Tucker expects Thunder to make noise New coach says his team is most athletic in league

Indoor Lacrosse

November 11, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Thunder unveiled its 10-game Major Indoor Lacrosse League schedule recently and Baltimore first-year coach John Tucker is still trying to find an opponent on it that his squad can't compete with.

"Baltimore is a great area for lacrosse and we want to make a statement this year that we can play anybody -- indoors or out," said Tucker, a seven-time All-Pro and two-time league MVP who served as an assistant under his predecessor, Skip Lichtfuss, the past three years. "Our goal is to win the championship and increase the enthusiasm [for the team] within the community.

"I believe we have the most athletic team in the league, but we need to start using our athleticism to our advantage."

To help him in his quest to get the Thunder back to the playoffs, something Lichtfuss failed to accomplish in his three years at the helm, Tucker named former Thunder coach John Stewart as his assistant. Stewart, who was 21-29 while serving as head coach from 1988 to 1993, will assist Tucker and assistant coach Dave Huntley on the field and with the administrative side of the team's activities.

Tucker believes he has strengthened what he considered an already solid team through the draft and other off-season acquisitions. He drafted David Evans, a Dundalk native who starred at Brown, in the third round and selected Brendan Fry of Loyola College in the fifth.

Evans, a 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward, was a three-time All-American, while Fry grabbed All-American honors twice for the Greyhounds. "Evans has tremendous offensive skills and a body that is suited for this game," said Tucker. "Brendan is a true defensive player. A guy you want to go to war with."

The team also picked up Canadian goalie Derek Collins from the Rochester Knighthawks. Collins, who many consider the best keeper in Ontario, will compete for time with veteran J. J. Pearl.

The Thunder will take on the Boston Blazers in its opener on Jan. 4 at the Baltimore Arena and will close out the regular season on March 29 at the Buffalo Bandits.

For information on tickets, call (410) 347-2006.

1997 schedule

Date Opponent Time

Jan. 4 Boston 8

Jan. 18 at Philadelphia 8

Jan. 25 Rochester 8

Feb. 7 Buffalo 8

Feb. 8 at Boston 8: 30

Feb. 22 Philadelphia 8

March 1 New York 8

March 7 at New York 8

March 22 at Rochester 8

March 29 at Buffalo 8

Pub Date: 11/11/96

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