Lacrosse state playoffs

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St. Pius defeated Starr’s Mill 9-2 and Decatur knocked off McIntosh 11-5 in first round boy’s playoff action. On the girl’s side today, Whitewater will be visiting St. Pius and Starr’s Mill will be hosting Marist in first round action.

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Submitted by MHS LAX Alumn 4 on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 1:11pm.

There's a few things here that are bothering me.

First off, Cam Elward didn't receive any All-State recognition but did receive honors for Academic All American which is just as respectable as any All-State reward and I KNOW this is a FIRST on the MHS LAX team.

Also, I hate that Mike was fired. He did more for the team than most of the people on this forum will ever know but politics are politics. It's not Tracie's fault that the team didn't do as well this year. I've talked to many of the players and I don't think they expected to "win it all." Top 10 in the state is awesome and is better than any other year we've had besides last year.

Overall, It's not one person's fault that the team lost in the playoffs. I know at least 4 of the players have committed to college teams to play in the future and this is something that isn't brought up but should be. I know the players gave it all they could, and no one can ask any more of them.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:53pm.

MHS Lax Alumn 4, you are spot on about Cam Elward. Great kid and should have made All State. Congratulations to him on the Academic All American.

However, you are so wrong with the comment that "its not Tracie's fault that the team didn't do very well this year". Tracie Fleming fired Mike Meutzel. Tracie Fleming hired Tom Hill. I guarantee you this team would have improved as the year went on under Mike Meutzel and he would have taken this year's team deeper in the playoffs than Coach Hill and his crew of assistants. Sounds like to me it is Tracie's fault by virtue of firing a much better coach.

You yourself even offer up evidence of Hill's lack of lacrosse knowledge by your statement that "at least 4 players have committed to playing college ball". So one fourth of the starting team is playing at the next level? Obviously whatever reason the team didn't get past Decatur had little or nothing to do with talent.

True, nobody expected McIntosh would win it all. However, fact is McIntosh was favored to beat Decatur by two goals in the playoff game and when Decatur started running away with the game, Hill and his coaches had no answer. Result? Bumped out in the first round.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 1:27pm.

I agree with what you said. I don't think anyone here is faulting any of the kids who played lacrosse. Sometimes expectations are set too high. We fielded a solid, competitive team this year. One thing I noticed about this year is that the boys were in shape and "game ready" from the very first game. I think this may have been the most athletic group of boys we've ever fielded.

Lacrosse playoffs in Georgia make it seem like the upset is the norm. I recall on the first week of last year's playoffs the number 1,4,6,9,10 and 11 seeds (out of 24) got bounced in their first game and three more top ten teams didn't make it past round 2. This year the Upset Fairy simply frowned upon us.

At least the boys got to play in the playoffs....those poor girls lost out due to their two tie games.

Fyt35's picture
Submitted by Fyt35 on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 4:14pm.

McIntosh has the advantage to have a "feeder system" so to speak, PTC LAX. Unfortunately this does not work well for kids going to the Mill or Whitewater. The top 10 finish is good for the Chiefs, however, if you look at the remainder of the field,, only 11 of the 40 teams in the state have winning records; the sport is still growing. Needless to say, it does not take away from what McIntosh has accomplished, they set the bar for the rest on this side of town.
Starr's Mill and Newnan fielded good teams this year although their feel good schedule was suspect at best; Whitewater hasn't figured it out yet with a team that counts with a junior middie that is being recruited heavily by a dozen colleges according to my sources.
McIntosh has done the right things by playing better opponents, you can't get better by playing the Little Sisters of the Poor!
I miss seeing Muetzel, I figured Whitewater would have tried to snag him; I wonder if he misses coaching?

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Submitted by borntorun on Thu, 04/30/2009 - 9:30pm.

What a shame....lay McIntosh's sudden exit from the playoffs right at the feet of former McIntosh principal Tracie Fleming and Steve Cole. The firing of former coach Mike Meutzel was unjustified and inexcusable. Pure ego on Tracie's part. And rather than stand up for the coach as he should have, Steve just rolled over and let Tracie have her way. All Mike did was take last year's team to the state championship game in only their fourth year of existence losing in double overtime to a long time lacrosse powerhouse, Lovett. I suspect that feat is a first in Ga high school athletics. The coaches for McIntosh (Tracie's boys) clearly showed they knew nothing about lacrosse strategy. And as usual, the kids are the ones to pay the price. Hope you are happy Tracie and Steve!

Submitted by Dondol on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:48am.

Calm down junior, the boys just weren't that good this year. I will agree that Mrs. Fleming needed to go, and I have said for years that McIntosh had no school spirit as long as she was there. But you are way off base with regards to Steve Cole, you don't know what all went on unless you were a fly on the wall. Mr. Cole is trying real hard to bring back the school spirit and improve the overall athletics program, look what their doing with the football program. Hiring Coach Griffin to run the program was a very good move, but on the other hand when he left Starr's Mill they suffered, goes in cycles. You want to be mad about something take a look at the band program, mediocre director = mediocre program and that's all it will be until a change is made there. But that's all the BOE gives us now, so we have to work with what we have.

Obama's weapon of Choice!

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Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:57am.

Let's not nominate Steve Cole for sainthood just yet... Eye-wink

I realize the job of any athletic director is tough, but I can't help wondering if Steve Cole's personal mission statement was "Soccer teams first....anything and everything else is secondary".

I admit I'm a bit biased, but I still rankle when I think of the moment not so long ago when Mr. Cole denied lacrosse teams practice facilities because he wanted the field to look good when the soccer team was having their team pictures taken.

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 9:44am.

That's pitiful.....just absolutely pitiful! He thought the soccer pictures were more important then the development of the lacrosse program? As Athletic Director his job is do what's best for ALL McIntosh athletic teams. Seems to me he was more concerned with his own job security and keeping Tracie happy. Jeez, what a weinie!

Submitted by Dondol on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 9:31am.

In fact reading your post people would think that you didn't have a bias bone in your body. Don't get me wrong I am a big Lacrosse fan, and a big fan of David Bexley. He lives down the street and I have know him since he was 5, Great kid and one hell of a Lacrosse player. After playing the whole championship game with a broken ankle he's got to be one of the toughest kids that I have ever met.
Not sure about the soccer teams picture and the lacrosse practice though, but I thought that for the first 3 years the lacrosse team practiced on the JC Booth football field.
Also, you have to understand that with McIntosh being build in an island so to speak, they have to try and find alternative areas for the teams to practice or the one field that they have will be a plain dirt field and that's when kids start getting injuries. Have you been over and looked at the field lately, its a worn-out piece of crap with no money from the BOE to fix it. And yes we have a great soccer program but you also have to understand that it starts with the Lazer & Lightening programs that begin with 5 year olds that has been in place for over 20 years. Lacrosse has just began a program at the BSC on the lower fields with the younger kids and in time with good stewardship it to will start feeding good players to the high school levels and we will consistently start having a great program. We got real lucky in that our first couple of years in Lacrosse we did well. I really believe that his goal is to have a good well rounded athletics program at McIntosh and not just a good soccer and Chess program.

Obama's weapon of Choice!

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Submitted by sniffles5 on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 7:31am.

I think your analysis is a bit unfair.

Let's compare this year's team vs. last year's team: last year, they had Coach Muetzel, who wanted to build McIntosh into a NATIONAL (not state) powerhouse. He regularly scheduled games against top teams in the USA against McIntosh, and McIntosh usually got squashed...but they did get better. Boy did they ever! Last year, McIntosh had SEVEN players named to all-state, and had David Bexley and Nathan DeRosa, arguably two of the best players to have ever played. The "X factor" was the fact that McIntosh had the single most experience varsity team in the entire state, these guys grew up in the program and most were starters on varsity in 10th, 11th and 12th grades.

Despite all this, they finished the regular season 8th in the state rankings. They had to play the then-number one team (Pope, I believe) in the first round and were able to upset them. McIntosh then cruised through two more games before losing to the new #1 (regular season #3) in the championship game.

That was then. In the off-season, Muetzel was let go. I don't know why and I won't speculate. By all rights, it should have been a rebuilding year for McIntosh. We still had the younger DeRosa kid (Nico?) anchoring the team, but we'd lost a lot of starters.

McIntosh still managed to finish 10th in the state (out of 50 teams). They'd lost to Decatur by one in the regular season but were favored to win by 2 at home in the playoffs. Instead, Decatur pulled a huge first round upset (not unlike what McIntosh did the previous year) and walloped the Chiefs 11-5. Yes, it was a very tough loss to take. Were the kids overconfident? I don't know. Was it a lack of proper coaching? I don't think so, the same coaching took them to a regular season top 10 finish.

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Submitted by borntorun on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 8:26am.

I agree that the loss of Bexley, DeRosa, Zack Ward, Garrett Lee and several others hurt. However, Nicco DeRosa, Brennan Ott, Andrew Huffman, Caleb Benson earned All State recognition (Cam Elward should have also) so I don't think the rebuilding excuse is one you can really use.

And I am in no way laying blame or fault on this years players. They worked hard and are an outstanding group of young men who represented McIntosh well.

And I have no doubt Coach Hill is a fine person and a good man but the dropoff in the quality of coaching and understanding of lacrosse strategy was absolutely mind boggling. The Decatur game was a perfect example. Clearly, the talent built by Coach Meutzel was there but was wasted.

Nothing to speculate about Coach Meutzel's firing! His firing was nothing more than a pure ego power grab by Tracie Fleming who got her drawers in a wad whenever Coach Meutzel would see a need for the team and ask the school for support. How else do you explain or justify firing someone who in 2007 was the Georgia High School Lacrosse Coach of The Year and in 2008 took the team to the state championship game? Obviously, the man understood lacrosse and knew how to get the best out of his players.

Sad....Tracie and Cole's legacy will be they killed a thriving lacrosse program that may never get back to the level of 2008.

All Smiles's picture
Submitted by All Smiles on Fri, 05/01/2009 - 6:52am.

EVERYONE knew all Tracie Fleming cared about when she was principle at McIntosh was academics and HER image! Yes, academics are very important, but to make well rounded students, you need a strong athletic department along with a strong school sprit, a strong art department, band and drama departments. The idea is to make well rounded adults so they can function as team players as a vital part of our society. I’m glad she’s gone from McIntosh and I hope the “seeds” which she planted are gone soon too!

Fyt35's picture
Submitted by Fyt35 on Thu, 04/30/2009 - 6:58am.

The Lady Panthers defeated Marist 8-3 in first round action, now they await the winner of the Lassiter/Pope game. The Lady Wildcats were defeated in a hard fought contest by St.Pius 15-13.

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