Here at MCLAFan, we’re all about growing the game and spreading the good word about the MCLA. With this new series, we want to expose you to some programs you may not have heard about.
Like the Frequent Flyer Miles series, this one starts out in Louisiana. Lafayette, to be exact. The Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette and their head coach Courtland Jacob. UL Lafayette is a brand new team to the MCLA this season and looks to make a splash.
Who sets the schedule for the team and when does this usually take place? Why do they set the schedule (meaning how are responsibilities divided between players and coaches)?
I, as the Coach, chose to handle the schedule, it made more sense given my experience in the league and the fact that not only will I be around longer than the players, but I am a bit more responsible and punctual about getting things done. Our schedule was set late in the fall, but some teams start scheduling the moment the season is over. If it were up to me, I’d already have most of 2012 scheduled.
What goes into putting the perfect schedule for your team? What are your goals when you try to schedule teams? Is it just about getting good competition or are scheduling criteria the main driver?
Well this year it was required for me to schedule at least six Div II LSA teams and one Div I LSA team since we’re new and on probation, so my first goal was to make sure I fulfilled those requirements. After that I did my best to get us as many conference games as possible, then started working on ooc games. When you’re new like us, you pretty much take what you can get, Luckily I ended up getting four home games, as well as managing two close road trips to Baton Rouge and Houston. My main goal when scheduling it to be efficient. When you have to travel you want to make sure you’re getting more than one game on a road trip, and you also want to make sure your road trips are geographically organized as well. The last thing we want to do is have to make two trips to a place as far away as San Antonio in the same year.
What are team dues? Are you doing anything to reduce the team dues? Have you approached the school for any sort of funding?
The school has given us some money, so far they have paid our league fees, as well as told us they are paying our ref fees, but we’ve been told we won’t get as much next year despite the fact that the total was under what we were told our yearly allotment was supposed to be. Our dues were low this year at only $390 and it has come back to bite us in the butt because we don’t have enough money to do the things we wanted to do. The truth is the dues will have to go up to account for players not paying them. The only way to keep dues low is not only for every player to do their part and pay them, but to also participate in fund raisers, well when they don’t do either of those things, it causes dues to go up to make up for deficits. No cutting players for not paying dues is not an option for a first year team with a small roster, especially when it’s almost half your team that hasn’t paid them
What does the money you do bring in get you? Where are you really falling short and how can you bridge that gap?
League fees are a heafty $2500, ref fees for 4 games come out to around $2100, and are only getting higher. Uniforms for new teams cost a fair ammount too. Goal, balls etc, all of these things cost money and for a brand new team that has nothing, we need a lot of it, we have spent just about every cent we have brought in so far with still quite a few purchases left. We’re still working on finding fund raisers, and of course pushing the players to pay their dues, but it’s slow going.
What kind of support do you get from your school? Any plans on trying to increase that support? How is your relationship with the school in general?
So far the relationship has been pretty good. Each club sport is supposed to get a certain ammount from the school, and hopefully we can continue to get close to that number on a yearly basis to help keep this team going. We finally were able to work out a practice schedule and a game field with the school, they want to help us out, there is only so much field space out there and only one currently has lights. So far things have gone well and we can only hope it grows as we’re around longer
Team to look out for in your conference. Everyone has a big dog (or two, or three!) so who is yours? Anyone going to make a big jump this year? Why?
I’m a bit too new to the scene to make too many predictions. Obviously Sam Houston has been good, but it’s going to be interesting to see what they do without Coach Fritz. In Div I, I think Texas is going to take the conference, but TSU has a good chance to repeat, and don’t sleep on TCU in the North.
Players to look out for in your conference. Why?
The only player I can currently speak for is one of my own, Chase Weaver, he has solid stick skills for an LSM and enough endurance to play the whole game, I even use him in offense with his long pole. I’m hoping he turns some heads this year, great young player and only a freshman.
Biggest game on your schedule right now? If its your first game, does that play into your mentality for each game? If its not your first game, its fair to look ahead, why this one game?
I think every game will be a big game this year. We’re out to make a name for ourselves and to prove ourselves. We want to compete in this conference so each and every game will be important to us.
What is the game, that you arent a part of, you are looking forward to the most? Hoping for an upset? Looking to see how good someone else really is?
Well I’m an LSU alum and fan, so I’ll be pulling for LSU when they open against UT, I think that game will set the tone for LSU for the entire season.
What hurdles have you had to overcome being a new program in an emerging lacrosse area?
Lack of players, lack of money. The hardest part is getting enough players to show up just to be able to play, then getting enough players to be able to enforce any rules without losing half your team. It should get better in the years to come though.