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The Alabama Experience: Southern Hospitality

2 - Published April 10, 2013 by in College
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Editor’s Note: Please welcome senior goalie and captain, Jake Springer of the Alabama Lacrosse team to MCLA Fan. He will be shedding some light on all things Tide Lacrosse throughout the season. Find out more on Alabama’s lacrosse program here and see of all Jake’s contributions here.
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Q: Where are you from?

A: Baltimore, MD.

Q: So, you’re a Yankee?

A: No, I’m from Maryland. It’s south of the Mason-Dixon line. In fact, our state song (written in 1861) urged Marylanders to “spurn the Northern scum” and called Lincoln a “tyrant.” Were it not for the Baltimore Riots and Martial Law in 1861, Maryland could have very easily joined the Confederacy.

Q: So, you’re a Yankee?

A:
Leo

Despite the conversation above, which I’ve had roughly 4,000 times here at Alabama, I’ve assimilated myself into Southern culture quite well.

Sweet-tea-sipping, sir-&-mam-saying, college-football-worshipping, southern culture.

One of the key components to this culture, for those who haven’t immersed themselves in it, is Southern Hospitality. And boy, were we hospitable to the Georgia Bulldogs team last week.

Come to think of it, the entire SELC Southwest has been hospitable to Georgia since I got here. The Dawgs haven’t lost a divisional game since 2009. That’s not to say we haven’t come close to beating them. Last season against UGA, Kent Groff, Max Koehler and Chris Palasek hit some phenomenal shots for us, our close D shut down their best attackman and I played the best game of my career. But we still lost, 8-7.

Southern Hospitality

This year was a tad different. I did not have the best game of my career. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I was so hospitable to the Georgia offense that I spotted them some generous scores (fifteen, to be exact). That southern hospitality was painfully apparent when, down 5-2 at the first quarter, we were called for an unsportsmanlike “mouth guard penalty” and an illegal stick penalty.

Last week, I joked about how funny it was to see Florida State two men down against us for 3 minutes. Funny how those things work out sometimes.

Before I knew it, UGA attackman Trent Dean had singed the top left corner three times and midfielder Conner Reed added another. Or maybe it was Trent twice and Conner twice. Hard to remember really, I just know I got plenty of practice raking the ball out of the net.

Southern Hospitality

I got yanked relatively quickly, and sophomore goalie Kevin Bolger came in and stopped the bleeding promptly.

We wound up losing 17-5 in a rather underwhelming performance. Despite my disappointment, I wasn’t about to sulk for the rest of the night. In the week leading up to the game, I exchanged a couple texts and Facebook messages with UGA Lacrosse President and fellow LAS blogger, Conner Reed. I happened to meet Reed at the SELC Conference meeting last fall. Let me tell you, there is no better way to forge a friendship than collectively suffering through a 6-hour bureaucratic nightmare. I promised him and a couple of his teammates a good time in Tuscaloosa and I intended to keep my word.

So myself, Craig Landru, Jake Griffith, and Bama lax alums Blake Morris and Jason Hebert took some of them (read: 21+ players) out on the town. We had a great time, discussing our trip to Athens next season, their big trip to Colorado this week, and their showdown with Auburn on Sunday (which they won 16-3).

Conner mentioned that, until our game, he had never scored more than 3 goals before (he got 4 past me). As embarrassing as that admission was, I didn’t walk away empty-handed.

Conner mentioned if I ever needed a place to crash in Atlanta he’s got me covered, his bar tab blew mine out of the water, and by Sunday night, I had a full Auburn scouting report sitting in my inbox.

If that’s not Southern Hospitality, I don’t know what is.

Southern Hospitality

Left to right: Trent Dean, Matt Dumbleton, Jake Griffith, Conner Reed, Craig Landru, Jake Springer, Blake Morris

About Alabama Lacrosse

Alabama’s next game is this Friday in Tuscaloosa, AL against the Vanderbilt Commodores. For more information on the Crimson Tide, please visit TideLax.com, like us on Facebook at Alabama Lacrosse Club, or follow us on Twitter at @TideLax.

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