May 6, 2004

Ten Seniors Reflect on Time Together, Team

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They’ve been the class that helped herald the rebirth of the Cornell lacrosse program. Thirty-five wins, two Ivy League championships, and two NCAA tournament berths later, the 10 members of the men’s lacrosse Class of 2004 will walk off into the sunset, hoping to fulfill the program’s mantra of leaving the team better than when they found it. Co-captains Andrew Collins and Tim DeBlois, and their classmates David Coors, Doug Needham, Dave Pittard, Scott Raasch, Mike Riordan, Ian Rosenberger, Brandon Ross, and Ben Spoonhower have spent much of their time together over their past few years, and in the process have easily accomplished their goal. The Sun sat down with the senior laxers to reflect on four years of triumph, tragedy, and most importantly, camaraderie.

Sun: What are some of your memories over the last four years with this program and what do you think you’ve accomplished?

Andrew Collins: My memories have been nothing but great. I think I’ve changed a lot as a person and a lacrosse player since I came in here freshman year. I think we’ve really developed in to a great class. All of us are extremely tight. I think that we really felt we’ve been a great team in that time as well. We’ve all learned a lot in lacrosse and in life. It’s been an amazing four years.

Tim DeBlois: There was one day that we were working out with Coach Howley, we were running the stairs out here, and I we were doing a class competition. I think we were sophomores at the time. We’ve always stood out as — maybe not a cocky class, but we’ve always liked ourselves a little bit. We thought we were the most athletic class. We were running the stairs, and we were winning them all and giving the other teams a hard time. I remember Coach Tambroni and Coach Howley weren’t too happy. He made us all run afterwards. I think that kind of stood out in our minds … I think we’ve always been very competitive, and always been very close as a class.

Ian Rosenberger: I think one thing with our class is as a group, we’re really, really tight together. Our personalities really mesh together real well. Since the first day we got here on campus, it’s not like you have one or two best friends, but you’ve got an entire class of best friends. That’s lasted — I know for me from the very first day I got out here until right through now, and it’s going to last forever.

David Coors: I think the experience here would have been completely different if I hadn’t met all these guys and made the team and everything. It’s just a group of guys that i get along with. We have the same morals, we’ve been taught and have the same work ethic. We’ve all kind of bought into the system. Scott Raasch: I think we all have a pretty good collective sense of humor as well. If we say or do something that’s pretty stupid or anything like that, you’re gonna hear it from like 10 other guys.

Doug Needham: I feel like lacrosse, when we need to be we’re very serious, but at the same time, we’re very humorous too.

Rosenberger: We enjoy being with each other and making fun of each other.

DeBlois: Yeah, we definitely rip on each other a lot.

Mike Riordan: I just remember coming in freshman year, and the one thing that sticks out in my mind is guys come in as freshmen are pretty underdeveloped, we’re not usually doing running or lifting up there. But I just remember our class winning sprints, winning the mile, winning lifting competitions …

Ben Spoonhower: Turkey trot.

Riordan: Yeah. We were very competitive, even as freshmen, we were beating seniors.

DeBlois: Looking around the room, I feel like we’re a very eclectic group. There’s so many different personalities. We always joke around with a story that Mike and Andrew came the same recruiting weekend as seniors in high school. Andrew’s sitting there in a tank top, sweatpants with like cargo pockets on them, tongue ring, earrings, gel, dyed tips in his hair. And all of the sudden, in comes Mike in like a three-piece suit with a tie. We’ve got people from all over. We’ve got real preppy kids, and kids from like Webster, and Doug, who we all joke around is an old-man hick. But I think what’s pulled us together is we’ve all bought into the same thing, the same big picture, and also our humor and our personality. A lot of the stuff we talk about is just skin-deep. I think inside we’re all good people, and we can see through that and just bond together. We definitely have a really tight class.

Rosenberger: I don’t’ know if this happens on other teams or just at Cornell. I have a feeling that some guys, once they spend four hours in the lacrosse office and at practice together, they don’t want to see each other. We all go back to the same house and hang out the rest of the night, or even on weekends, we hang out with each other.

Raasch: Three of us sitting here are transfers, but you guys came in and are leaving with three extra guys. But I think that speaks for the other two guys also. When I came in, I only knew Tim, we grew up together. I knew Douggie sort of from playing him in high school, but the other guys I’d never seen or talked to before. But it really didn’t take long for me to feel like part of the group or part of the family. I feel like I’ve been here my whole life, that’s how close I am with everyone.

Coors: Three transfers and a walk-on. They had kind of already bonded when I showed up a month later.

Raasch: I came here a year and a half after these guys had already lived together every day, and I feet like I never missed a beat.

Sun: How much do you think that cohesiveness has helped you on the field?

Collins: A lot. Needham: We have a pretty good, though not dominant senior team, but look around at the positions, and we’re all real comfortable playing with each other, and we’re all real close. It transfers onto the field.

Rosenberger: The same type of competitiveness that Timmy was talking about in the sprints transfers into practice. You just see Timmy and Collins going at it one-on-one in practice. I mean, they just are going at it. Timmy’s trying to not let Andrew get anywhere near the goal, and Andrew’s trying to stick it in Timmy’s face. Competition, definitely, makes both of them better.

Collins: I think also in this class you’ve got a lot of really good leaders. I think that some teams, some classes you’ve got just one or two people who stick out. In this case, me and Timmy are the captains but we look to every other senior to be a leader on the team, and I think that everybody has really picked up some of the slack. Me and Timmy are only two people, I think that everyone’s done a great job, and every single person whether they’ve played a lot has been an amazing leader.

Sun: What would you say your favorite aspect of this program has been?

DeBlois: I’d say the people.

Raasch: The people. When you come on a recruiting trip, it kind of sticks out how close the people are here at Cornell. You come here, you definitely live that.

Riordan: It goes farther than our immediate family here to our parents and other alumni who come back. It goes a lot farther than what we have here. It’s a huge, huge family, and there are lots of connections there, friendships have been built just from us playing lacrosse. It’s amazing. DeBlois: Another thing about the program that we appreciate is that not everything is subordinated to winning. I think there’s definitely a focus on being a championship player as well as a human being. Not to bad-mouth any other programs, but you know those other programs out there where pretty much the bottom line is winning. And they’ll sacrifice a lot of things. We can honestly say that we left here better people. I really appreciate the ideals and the principles that the program is based around. It’s really building a person rather than just a lacrosse player.

Sun: If there’s one thing you would pass on to future
members of the program, what would it be?

DeBlois: Make sure you stay in shape over the summer.

Raasch: I’d say buy into the system and work hard because all of us have done it and it’s paying off.

Rosenberger: Have respect for the people who came before you.

Collins: Stick together as a group.

Archived article by Owen Bochner