Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wheniwasakid... interviews our new intern!

We are pleased to announce the addition of our first intern,
Peter Johnson, to the LacrosseRecruits family. Peter recently graduated from Taft where he was an All-American goalie. Next year, he heads to Trinity College with an impressive class of incoming freshman lacrosse players. To celebrate this occasion, our good friend and LaxPower contributor, Wheniwasakid…, put together 15 questions to find out a bit more about our newest team member.

1) We'll start off easy: What got you interested in lacrosse? This is an in-depth question and we all expect to hear about: where you grew up, who influenced you, who really got you into the game, etc.

PJ- Lacrosse comes naturally in Greenwich with GYL- Greenwich Youth Lacrosse. As a first grader I was first a baseball player and secondly a lacrosse player. I took baseball seriously until the third grade until I tore a ligament in my arm. This is when lacrosse became my life. I played every chance I got (at this time I played attack) and as a fifth grader, you are expected to win the state championship. Through middle school we had two state championship victories and the other two times we lost in the finals to our dreaded rivals- the Fairfield Wakemen. The switch to goalie in the fifth grade was my best decision I could have ever made. I believe it kept me in the game, and raised my interest to a new level. In no other sport could I feel so depended on, and as a single player I always know I can single handedly help my team to victory. From fifth grade on it was all lacrosse, dreaming of the lacrosse field during class, losing sleep over a missed save, or thinking about a missed outlet while talking to my girlfriend.

2) Another meatball: Everyone's got a style of play and most people aren't the first to utilize it, so whose game does your style of play resemble?

PJ- My style of play in the cages represents a mix between Brian Dougherty and Bret Queener. Bret is a player that is always trying to turn a save into an easy fast break and help his offense quickly. I try to do the same, I tell my middies to break up field as the person they’re guarding is shooting so I can create a quick transition and turn a save into a goal. I also try to take things into my own hands while running down the field, not afraid to take it over midfield and force my own transition. Brian, however, is more stay at home and plays with the shooters. He loves to bait and get into mental battles with the shooters. I feel like I also easily match his style, trying to confuse the shooters and get them out of their comfort zone.

3) Last really easy question: What kind of stick are you currently using? What type of pocket? And, what do you like about it?

PJ- I am using an Eclipse head with 2 shooting strings and a V with dura mesh, and I play with an attack Kryptolyte Warrior shaft. You cannot go wrong with any of that, I feel as though it is standard for what a goalie wants. However, the one thing different is the attack shaft which I will never switch back from. I feel like I am so much quicker and versatile with it opposed to the goalie shafts.

4) We hear you're something of an academic. How did you balance school and extracurricular activities in High School?

PJ- At Taft they did a great job preparing us for college and making sure there is plenty of time to play and even more time to work. Every night from 8 till 10 I would head over to the library after a 2 hour practice, usually ending at 530, and hit the books. It was a good regiment that I got into and rarely had work looming over my head. Senior year was a little hectic at times due to other extracurricular activities on top of lax, like the all male acapella group. We met often and practiced hard and always figured out a way to fit it into the daunting Taft schedule.

5) And a follow-up: How do you think things will be different next year at Trinity? NESCAC schools don't allow spring sports to practice before February 15th. Do you think this will help you get your college academics off to a good start?

PJ- I think that if I am able to continue the regiment I followed at Taft then I will be set. They prepared me very well and I am excited to prove that I can not only fulfill my standards on the field but also in the classroom. I was on the honor roll at Taft and plan to succeed academically at Trinity. Obviously the lacrosse work gets more strenuous at the college level but I know Coach Finlay will not let anyone slip up academically.

6) What are your feelings on pinched heads in lacrosse? Do you think the NCAA's future head-width increase rule change will have positive effect on the game?

PJ- I think that there needs to be a rule against heads being overly pinched. When your on the defensive side of the ball you can’t stand to see these sneaky attack men with heads that won’t let the ball come out even if they flipped their head upside down. Defensemen work to hard for there not to be a violation against the pinched heads, and the pinched technology can take away from the game, I think. Sure there might be less flashy plays with less pinched heads but it is for the better of the game.

7) Name your all-time team. You get 10 players: 3 Attack, 3 Midfield, 3 Longsticks and a Goalie.

PJ- Attack- M. Powell, Danowski, Gait. Middies- Harrison, Rabil, Peyser. Poles- Palanco, Gagliardi, Merril. Goalie- Tillman Johnson

8) Gas prices are higher than ever. Is this having an effect on how much lax people are playing or is everyone just saying, "I don't care about no stinking gas prices, I need to lax it up"?

PJ- People are going to lax it up no matter the price of gas.

9) If you could be any scientist, politician or economist in the history of the United States, who would it be?


10) Warrior uses some pretty overt advertising, do you think they're taking it too far? Is there even a too far? Are they not taking it far enough?

PJ- I think Warrior takes it too far. I don’t mind warrior equipment but their ads have never appealed to me in the slightest. I think they need to go back to the drawing boards and tone it down.

11) How did you hear about lacrosserecruits.com and what got you so interested in interning with these young venture capitalists?

PJ- Well my dad is in marketing and has always been, and I guess like father like son it has always been top on my interests. So when I saw my friends joining this LacrosseRecruits group via facebook I thought that it was my chance to help out with two things I love, marketing and lacrosse. What could be better, and here I am.

12) We all know that you're a lax rat but what is your ideal NON-lax day entail? I know it's hard to imagine a day without lacrosse but try your hardest not to cry and spill it.

PJ- I would say wake up at about 10, grab a bacon egg and cheese and head over to the links. Play a round of golf. Hit the gym. Grab some more food. And head over to a night with my buddies.

13) What does lacrosse need to do in order to keep up the pace of growth it has enjoyed recently? Is lacrosse the kind of game that could be a nationwide interest?

PJ- I think lacrosse markets itself. If ESPN could show more college lacrosse games I think that people that do not know about lacrosse could show a large appreciation for the game. There is not much to be turned off about in lacrosse and it is the fastest moving game on two feet. So yes it has the capability and potential to be a sport with nationwide interest.

14) Trinity is looking up with some good recruits coming in recently and a new coach. What drew you to Trinity College, CT?

PJ- I have a brother who played division one hockey, and noted that it was a “job”. Yes I live and breathe lacrosse, but I want to go to college and live that life as well. Academics, college life, and lacrosse all came in perfectly, to make the perfect fit for me at Trinity.

15) Last question: The internal combustion engine is neither internal, nor does it combust. Discuss.

PJ- I have no idea.

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