Members of the team came back to Gonzaga a week early to partake in full days of physical conditioning, training drills and team bonding.
“We would wake up and usually do a team breakfast at 8:30 a.m.,” co-captain Stu Allen said. “Then we would have conditioning at 10 a.m., which included mile runs, agility drills and sprints.”
|2/12||at Pacific Lutheran||7:00||pm|
|2/13||at Central Washington||1:00||pm|
|3/27||LONG BEACH STATE||1:00||pm|
|4/05||at Utah State||4:00||pm|
|4/18||vs. Boise State||12:00||pm|
|Coach: Ben Stein|
After morning practice, players had time to get lunch and rest before the second round of practice.
“The workouts were definitely tough,” senior co-captain John Ciepela said. “The practices are made for the team to get back in shape after break. We did a lot of stick work and a lot of running.”
“Practices were pretty intense,” Allen added. “We focused on conditioning, basically getting our lungs and legs back.”
Though it was their first winter-break camp, the freshmen earned the respect of the upperclassmen.
“The freshmen were playing up to the level of the seniors and the seniors were able to help the freshmen,” Allen said.
“It’s usually difficult for freshmen to make the transition from high school to college, but they came out, played hard and did a good job,” co-captain Ryan Sheldon said.
“I knew [the practices were] going to be cold and hard but things went well,” freshman Payson MacWilliam said. “The first practice was a little rusty, but the team got everything accomplished we needed to.”
After a hard day of training, team members were able to relax and get to know their teammates better. Because underclassmen were unable to move into their dorms early, they stayed with older teammates’ living in houses.
“It’s a good thing to have the freshmen in the house because everyone gets to hang out for an extended period of time,” Allen said.
“It’s definitely a good bonding experience,” Sheldon added. “It was fun living together and hanging out with teammates. It’s good for the season.”
Though they were not able to sleep in their own beds, MacWilliam notes it was not an issue for underclassmen.
“Everyone was able to find a place to sleep, whether it was a bed or a couch,” he said.
The team also made it a point to have dinner together each night.
“We would have a team dinner and the houses would rotate who prepared dinner,” Ciepela said.
While the members were able to bond and come together as a team, the upperclassmen made sure the freshmen still new who was in charge.
“The freshmen had to do all the cleaning and scrub work,” MacWilliam said.
The freshmen were also reminded of their standing each night while the team gathered around a television to watch that night’s big sporting event.
“We all got together and watched whatever big game was on TV that night,” Allen said. “We made sure the freshmen were on the floor and the seniors in the chairs.”
Members of the team consider the element of eating meals and watching television with each other to be just as important as the actual training.
“Getting together early definitely helps with team cohesion and helps build camaraderie,” co-captain Nick Vaubreuil said. “It’s nice to start training before there’s other distractions like friends, girlfriends and classes.”
Another aspect the team feels led them to a successful camp was benefiting from favorable weather conditions.
“We lucked out this year and didn’t have to deal with six inches of snow,” Vaubreuil said. “We were able to practice in the gym as well as the field.”
“The weather was nice so we were able to have tough practices,” Sheldon said. “It was one of the best training camps we’ve ever had.”
The club team, who plays in the Dvision I Pacific Collegiate Lacrosse League, hopes the success of their training camp will translate into success in their upcoming season. A season that includes league rivals, Washington, Washington State, Oregon, Boise State, and Simon Frasier.
“We definitely want to make the playoffs and make a statement in league,” Sheldon said. “We want to put GU on the map.”
“We want to go undefeated in conference,” MacWilliam added. “We also want to win our games in Utah to get our name out to places outside of the Northwest.”
Carrying lofty goals for their season, the team feels they are ready to continue the hard work they began over winter break and deliver a conference title.
“I think we’re ready to start playing,” MacWilliam said. “The camp went well and everyone worked really hard and we’re ready to play hard throughout the year.”