Q&A with Richie Meade

Q and A with ...

February 25, 2005|By Baltimoresun.com Staff

Read our transcript with the Navy men's lacrosse coach

Richie Meade is entering his 15th season as head coach of the Midshipmen. Navy finished 15-3 and lost in the NCAA title game to Syracuse.

Dan, Cibolo, Texas: What kind of season will Navy have this year?

Richie Meade: Last year was a great year, but it's over. There's a lot of things that happen between now and Memorial Day. We're excited about our team and the guys we have coming back. I think it's going to be fun.

We return a lot of guys from last year's team, especially at the defensive end of the field. Matt Russell is back in goal. Michael Felber, Mitch Hendler, Andrew Dow and Pat Reilley played in every single game last year. Seth DiNola is back. We're deep in the midfield. Some of the freshmen and the younger players have done well. We're going to be able to run 10 offensive midfielders, three or four on shortstick defense, three to four poles and on close defense, we think we can go five or six deep.

On attack, obviously losing Ian Dingman, everybody is interested in that, but we have Ben Horn and another returning starter, Jon Birsner, who is an All-American caliber type guy and several freshmen that we're pleased with. We're a little bit different. We don't have the big guy-to go to, but I think we're moving the ball and dodging more off passes and we're coming along pretty well. I'm excited about coaching this team. Last year we had a great group of seniors, but every year there is a new challenge. There are a lot of expectations around our team and we've got to try and get to that level again.

Jon, Bethesda: Is there any chance that Dingman can return for the 2006 season? If not, what school would be best for him to transfer to?

Richie Meade: That is something that is totally up to Ian and that will be decided at a later date. It's a very normal process that any midshipman that is separated has the opportunity to re-apply. Ian has indicated that he's going to follow through with the reapplication process. I can't comment on it because I'm not involved in the decision. He isn't playing lacrosse right now. He is going to a community college near his home and taking courses.

Sandy, Annapolis: Did last year's super season help recruiting?

Richie Meade: We've been pleased with our recruiting. We've gotten some very good athletes. At the end of the day, the Naval Academy is what it is. People come here for a variety of reasons, certainly one of them is to play lacrosse at a very high level. We benefitted from a lot of the exposure.

It takes a lot of maturity to come here. A lot of kids are looking at us and saying you can have a good lacrosse experience here, but that has always been the case.

David, Katy, Texas: What do you think of the lacrosse talent coming from the greater Houston area?

Richie Meade: Lacrosse has grown a lot, but that is one of the areas where it is really starting to catch on. I think that lacrosse starts out as a trendy sport, then all of a sudden some of the great athletes start to look at it and once they play it, they really enjoy it. I think that has happened in Florida, California and certainly in Texas. I think There are lots of good athletes in Texas who are maybe a caliber below big-time football level who see lacrosse as a way to get a great education and a chance to play a competitive, physical game. Lacrosse appeals to a lot of individuals because unlike football, it is a free-flowing game. I know from my experience at the Naval Academy that a lot of the great athletes in the 1960s at the Naval Academy that played football also played lacrosse and absolutely loved playing lacrosse.

Ron, Windsor, Ontario: What does a high school student-athlete need to do to get a college coach to notice him?

Richie Meade: It doesn't hurt to write a letter. My advice to young people is basically be a good kid. What we are looking for at the Academy is people who make great teammates. We look for people who want to come in and be competitive.

Any time they can play lacrosse in a competitive environment, that helps coaches in the evaluation process, especially over the summer. If you are in one of those areas off the beaten path, they need to find a camp in your area or one on the national level, or tournaments where they can go and play against kids from other areas and be evaluated.

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