Armenian, grew up in St. Catharines, an Armenian community, and only minutes from St. Gregory, the Armenian Church where he went to Sunday School. “I always go to the Armenian Church when I can,” he said. “I have been to Armenia and want to go back again soon. My biggest goal now is to start an Armenian lacrosse team, maybe play in the World Lacrosse Championships. It will be hard, but with some financial backing and a few good people who want to go, teach, and expand the game to Armenians, I don’t see why this cannot be a reality.”
Armenia Competing in the World Lacrosse Championships?
Although it’s possible Armenia could one day compete in lacrosse on an international level, the difficulty lies in getting there and what to do once the process starts.
John Mouradian, the general manager of Team Canada Lacrosse and the Washington Stealth of National League Lacrosse, wants to start the process of getting Armenia a national lacrosse team.
“It would be great for Armenia to be a part of this sport,” says Mouradian. “In 1978, when Canada won the championship, there were only four countries. Now, there are 33. So, there has been a lot of growth in the game internationally.”

For Armenia to be one of those 33 nations, it first needs to submit a developmental application to be an associate nation. Out of the 33 nations, only 24 are member nations, while the other 8 are associate nations, that is, they have a developing program in their country but it isn’t fully up to par with the member nations. Completing the application is vital and necessary for any country who wants to compete in the world championships. It is done through the Federation of International Lacrosse and according to their website (www.icfld.com), “resources will be given if: The sport is being introduced within an educational system or solid organizational structure. A clear, unified leadership group within the nation is identified. A completed development application is submitted by the developing nation. A development plan is submitted by the developing nation and submitted to the Development Committee (the Development Committee can provide assistance, if necessary).”
It’s not an easy process, but it’s doable.

“We would probably target the 2014 World Championships to get this dream into a reality. Players need to have an Armenian passport to play, doesn’t mean the players need to be living in Armenia, but we would also want to go to Armenia, introduce the game and grow national players as well,” explained Mouradian.

The issue lies with the Armenians who want to play, but don’t have an Armenian passport. Although Canada allows its citizens to have a passport in addition to their Canadian passport—either first or secondary—other nations, such as the United States, don’t allow their citizens to carry another passport if they’re American first. The only way a person can be a dual-citizen in America is if their American passport is their secondary passport. “This is a problem we can deal with once the initial process is taken,” says Mouradian, meaning, once the development application is submitted and the Armenian team is off the ground.

One thing that is needed is a leadership group, or people who can financially back the efforts, he says. “Someone to sponsor the Armenian lacrosse program would be great and would really help us get out of the ‘just talking about it’ stage to, actually the ‘doing it’ stage.”

“My plan is, when I get over to the World Championships this summer, to do some due diligence, see where some of these other associate countries are in their developmental process and how far it took for them to get to where they are now. I also want to talk about what their thoughts are about starting a program. But, the first key is to get the paperwork from the Federation, round up some Armenians from North America (U.S. and Canada) who have played lacrosse, or are playing lacrosse now, whether it be in high school or college, have them get interested in this, and have them be the key contacts for the player research and financial aid. Basically, this is a lifetime project, but something that is well worth it for Armenians and Armenia.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

USA Men's Roster Named for Champion Challenge


USA Men's Roster Named for Champion Challenge

from press release
2012 Champion Challenge MVP Kevin Leveille (19) will play for the U.S. once again when it meets defending national champion Loyola on Jan. 27.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
BALTIMORE — US Lacrosse today announced the U.S. Men's National Team roster for the Sunday, Jan. 27 exhibition against defending NCAA champion Loyola at Champion® Challenge, a US Lacrosse event.
Scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EST at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., this eighth annual event will be the first in which the Team USA men take on the defending NCAA champion. Team USA also will square off against 2012 NCAA semifinalist Notre Dame on Saturday, Jan. 26, with Jacksonville University also scheduled to participate in the event.
The reigning world champion U.S. men's national team, which defeated Canada to win the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship, will bring 38 players to evaluate prior to tryouts for the 2014 U.S. men's national team, to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2013. At the 2012 Champion® Challenge, Team USA defeated the University of Denver 16-15 in overtime.
The Team USA roster for the Champion® Challenge by position with professional teams, collegiate alma maters, and previous U.S. team experience noted:
Attack
Billy Bitter, Rochester Rattlers, North Carolina
Grant Catalino, Long Island Lizards, Maryland
Matt Danowski, Charlotte Hounds, Duke
Matt Gibson, Long Island Lizards, Yale
Mike Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse*
Kevin Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Massachusetts
Steele Stanwick, Ohio Machine, Virginia^
Chazz Woodson, Ohio Machine, Brown
Midfield
Rochester's Billy Bitter is one eight attackman named to Team USA's Champion Challenge lineup.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
Sam Bradman, LXM Pro Tour, Salisbury
Steven Brooks, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Syracuse
Steven DeNapoli, Rochester Rattlers, Hofstra
Benson Erwin, N/A, Johns Hopkins
Graham Gill, LXM Pro Tour, Navy
Kyle Harrison, LXM Pro Tour, Johns Hopkins#
Ben Hunt, Chesapeake Bayhawks, North Carolina
Cameron Lao-Gosney, Hamilton Nationals, Lehigh
Roman Lao-Gosney, Hamilton Nationals, Lehigh
Peet Poillon, Charlotte Hounds, UMBC
Paul Rabil, Boston Cannons, Johns Hopkins*
Jeremy Sieverts, Denver Outlaws, Maryland
Kevin Unterstein, Long Island Lizards, Hofstra
Defense
CJ Costabile, Long Island Lizards, Duke^
Ryan Flanagan, Charlotte Hounds, North Carolina
Kyle Hartzell, Ohio Machine, Salisbury
Brian Karalunas, Long Island Lizards, Villanova
John Lade, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse^
Eric Martin, Denver Outlaws, Salisbury*
Kevin Ridgway, N/A, Notre Dame
Dillon Roy, Denver Outlaws, Denver
Brett Schmidt, Charlotte Hounds, Maryland
Michael Simon, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Stevenson
Chad Wiedmaier, Hamilton Nationals, Princeton
Lee Zink, Denver Outlaws, Maryland
Goalie
Jordan Burke, Boston Cannons, Brown
John Galloway, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse
Scott Rodgers, Hamilton Nationals, Notre Dame
Faceoff
Chris Eck, Boston Cannons, Colgate
Alex Smith, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Delaware*
* 2010 U.S. men's national team member
# 2006 U.S. men's national team member
^ 2008 U.S. men's national under-19 team member

USA Men's Roster Named for Champion Challenge


USA Men's Roster Named for Champion Challenge

from press release
2012 Champion Challenge MVP Kevin Leveille (19) will play for the U.S. once again when it meets defending national champion Loyola on Jan. 27.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
BALTIMORE — US Lacrosse today announced the U.S. Men's National Team roster for the Sunday, Jan. 27 exhibition against defending NCAA champion Loyola at Champion® Challenge, a US Lacrosse event.
Scheduled for 1:30 p.m. EST at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., this eighth annual event will be the first in which the Team USA men take on the defending NCAA champion. Team USA also will square off against 2012 NCAA semifinalist Notre Dame on Saturday, Jan. 26, with Jacksonville University also scheduled to participate in the event.
The reigning world champion U.S. men's national team, which defeated Canada to win the 2010 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship, will bring 38 players to evaluate prior to tryouts for the 2014 U.S. men's national team, to be held Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2013. At the 2012 Champion® Challenge, Team USA defeated the University of Denver 16-15 in overtime.
The Team USA roster for the Champion® Challenge by position with professional teams, collegiate alma maters, and previous U.S. team experience noted:
Attack
Billy Bitter, Rochester Rattlers, North Carolina
Grant Catalino, Long Island Lizards, Maryland
Matt Danowski, Charlotte Hounds, Duke
Matt Gibson, Long Island Lizards, Yale
Mike Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse*
Kevin Leveille, Rochester Rattlers, Massachusetts
Steele Stanwick, Ohio Machine, Virginia^
Chazz Woodson, Ohio Machine, Brown
Midfield
Rochester's Billy Bitter is one eight attackman named to Team USA's Champion Challenge lineup.
© John Strohsacker/LaxPhotos.com
Sam Bradman, LXM Pro Tour, Salisbury
Steven Brooks, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Syracuse
Steven DeNapoli, Rochester Rattlers, Hofstra
Benson Erwin, N/A, Johns Hopkins
Graham Gill, LXM Pro Tour, Navy
Kyle Harrison, LXM Pro Tour, Johns Hopkins#
Ben Hunt, Chesapeake Bayhawks, North Carolina
Cameron Lao-Gosney, Hamilton Nationals, Lehigh
Roman Lao-Gosney, Hamilton Nationals, Lehigh
Peet Poillon, Charlotte Hounds, UMBC
Paul Rabil, Boston Cannons, Johns Hopkins*
Jeremy Sieverts, Denver Outlaws, Maryland
Kevin Unterstein, Long Island Lizards, Hofstra
Defense
CJ Costabile, Long Island Lizards, Duke^
Ryan Flanagan, Charlotte Hounds, North Carolina
Kyle Hartzell, Ohio Machine, Salisbury
Brian Karalunas, Long Island Lizards, Villanova
John Lade, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse^
Eric Martin, Denver Outlaws, Salisbury*
Kevin Ridgway, N/A, Notre Dame
Dillon Roy, Denver Outlaws, Denver
Brett Schmidt, Charlotte Hounds, Maryland
Michael Simon, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Stevenson
Chad Wiedmaier, Hamilton Nationals, Princeton
Lee Zink, Denver Outlaws, Maryland
Goalie
Jordan Burke, Boston Cannons, Brown
John Galloway, Rochester Rattlers, Syracuse
Scott Rodgers, Hamilton Nationals, Notre Dame
Faceoff
Chris Eck, Boston Cannons, Colgate
Alex Smith, Chesapeake Bayhawks, Delaware*
* 2010 U.S. men's national team member
# 2006 U.S. men's national team member
^ 2008 U.S. men's national under-19 team member

Monday, November 26, 2012

Five Personal Qualities Essential for Achieving a Better Life


Five Personal Qualities Essential for Achieving a Better Life

Written By  | Personal Success | November 24th, 2012 | No Comments »
better life - common sense - personal qualities - result orientedThere are five important, personal qualities that one must learn to develop to achieve success and a better life in America.
In the mid-1980s, the Gallup organization conducted one of the most extensive surveys into the reasons for success ever conducted in America. They selected 1,500 men and women whose names and biographies had appeared in Marquis ’s Who’s Whoin America , the most prestigious register of noteworthy individuals in the country.
They asked them, at great length, what they felt were the reasons why they had become so well known and respected in their lifetimes. This group included Nobel Prize winners, university presidents, heads of Fortune 500 corporations, inventors, entrepreneurs, and even a high-school football coach.
After many months of research and interviews, they were able to isolate the most important personal qualities needed for success and to achieve a better life. Their findings turned out to be consistent with virtually all the other research that ’s been done in this area.

Common Sense

The first and most important of the personal qualities needed for success was defined as, common sense. It is said that the average person has an enormous amount of common sense because he or she hasn’t used any of it yet.Common sense seems to be something that a person accumulates as the result of experience over a long period of time.
Common sense was defined by the participants in this survey as the “ability to cut to the core of a matter, to recognize and deal with the essential elements of a problem or a situation, rather than getting sidetracked by smaller issues or symptoms.”
Another definition of common sense was “The ability to learn from experience and then to apply those lessons to subsequent experiences.” Common sense was seen as the core of all personal qualities that enabled a person to become increasingly more effective over time.
Be Good at What You Do
The second of all the personal qualities needed for success that came out of the study was that of expertise. Most successful people are very good at what they do and they know they are very good. They have learned and practiced and reflected and gotten better and better until they are recognized by their peers as being among the very best in their fields. This feeling of being the best is an absolute prerequisite for achieving a better life.

Self-Reliance

Another one of the personal qualities identified in the study was that of self-reliance. Men and women who are respected by others tend to look primarily to themselves for the answers to their questions and for the solutions to their problems. They are highly self-responsible.
They do not blame others or make excuses when things go wrong. They regard themselves as the primary creative forces in their own lives. They volunteer for tough assignments, and they are willing to take charge when something needs to be done.

Intelligence Is More Than IQ

Intelligence is another one of the top personal qualities that was identified through the study. Intelligence seems to be a key requirement for success in any field. However, when they looked at this subject, they found that intelligence was not necessarily measured in terms of IQ.
Many of the most notable men and women alive today did poorly in school. They got low grades or no grades, and many of them had not completed university or even high school. One gentleman in the study could not even read or write, and yet he had gotten all the way through university by covering it up and getting others to do his assignments for him.

Become Result Oriented

The last of all personal qualities identified in the study was that of being result oriented. This means that you know that you are capable of getting the results for which you are responsible. All highly respected men and women are recognized as being the kind of people who can get the job done, whatever it is. They are invariably decisive, result oriented people.
They are highly result oriented because they have a bias for action and a sense of urgency. They have trained themselves to be extremely capable at doing whatever is required. Bigger and better jobs and responsibilities seem to flow to them. The world tends to step aside and make way for the person who knows what he or she is doing and knows where he or she is going.

For a Better Life, Get in Tune With Your Best Personal Qualities

One of the most intelligent things that you can do is to get better at the most important things you do to get the results that determine your success. The better your results, the higher the chances are of you achieving a better life for yourself. By becoming intensely result oriented, you will secure a better life for yourself.
Thank you for reading this article on the five personal qualities that will help you achieve a better life. Do you consider yourself result oriented or a person who has common sense? Please share any comments below!

Five Personal Qualities Essential for Achieving a Better Life


Five Personal Qualities Essential for Achieving a Better Life

Written By  | Personal Success | November 24th, 2012 | No Comments »
better life - common sense - personal qualities - result orientedThere are five important, personal qualities that one must learn to develop to achieve success and a better life in America.
In the mid-1980s, the Gallup organization conducted one of the most extensive surveys into the reasons for success ever conducted in America. They selected 1,500 men and women whose names and biographies had appeared in Marquis ’s Who’s Whoin America , the most prestigious register of noteworthy individuals in the country.
They asked them, at great length, what they felt were the reasons why they had become so well known and respected in their lifetimes. This group included Nobel Prize winners, university presidents, heads of Fortune 500 corporations, inventors, entrepreneurs, and even a high-school football coach.
After many months of research and interviews, they were able to isolate the most important personal qualities needed for success and to achieve a better life. Their findings turned out to be consistent with virtually all the other research that ’s been done in this area.

Common Sense

The first and most important of the personal qualities needed for success was defined as, common sense. It is said that the average person has an enormous amount of common sense because he or she hasn’t used any of it yet.Common sense seems to be something that a person accumulates as the result of experience over a long period of time.
Common sense was defined by the participants in this survey as the “ability to cut to the core of a matter, to recognize and deal with the essential elements of a problem or a situation, rather than getting sidetracked by smaller issues or symptoms.”
Another definition of common sense was “The ability to learn from experience and then to apply those lessons to subsequent experiences.” Common sense was seen as the core of all personal qualities that enabled a person to become increasingly more effective over time.
Be Good at What You Do
The second of all the personal qualities needed for success that came out of the study was that of expertise. Most successful people are very good at what they do and they know they are very good. They have learned and practiced and reflected and gotten better and better until they are recognized by their peers as being among the very best in their fields. This feeling of being the best is an absolute prerequisite for achieving a better life.

Self-Reliance

Another one of the personal qualities identified in the study was that of self-reliance. Men and women who are respected by others tend to look primarily to themselves for the answers to their questions and for the solutions to their problems. They are highly self-responsible.
They do not blame others or make excuses when things go wrong. They regard themselves as the primary creative forces in their own lives. They volunteer for tough assignments, and they are willing to take charge when something needs to be done.

Intelligence Is More Than IQ

Intelligence is another one of the top personal qualities that was identified through the study. Intelligence seems to be a key requirement for success in any field. However, when they looked at this subject, they found that intelligence was not necessarily measured in terms of IQ.
Many of the most notable men and women alive today did poorly in school. They got low grades or no grades, and many of them had not completed university or even high school. One gentleman in the study could not even read or write, and yet he had gotten all the way through university by covering it up and getting others to do his assignments for him.

Become Result Oriented

The last of all personal qualities identified in the study was that of being result oriented. This means that you know that you are capable of getting the results for which you are responsible. All highly respected men and women are recognized as being the kind of people who can get the job done, whatever it is. They are invariably decisive, result oriented people.
They are highly result oriented because they have a bias for action and a sense of urgency. They have trained themselves to be extremely capable at doing whatever is required. Bigger and better jobs and responsibilities seem to flow to them. The world tends to step aside and make way for the person who knows what he or she is doing and knows where he or she is going.

For a Better Life, Get in Tune With Your Best Personal Qualities

One of the most intelligent things that you can do is to get better at the most important things you do to get the results that determine your success. The better your results, the higher the chances are of you achieving a better life for yourself. By becoming intensely result oriented, you will secure a better life for yourself.
Thank you for reading this article on the five personal qualities that will help you achieve a better life. Do you consider yourself result oriented or a person who has common sense? Please share any comments below!