It's alumni weekend for the lacrosse team (they include us old club guys in these, which is much appreciated). I'm sure they picked this weekend back in the summer because, hey who wouldn't want to come back for the biggest football game on the home schedule?
While there will be festivities all weekend, all of the on-field stuff happens Sunday in Michigan Stadium. Alumni game at noon (I would avoid that unless you enjoy seeing a few young guys run circles around a bunch of old has-beens and never-really-weres). You can get a first look at Team 4 in the Michigan vs Fairfield scrimmage at 3:00. It's free.
From all reports this will be a much improved team with three solid recruiting classes on the roster now. Teams usually use these fall scrimmages to play everyone so it's a good opportunity to see some of the freshmen. This also marks the return (I assume) of Gerald Logan, Michigan's highly touted goalie who missed all of last season with an injury. He played last weekend in their scrimmages at Navy.
This is the first year for Big Ten lacrosse, by the way, which now includes perrenial powerhouses Maryland and Johns Hopkins.
Nice to hear the 3K-seat Lacrosse stadium has finally been announced.
The Athletics South Competition and Performance Project will serve the training and competition needs of nearly two-thirds of the total number of student-athletes. The project will construct approximately 310,000 gross square feet of space that will be the future home for men's and women's track and field, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, and women's rowing.
A performance and team center will provide specialized spaces for each team and shared resources for all teams for strength and conditioning, athletic medicine, a performance lab, meeting space and locker rooms. It also will allow Michigan Athletics to consolidate various team facilities now dispersed across the athletic campus. An indoor rowing tank will be built for the first time. New indoor and outdoor track and field facilities that will have permanent seating for 2,000 and 1,000 spectators, respectively, will allow U-M to again host home track meets as well as regional and national competitions. A 3,000-seat lacrosse stadium will create a home for the University's newest varsity programs, in a sport that is one of the fastest-growing in the nation.
The project, made possible by the purchase of property adjacent to existing U-M facilities, has an estimated cost of $168 million. Funding will be provided entirely by Michigan Athletics donor resources and gifts, including a $100 million gift from Stephen M. Ross. The Regents also approved the architectural firm of TMP Architecture Inc. for design of the project.
Soccer team center
Lacrosse team center (no stadium photos available yet)
New indoor track stadium
The U-M Indoor Track Building will be demolished along with Ferry Field in summer 2015 (sadly).
The U-M Indoor Track Building will be where a new multi-purpose arena will be. That arena will replace Cliff Keen near the end of the decade and will serve as the home of Michigan Volleyball, Wrestling, Men's Gymnastics, Cheer and Dance.
Meanwhile, Ferry Field is being turned into a parking lot. No, really.
Double feature today for me, but I had to post this being a Lax season ticket holder and thrilled for the progress we saw last season.
The first year of B1G Lax is upon us. And looky who popped up on the schedule.
Boy, they like to run from Michigan in the sports where Michigan kicks their ass, but they sure like playing us in sports we've had for less than 15 years (men's soccer & men's lacrosse).
This schedule is loaded. My mouth is watering. I hope we get ND at The Big House instead of Oosterbaan, but it looks like ohio will be the Battle in The Big House IV game on April 11th.
Looks like the Lacrosse schedule has also tipped off when the 2015 Spring Game will be for Football since 'Battle is held after it.
It's gonna be a great year in 2015. Progress. Team 4.
Two pieces of interesting lacrosse news:
Conor Ford has been hired as the lax team's new Offensive Coordinator. My reading of the tea leaves sees this as a very positive development for Michigan lacrosse. This is a lateral move from a program that has been on the upswing. Ford is a branch off the Hopkins coaching tree, having been Brian Voelker's OC at Penn and later at Drexel when Voelker moved there. (Voelker was an assistant for Bill Tierney at Princeton and he was Dave Pietramala's D Coordinator at Hopkins before taking over as Head Coach and Penn.)
In other news, Michigan grad Harrison Fried is a starting defenseman for the Israeli national lacrosse team, which is currently tearing it up in the FIL World Lacrosse Championships. Team Israel has made the quarterfinals, where it is playing against Australia tonight on ESPN3. (although Israel has a good chance to win through to the semis, their Cinderella run will come crashing down at that point, as they would face Team USA)
Every year Mike O'Leary, who played for the club lacrosse team, produces a video about the current year's team that they debut at the banquet. Mike worked for NFL Films at one point and has a bunch of emmys for sports shows and documentaries. His NFL Films experience is pretty evident in his lacrosse videos. He did a bunch of stuff for the University of Miami's athletic department too that won some awards. He comes up with a different theme every year. This year's version is called The Will. Be warned, it's about 12 minutes long.