Epp-ic Thoughts: Week 2

Nate "Goose" Gustafson

Nate "Goose" Gustafson

Feb. 4, 2013

Junior Kevin Epp shares stories, knowledge and general lacrosse team news in his weekly blog entitled "Epp-ic Thoughts." The second entry is now available below.

Epp is a two-year letterwinner and long stick defenseman for the Black Knights. He made his way to West Point from Naperville, Ill.

What's up Army Lacrosse fans? It's your favorite scout team hero back for round two of the blog!

So last week I gave you all an "insider's look" (because apparently that's my job description) at the whole Lunch Box tradition for the team. However, on the Army Lacrosse team we have far more than just one tradition. Oh yes folks, we have many, and I will bestow all this knowledge upon you in the coming weeks ... you just wait.

The Army Lacrosse team has its own elements, which make it unique from other sports here and across the nation, but I am willing to put money down and say that every team in the country has at least one kid with a nickname. Any red- blooded American and their dog knows that is a proven fact. Well, wouldn't you know, the Army Lacrosse team has a few unique nicknames of its own. Every single one has been rightfully earned, and I've been given the hallowed task of letting you in on a few of them.

Let's get this thing started off right with one of our three captains, Andy Boyd.

Andy "Juggernaut" Boyd
Coming out of Who-Really-Cares Midwest (let's be honest, west of PA might as well be another country), this corn fed warrior rightfully earned this nickname his freshman year. In a discussion with Andy and Brendan Buckley, which included much controversy, it was told that Andy ran over Brendan on a dodge, to which one of the upperclassmen responded, "you're such a juggernaut," or something to that effect. Whatever the case, Andy is known for being a complete tank on the field. What he is also known for is having a signature dodge, which is resembles two bighorn rams butting heads over territory in the wild. And what I mean by that is ... he smashes his face into yours until you stop playing defense. True story. We have film of it. It hurts.

This warrior is also airborne qualified, holy hooah.

Matt "Battle" Mezer
I could not be more serious when I say that this kid literally refers to people as "battle," "warrior," or "combat" instead of "dude" or "man"... or for that matter, any other term that would make sense to a normal human being. Ole Battle is a scout team legend and has worked his way into dominating the faceoff X this year. Still waiting for a call from the Boston Cannons, our fingers are crossed for you Mez. Carry on.

Nate "Goose" Gustafson
If you pronounced his Scandinavian last name correctly, props to you. Try saying that running down the field and you'll realize why we changed it to Goose. Coach likes to call him Neuton, but you'll have to ask him for the explanation on that one. Correct pronunciation of his last name is a widely debated topic amongst the team. On another note, he's also a fellow corn-duster like myself and Juggernaut. Hailing from the frozen lands of Minnesota, even having people interested in a conversation about where he's from is an accomplishment. Welcome to the club, Goose.

Also airborne qualified, pick up your chutes and follow me.

John "Chin" Burk
If you read the last blog you already have a perspective on how he earned this nickname. John Burk has a jaw line most novelists would write books about and a strikingly defined cleft chin. Rumor has it he tallied a couple ground balls in high school with it and was forced to register his chin as a weapon this past winter break. These claims have not been confirmed by the coaching staff or any of his friends back home.

Garrett "Neener" Thul
As you may know, Mr. Neener here wears the number 9 on the field. Well isn't that convenient, because the sidearm of choice for officers is a 9mm pistol, the nickname of which is a "neener." But to anybody who has ever seen Garret shoot, his nickname should really be "155 Howitzer Shell" because that sure isn't a little pea shooter slinging that ball.

Pat "Swag" Brennan
Truth be told, nobody actually calls him this. He just says it so much, I thought it needed to be included.

Mike "Big Dog" Larrabee
This sophomore possesses the largest quantity of raw, untamed athletic ability this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. And that is no exaggeration. Mike's favorite hobbies include playing full-contact origami, deciding whether to single or double knot his cleats, and running on the field with no regard for his own well being. Along with this, I sit next to him at lunch, and he eats at least 10 hard boiled eggs per day. Straight protein, pure diesel. Big Dog is in the pool, and he's making waves, baby.

Alex "Mental Assassin" Van Krevel
This is likely the most earned and widely used nickname on the team. From what I've been told, he smashes his face into his locker until he gets himself hyped enough to do line drills for practice. VK (as we also call him on the field) is one of the biggest believers in getting mentally prepared for games. A phrase commonly heard on the sidelines is "whoa, VK just assassinated that kid" when he scores a goal whilst owning his defender. Referring to the fact that Alex got in his defender's head so much they lost track of where they were on the field and allowed VK to score. I sit next to the Mental Assassin at lunch as well and can confirm that he mentally assassinates people on a daily basis, including myself.

Dave "Two Bar" Tarsa
This champ showed up to freshman fall ball practice with a bad case of two bar syndrome rocking a wheelie bar on his helmet. In the great social experiment that is freshman fall ball, this hurt his stock a bit. But he received tutoring sessions from tilt-master Pat "Swag" Brennan, and can assimilate back to society once again. Apparently they don't teach you how to have tilt on your helmet west of PA; I'm with you Dave. Two Bar is known for having one of the hardest hits on the team. Whenever he is lurking on a clear, I make sure to know where he's at. That's Texas football for ya ... hook `em, Dave.

Kip "Landfill" Haddock
So most nicknames are inside jokes with the team, but this is bar-none the most blatant and outrageous of them all. If you've ever seen the movie Beerfest, then you know who Landfill is. Supposedly eating chocolate pudding snack packs before games and hiding candy in his socks, Kippy-Green is the spitting image of that character. Whenever Kip makes a move on the field a loud "Landfill!" can be heard coming from Matt Mezer.

Alex "Brampa" Brammer
Alex claims to have been on three deployments with 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, but we are all fairly certain he just ate Fritos and played Call Of Duty in his mom's basement. Brampa is 25 years old (this is true), and is often nearly a decade older than the recruits that come to check out Army. Thus the cohesion between his last name, Brammer, and his age, Grandpa.

Sean "Chief" Jollota
Coming from good ole Highland Falls, N.Y. (although he likes to tell people Maryland), Sean is the son of two military parents. His father's rank is Chief Warrant Officer 5, or "Chief" for short. Well wouldn't you know it, but we like to give Sean a pretty hard time about it. Chief is also known for being able to bankrupt an entire Chinese Buffet in one afternoon of eating. What a power move; I love it.

These are just a few of the nicknames on the team. Just about everyone on the team has one, but these few got selected because they have the best explanations behind them.

Highlights of the Week:

-Mike Larrabee decided he likes Twix more than Snickers.

-Matt Mezer scored a goal this weekend against Fairfield. Battle doing it big ... making a name for the faceoff shooters.

-Connor "Cookie" Cook absolutely killed it on ground balls against Fairfield last Saturday. Stealing cookies left and right; I dig it.

-The seniors picked their posts for their first assignments, they are as follows:

Kip Haddock (Field Artillery) - Fort Bragg, N.C. (82nd Airborne Division)
Alex Van Krevel (Field Artillery)- Fort Riley, Kan. (1st Infantry Division)
Pat Brennan (Air Defense Artillery)- Fort Hood, Texas (1st Cavalry Division)
Matt Mezer (Armor) - Fort Carson, Colo.(4th Infantry Division)
Marc Pesa (Field Artillery) - Fort Lewis, Wash. (2nd Infantry Division)
Evan Danahy (Signal)- Schweinfurt, Germany (173rd Airborne Division)
Garrett Thul (Infantry) - Fort Riley, Kan. (1st Infantry Division)
Matt Ghidotti (Aviation)- Fort Rucker, Ala. (Flight School)
Brendan Buckley (Field Artillery)- Schweinfurt, Germany (173rd Airborne Division)
Andy Boyd (Field Artillery)- Schweinfurt, Germany (173rd Airborne Division)

Hope to see you all next Wednesday for our home opener against Manhattan.


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