Editor’s Note: Manny Chavez is back with a Fireside Chat on MCLAFan! Manny will be talking about lacrosse in Minnesota, and the topics he will cover are myriad! Check out his older posts: the Land of 10,000 Laxers and Questions Surrounding Mankato.
I got to sit down with North Dakota State University freshman, Griff Woodward, over Thanksgiving break and talk to him about his recruitment and his first collegiate lacrosse experience.
Manny Chavez: Where are you originally from?
Griff Woodward: Williamstown, Massachusetts
When did you move to Minnesota?
When I was 15.
When did you start playing lacrosse?
I started playing lacrosse in 4th grade.
What position do you play? Did you start out at that position?
I play middie and attack now, but when I first started playing I played middie.
What was the first team you played for?
I played for a local travel team in Mass called the Williamstown Tigers.
When did you want to play lacrosse at the collegiate level?
I decided that I wanted to play lacrosse in college when I was in about 8th grade.
When did you start to become more aware of that fact that you could compete at the collegiate level?
I became quite aware that I could play at the collegiate level when I was a starting attackman on my high school team in Mass as an 8th grader.
Who was your first coach?
My first coach was Jeff Stripp and he coached my 5th and 6th grade team.
Do you remember your first lacrosse stick? What was it?
Yes… oh my first lacrosse stick, ha ha. It was a Brine Blaze head with a Brine F15 Power-Grip shaft. Heaviest stick I have ever held!
What team did you play for in high school? What select team did you play for?
I played my high school years at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, MN. Then the summer after my sophomore year I played for the MN Lax Loons and then the summer after my junior year I played for the MN Jaxx-Frost.
What was it like traveling to different states to play against some of the countries best?
Honestly, I have never had so much fun playing lacrosse than when I was going back to east coast to play lacrosse. I actually ran into my friend that I hadn’t seen in 5 years at that point and the last time I did see him was my 8th grade year, when we played on the same local travel team and high school team. Competition wise, it was awesome. I grew a lot as a player and I am thankful for it every day I step on the field up at college.
What was it like when you got your first letter from a college that was interested in you?
I was pretty excited when I got my first letter of recruitment. It made me that much more confident in my game and I think it pushed me that much further.
How many school were recruiting you? What schools were you being recruited by?
I don’t know exactly how many schools, but I do remember they were mainly D3 schools.
How did you like going and visiting the different schools that were recruiting you?
I actually didn’t go on very many school visits. The ones I did go were fun though because it made me feel really good talking in person to someone who genuinely wanted me to go to school and play lacrosse for them and hearing them say that I would have a big impact as a freshman was pretty awesome.
How many schools were recruiting you all through high school?
I’m not completely sure how many school recruited me through high school, actually.
How did your family help you with your decision to play club or NCAA lacrosse?
In the NCAA or club decision, my parents didn’t have much say in what i did. I wanted to play on a winning team and be on a team that would compete for a championship and so that’s a lot of what attracted me to the schools i was considering whether it was NCAA or club.
What was the feeling you had when you signed your letter of intent?
I never got to sign an official letter of intent, but I enjoyed seeing my name on LaxPower that announced where I was going.
How do you feel now that you’ve been recruited and signed your letter of intent?
I feel pretty happy with where I am and I don’t have any regrets about where I decided to go.
What do you want to major in at the school you are attending in the fall?
I have no idea what I want to major in, honestly! I have no clue whatsoever. I am in ROTC though, and I do intend to pursue that.
How did your fall ball season go?
My fall ball season kinda sucked actually. I sprained the AC joint in my shoulder at the first tournament of the fall ball season when we were playing St. John’s. It was the first of 5 games that day and I was supposed to play in every single one – that didn’t end up happening.
How many games did you start this fall ball season?
Well like I said in the question before, I got hurt. I was supposed to get a lot of minutes this fall at attack though, but because of my stupid shoulder I did not.
What should we expect from you and the Bison this season?
Hold on to your seats folks. Bison are coming to play this year. I am confident in our team that we can clinch our conference. It won’t be easy, but I am very confident in my team this year. We have a lot of talent and once we string it together, we should turn some heads.
What are the expectations of the Bison for the upcoming season?
We don’t have any expectations. We have goals and we are sure as hell are going to everything we can in our power to accomplish those goals no matter who or what stands in our way. I say bring it on Tommies!!
Thanks for sitting down with me Griff and I wish you and the Bison luck this season.
Thanks big guy I appreciate the opportunity.