May 8, 2013
Junior Kevin Epp shares stories, knowledge and general lacrosse team news in his weekly blog entitled "Epp-ic Thoughts."
Epp is a two-year letterwinner and long stick defenseman for the Black Knights. He made his way to West Point from Naperville, Ill.
Hey there folks, welcome to Week 10 (the last week) of the blog...or as John Lake likes to call it "The Epp-ilogue."
The season is over, and with it brings the off-season grind. However at West Point that's a little bit different than other colleges. Here, everyone goes their separate ways at the end of the school year and participates in their individual training requirements for the summer. A lot of the freshman go to Air Assault or Airborne school, and eventually end up at Buckner for their Cadet Field Training. After sophomore year, there is an endless amount of things we can do during the summer. Some folks travel to other countries (Sam Somers), whereas others stay in the continental U.S. and go to the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs (Bobby Sincero).
But this blog isn't about what everyone is doing for the summer ... frankly, that would just take too much effort on my part to figure out. This blog is about the class of seniors that will be graduating in a few short weeks. You can probably just look at the biographies on the Army Lacrosse webpage to find most of this information, but, once again, that would take far too much effort on my part. So to solve this problem in a timely manner I asked the seniors to email me their information and interests. How convenient.
Matt Mezer (a.k.a. Mezghetti Cat, Mez-roid, Mez-box-a-socks, Gator, Mez)
Mr. Mezer over here is a native of Arlington, Mass., and holds a record for having the largest quadriceps in his county. He also has bread rolls (sourdough, to be specific) for abdominal muscles and has been tested by the NCAA a total of 34 times in his collegiate career. According to Arlington folklore, Matt used to drink beaver milk before games to gain extra strength. In high school he used to dress up in a wrestling singlet and flex in front of the mirror for hours until the veins in his calves would expose themselves. After that, he would call it a day and end up playing his guitar for a few hours until he fell asleep and repeated the same routine the next morning. What a rock-star lifestyle. He has one older brother, Ed, who is arguably even more diesel than Matt, and a sister, Julia, who I have never seen before and I won't even dare attempt to say anything about. Matt's lacrosse career started in second grade when his older brother brought home a lacrosse stick to beat him with. One of Matt's favorite quotes is "With your shield or upon it", which is a Spartan proverb. And now an inside joke that only guys on the team will understand: [direct quote from Matt Mezer] "Schultzy...I know you are reading this, I need you to give me a LANDFILL followed by an azooga. That is all." Matt is joining the Armor branch following graduation in a few weeks.
Kip Haddock (a.k.a. Landfill, Kippy-Green, the kid who showed up to Beast slightly overweight)
Ole Kippers wins the award for the best-dressed on the Army Lacrosse team. I don't know what they do in North Carolina, but apparently if I ever go down there I have to show up in a really nice suit and a pair of stellar looking cufflinks. There's some different stuff going on south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Kip was a stud wrestler in high school and is thoroughly convinced he can pin Austin Schultz. This is actually a commonly held belief throughout the senior class ... but Kip hasn't followed through with this allegation, and until then, no valid claims can be made as to who would win. Kip started playing lacrosse in third grade when he was running moonshine with his brothers, Charles and George, and noticed some kids playing with lacrosse sticks. The rest is history, as they say. Kip assumed the role of the "light-turner-offer" when we would watch film before practice. He will be joining the Field Artillery branch following graduation in a few weeks.
Evan Danahy (a.ka. Dana-bro)
Evan is probably the most loyal friend you could ask for on the team. Sam Somers and I went to a Sushi restaurant like three weeks ago and ran up the bill on Evan's credit card just to see what he would do; he gave me a hug the next day. Evan is from Annapolis, Md., and "likes playing chess, monopoly, and snowboarding." I've literally never seen him do any of these things, even after spending four-plus hours with him for the past three years ... but I'll take his word for it. Evan started playing lacrosse in second grade when his brother started playing in high school and he wanted to play with him. And why would anybody ever want to become a college goalie? Here's a direct quote from Evan, "I moved from middie to goalie in seventh grade because my leg was ran over by an SUV and I couldn't run for a while." You heard it first ladies and gentlemen, playing goalie in college is slightly less painful than getting run over by an SUV. Evan is joining the Signal Corps following graduation in a few weeks.
Garrett Thul (a.k.a. Neener, Gary)
Niner is a native of Flemington, N.J., and was 6'3'' 231 pounds on the day he was born. However, it wasn't until he was six years old that he had a full chest of hair, and it wasn't until he was 10 years old that he could shoot the ball over 100 mph. So I still got him beat on those two things. Garrett enjoys any type of competition and likes "anything Jeep." He frequently does the "Jeep wave" to people around school and even did it after one of his goals (it's a Jeep thing, I guess). Lorna, Garrett's mom, is the "tailgate queen" and his father, Jim, is referred to as "the Birdman." Garrett has one older sister, Lauren. Garrett was actually drawn to lacrosse when the 2003 captain of Army Lacrosse, Mike Kamon, got him interested in second grade. His favorite quote is "Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart" by Tucumseh. Garrett will join the Infantry branch following graduation and a GA spot at the prep school in the fall.
Andy Boyd (a.k.a Juggernaut, Ando-ruckus)
Andy is from St. Louis, Miss. ... "a.k.a. The Gateway to the West, Saint Louieee, STL" or as I like to call it ... the second best drive-thru state in the Union. As far as the lacrosse community is concerned though, Missouri might as well be another country. Andy likes playing with his nieces and nephews. To be honest ... up until 30 seconds ago when I read his email, I thought Andy had like four kids but I was too embarrassed to ask. Daddy Boyd is one of the biggest fans of Third Eye Blind I have ever met and likes to let everyone know it by playing it constantly in the locker room. He has three siblings, a brother Danny and two sisters named Jenny and Allison. Andy started playing lacrosse in sixth grade when he heard a nearby youth league was offering free ice cream after games. Andy will join the Field Artillery branch after commissioning in a few weeks.
Marc Pesa (a.k.a. Merc, Iron Marc Pesa)
Marc is the head of the "Fat Table" right now (see previous blog entry). Except for a few outliers, the graduation of the Class of 2013 brings the dissolution of the Fat Table. Apparently I give ole Marcy (pronounced `mar-kee') a pretty hard time. To be honest, I don't feel like getting called out by Coach in another team meeting, so I'll lay off the big guy in this moment of sunshine. Marc is a native of Franklin Square, N.Y. ... better known as Long Island. He has one brother, Brandon. I felt that Marc put his bio together pretty well, so I'll let him do the talking (he does a lot of that). [Marc's email to me] "I started playing lacrosse not by choice, but by force. One of my high school coaches said anyone who played football was going to play lacrosse and that I would be perfect for it. I had no idea what lacrosse was and I was dragged into the first practice never having held a stick or seen the sport that would come to define me for the next 12 years. I immediately fell in love with the game. That was in seventh grade, I've met all of my best friends through lacrosse in high school and college and it's been a defining part of my life. I have only my friends and family to thank, without them none of this would be possible." Marc's favorite quote is "Don't put Twinkies on your pizza" by Roy from Heavy Weights. True Story. One of my favorite memories I'll have is doing a road trip with Nick Isnardi and Marc Pesa this past July. Marc is the type of guy that is really hard on people at practice, but never brings it into the locker room. In my opinion, one of the best teammates we had. He is joining the Field Artillery branch after graduation this May.
Matt Ghidotti (a.k.a. Gidoodles, Dotti)
Matt is from Upper Arlington, Ohio, and enjoys skiing, hunting, and fishing. Similar to Evan, I have literally never seen or heard of Matt doing any of these things, but I'll take his word for it all the same. Matt had a Brigade level leadership position this year which, for those of you who don't know what that means; he will be a General or somebody important or something like that someday. Matt started playing lacrosse in third grade through a local youth league that would go to his favorite Chinese buffet after games. To him, it looked like the cool thing to do, "especially since I couldn't hit a baseball to save my life." Matt will be joining the Aviation branch following graduation in a few weeks.
Brendan Buckley (a.k.a. Buck, Humble Buck)
Buck hails from Massapequa, N.Y. ... otherwise known as Long Island. And he'll let you know that within the first few minutes of talking to him. He'll also be quick to tell you he had two goals against Holy Cross this year as well, rightfully earning his nickname of "Humble Buck." But in all seriousness, this kid holds one of the top GPAs in his class, along with being a team captain, along with being a battalion commander at school. He has also been nominated as a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award (which you can still vote for here). So you can read the rest of his accolades there. He started playing lacrosse in third grade and was originally a midfielder but "was soon moved to defense for lack of ability to catch, throw, scoop up ground balls, shoot, or run. I was pretty good at hitting and swinging the stick." What more can I say, Buck literally chops people's arms off on the field. Brendan will be joining the Field Artillery branch following graduation.
Alex Van Krevel (a.k.a Van Kevlar, VK, Mental Assassin, Psycho)
VK was one of the most dedicated lacrosse players we had in the program and would always try to take his game to another level. Why the nickname Mental Assassin/Psycho? Well he would sometimes take his game so far he would mentally crush other players on the field, and occasionally himself. He played Jedi mind tricks on defensemen and was thoroughly convinced he could curve a ball at a 75-degree angle. Alex started playing lacrosse in second grade. On the first day of practice VK allegedly mentally assassinated a kid so bad that he no longer watched Sesame Street, living out the rest of his childhood unaware of how truly awesome Sesame Street really was. Alex will be joining the Field Artillery branch following graduation.
Might I add, this group of seniors set an unprecedented record of beating Navy 5 straight times.
Highlights from the postseason ...
-It's not bulking season, its hulking season.
- Shirley Lewis, who has been a crucial part of our program for 26 years, will be retiring following this season. Shirls is a huge part of the Army Lacrosse family, so when you see her at the banquet make sure to say hello.
-Pat Hart thinks he can get more tan than Alex Brammer.
-Jimbo Moore is bringing back the mullet.
I hope you all enjoyed the season, see you all next year.
Don't forget to do your part in helping our boy Humble Buck with the Senior CLASS Award! Vote here.