How To Succeed At Lax Without Really Winning

Charlotte 49ers Head Coach Josh DuVall

Here at MCLAFan, we like to get some guest posts from around the league. It’s conference tournament time, so what better time than to get a view around the league? At this time, I’ll introduce you to a friend of the site, Charlotte 49er Head Coach Josh DuVall.


I want to start off by directing you away from this sure to be poorly written blog, and over to the awesome page where you can buy a sweet pair of shorts that benefit the Zach Greer Foundation’s efforts to support families affected by Autism.  We played in the Faceoff for Autism event that Coach Stephen Bailey of Elon University hosted this year, so supporting the Zach Greer Foundation is a natural continuation of those efforts. Plus, I don’t know if you heard, but the shorts are super sweet.  Anyway, if for some reason you want to continue reading this I’ll link you to the shorts again at the end…

Hi.  I coach the worst #1 seed in the history of #1 seeds.

Charlotte 49ers Head Coach Josh DuVall

At least I would assume it looks that way from the outside.  The 2011 edition of the Charlotte 49ers are by far the youngest and most inexperienced team I’ve coached; the roster contains only 2 seniors and 2 juniors.  The team has plenty of talent, it’s just that their lack of experience means this season has contained more mistakes than we’re used to seeing in the Queen City.

Luckily, the year we picked to be young and mistake prone was the first year of the North/South alignment in the SELC. Also lucky for us is that we happened to land in the North-East region, where we were expected to be the entrenched contender.  Despite our out of region record, we lived up to that expectation and went undefeated against our North-East competition.

As a result, we’re heading to the SELC tournament in the shiny Atlanta suburb of John’s Creek, Georgia, despite a 4-6 overall record.

Johns Creek

The SELC tournament is my favorite lacrosse event of the year.  It’s to me as a coach what lacrosse camp was to me as a high school player; a weekend where nothing but lacrosse matters and you get to be surrounded by people who love the game as much as you do.  One of the bright sides of coaching a team as young as I do is that they’re genuinely excited about the tournament.  As an unpaid coach, that’s the sort of stuff that makes me keep coming back out year after year.

Due to the huge number of games the SELC Tournament has to accommodate in such a short period of time, Friday night’s games are played at 4 different venues, so while the competition is good, the real tournament atmosphere doesn’t begin until Saturday when all the games are played in a single stadium.  The good thing about not playing in the full tournament atmosphere for the first round is that you don’t get distracted by all the other stuff going on and your team can just concentrate on the business at hand.

Our first round game is against Davidson (I always love driving 4 hours away to play a team that is a 20 minute drive from our campus.)  They’re a program that’s languished in the land of unfulfilled potential for most of my tenure in the SELC, but this season they’ve really broken out and started to show their stuff.  They’ve got a freshman in Nolan Canter that you certainly have to gameplan for and an excellent supporting cast around him including a veteran goalie in Matt Carney.  I’ve been secretly hoping for a chance to play Davidson in the playoffs since we opened our season with a loss to them.  I’m fairly confident that our coaching staff has figured out how to get more out of our roster than we did then, plus, this time I don’t need Nolan Canter to put 5 and 5 on us to recognize who he is.

Throughout the weekend I’ll be dropping posts about our games and the SELC Tournament in general.(Unless this is as bad as I fear, in which case I assume MCLAFan won’t post anything else.)

I want to use this weekend where I’m getting published for some unknown reason to curse Connor Wilson for revealing the magical world of and their vintage lax gear.  My checking account hates you, but dear Lord I love these gloves!

Vintage Gloves

Are you STILL reading this?! Go buy some of those sweet Zach Greer Foundation shorts already!


The Charlotte 49ers play their first game in the SELC Tournament this Friday at 5:30 PM. The winner of this game takes on the winner of Elon/Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 2:45pm at Northview High School

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Hilsgen is a former MCLA D2 defender. After his playing career ended, he turned to the sidelines where he was briefly on staff at UNCG. Now, he's a nomadic lacrosse fan, looking for his next coaching and playing opportunity.