The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

92° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Laxcat fever strikes again

Arizona men’s lacrosse players have charisma, but as of late, they have been missing their biggest character of all.

For the past eight years Mickey-Miles Felton has been away from the very program he fought so hard to create back in 1976. This season, Felton returns to Arizona as head coach and his team could not be any more ecstatic upon his arrival.

“”We’re really excited to get Mickey back and just bring back some of the tradition of the team,”” Arizona captain Alex Beauchamp said. “”There’s been nothing but positive things from alumni, and everyone is just really excited.””

Felton has always been considered the mastermind behind Arizona lacrosse, and his absence has left a large void in the morale of the program.

“”Last year was kind of a mess with the coaching situation, and a lot of players were quitting,”” sophomore Matt Duke-Rosati said. “”Mickey started our program, he knows what to do, and bringing him back brings a lot of stability not only this year but for years to come. He just brings back that stability feature that we were missing for a while.””

More than stability even, Felton is hoping to simply bring back the love of the game.

“”To tell you the truth, it got to the point where I didn’t know if I wanted to send any of the high school kids to this program, and that really disturbed me,”” said Felton, who coached at Catalina Foothills High School last year. “”I’m coming back actually because I have been very unhappy about the way things have been progressing the last few years.””

Felton has always outwardly expressed that among his many recognitions, his personal pride has always been rooted in knowing that alumni from his program go on to coach at all levels of lacrosse, keeping the sport alive. He knows if they are doing that, then they must have had great experiences during their Arizona careers.

“”It’s not as much about winning and losing as it is ‘Laxcat Fever,'”” Felton continued. “”I just feel that the fever hasn’t permeated through the program any longer, and guys haven’t been happy playing any longer.””

One thing Felton was extremely disheartened about was the fact that he felt the Arizona program, as of late, had been used as a steppingstone for past coaches.

“”Consequently, everything gets blown out of proportion for them and winning and losing then becomes the only thing,”” Felton said. “”It’s not the end of the world with me, winning or losing.””

When winning was the sole goal, Felton felt like the players could not relax and play the game they love. Felton hopes to bring a well-rounded environment to the team with less focus on records and more attention on growth and relationships.

With only two practices under his belt since his return, Felton knows beyond a doubt that this is where he belongs.

“”We’re all very happy here, it’s a mutual admiration society,”” he said. “”My personality is a little off the wall, I’m not your typical coach and I don’t want to be. I just want to do things the way I believe they should be done.””

Plainly put, the “”right way”” according to Felton is loving the game and the team.

“”I just want to give something back to the program again, the guys deserve more.”” Felton said. “”Laxcat fever, brother. Catch it! But beware, be very aware, there is no known cure.””

More to Discover
Activate Search