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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Lacrosse team rebuilds and eyes upcoming season











If you’re feeling a bit under the weather there is no need to worry. For those suffering from Laxcat fever, well, your medicine is back in stock. But don’t expect a cure.

The Arizona men’s lacrosse team opens the regular season on Saturday when they host NAU at the Laxcat Coliseum at 1:00 p.m.  Saturday also marks the first regular season game since 2001 for head coach for Mickey-Miles Felton. Felton returned to the UA head coaching position before the start of fall practices.

“”I’m glad to be back,”” Felton said. “”This is where I belong.””

Though Felton has not been the head coach since 2001, he remained involved with the program for several years until his retirement from the UA in 2008, after 32 years coaching and involvement with the program. Since Felton’s departure, the team went through three different head coaches.

Two years ago, the first year Felton was not involved in any aspect of the men’s lacrosse team, the Laxcats finished the regular season 5-10. Last year they finished 4-6. During those two seasons, PJ Rovinelli coached the team and things got so bad players began to quit, Felton said.

“”The program really went downhill the two years I wasn’t involved at all,”” Felton said. “”How fast we can turn it around, only time will tell.””

“”There are guys on this team that are tired of losing,”” Felton added. “”I think that’s going to make a big difference.””

When Felton returned to the team he had to put together a new staff. Lewis Lipscomb, who coached at Denison University, was brought in to run the defense and this past January Drew Maceranka from Quinnipiac University was given the reigns to the offense.

“”They’re making my job a lot easier,”” Felton said. “”They’re out there taking control. They know what they’re doing.””

Senior captain Alex Beauchamp, a.k.a. “”Big Country,”” believes that the changes have been for the best. He also cited this year’s team as having the best team chemistry out of all of the squads in his four years.

Rebuilding went beyond the coaches. This year’s version of the Laxcats is young.  Twenty-nine of the 40 members, not including redshirts, are either sophomores or freshmen, but the elders are there too. Beauchamp, senior Ryan Daly, junior Aaron Caton and junior goalie Cooper Robbins were selected by a group of their peers as new team captains.

Felton had a reason for allowing the team to select their captains.

“”My plan was to change the attitude and self-esteem of the team,”” Felton said. “”I wanted the team to pick their captains so they would follow their leaders.””

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