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Posts Tagged ‘Retro

Goin’ Ol’ Skool!

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My recent piece and blog post: “The making of Ol’ Skool” reminded me of a situation a few years ago to revisit and revive the days when shafts were either aluminum or wood, heads were not offset and REAL stringing was “traditional”.  Having such things today and going against the current trends sets the definition of “Going Old School”.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

I was the assistant varsity coach of the Poly Prep School in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and we were in Orlando, Florida for pre-season training in the early-March days.  Our hotel accommodation at The Disney Wide World of Sports complex, was one of many housing numerous high-school lacrosse programs in the country for the same reason, that the turnover of teams checking in and checking out was at a fast and steady pace.  Due to that circumstance our rooms were not ready for us to settle in, thus we had some time on our hands.  To make time pass, some kids “tossed the rock” in the parking lot, while others spent time listening to their iPods or did whatever their individual creativity opened up to.

A little over an hour went by and we received word that our rooms were finally ready to occupy.  The players, along with their roommates rushed into their designated rooms, some of them bumping into the housekeeping staff that just finished their work.  It was at that moment one of the staff got my fullest attention by asking me,

“Coach, does this belong to one of your players… I found it near the trash bins?”

Having no idea what she had found, she held in her hand an original, white, scuffed, scraped, unstrung, STX Excalibur head – one of the MOST popular and BEST lacrosse heads ever produced!

My response to her, YES, it DOES!”

Who would’ve thrown such a thing away or leave it behind?

I decided to take it.  By doing just that I gave it a new life but keeping the traditional, old school characteristics that I remember.  The following series of photos portray the revival of the STX Excalibur “going old school”.

STX Excalibur.  Strung traditional, wide, 6-diamond, nylon shooter lace and two hockey laces on a wooden shaft.


Some more from my “Old School” experience:

My STX “Crooked Arrow” shaft.  This was used during practice sessions in high school.

“Player of the World–Brooks Sweet”

With Brooks Sweet (All-American, UMass ’80.  Member of Team USA 1982—“Player of the World”).  Currently, Head Coach of The Poly Prep School (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn).

“The Trio” (Jon Hess, Chris Massey, Jesse Hubbard).  Considered the BEST attack unit college lacrosse.

With Chris Massey (Princeton ’98) and his son Oliver, during the screening of the USA/Canada 2010 World Games Championship game at Brother Jimmy’s in Manhattan.

Winning the New England Championship title – May 1995.


Written by theartoflax

July 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Art, Childhood, Inspiration, Lacrosse

Tagged with ,

The making of Ol’ Skool.

with 8 comments

(Vinnie Ricasio, The Art of Lax™ 1996. The South Kent School, CT)

Remember when the helmets had tie-offs at the back to properly fit and the helmet panels/sticker were almost the size of playing cards?

Remember when you added that “extra” foam chin pad for intimidation purposes, but had no idea why anybody would do such a thing – especially goalies?

Remember when equipment padding was vinyl coated and barely thick enough to protect you?

Remember when the leather palms of your L33/L35 gloves got so dry from sweat, that you splashed water on them during warm-ups just minutes before the opening whistle on game day?

Remember when the compression shorts/spandex were longer than your actual game shorts?

Remember when a simple, cotton t-shirt was all you wore underneath your equipment pads?

Remember when stringing a stick took numerous times, hours and even days? We’re talking TRADITIONAL stringing – MESH isn’t considered stringing!

Remember when the choices for a shaft were only; wood or aluminum? Plus those “dowel-shafts”?

Remember when the heads had no “pinch” and no “off-set” design?

Remember when people called the lacrosse company “STX” not by saying “S-T-X”, but by it’s real pronunciation “STICKS?”.

Remember when you played ONLY ON A GRASS FIELD?!!

If you remember when… you are a member of the Ol’ Skool!

Written by theartoflax

July 1, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Art, Inspiration, Lacrosse

Tagged with , ,