College Lacrosse

Q&A with Richie Meade

Photo by Phil Hoffman
Richie Meade is entering his 14th season as head coach of the Midshipmen. Navy finished 6-7 last season and enters 2004 as the preseason favorite in the Patriot League. You started off the season with a 14-1 win over Lafayette. What can you tell us about your team?

Richie Meade: Like all other years with us, we think we're pretty balanced. We have a lot of experience coming back defensively. In the goal, we have Seth DiNola returning after a year's experience and Matt Russell, who's a sophomore who we think is outstanding. In the defensive midfield we have Bucky Morris returning, whose our captain and we think he is an All-American candidate at the longstick. In the midfield we have Ben Bailey, who was an attack last year and Matt Midura (Mount Hebron), whose been a role player for past couple years. What are going to be some of your challenges this season?

Richie Meade: I think we're going to have to be very good defensively to win at the level we want to win at. Offensively, we return a lot of experience and I think we're going to be constantly challenged to continue to improve. We have young players that we think can help us. I think this Ohio State game (Saturday) is a big challenge for us now. You can't look too far down the road.

Michael, Reisterstown: Would the NCAA coaching community support standardizing crosse head widths and limiting the degree of offset?

Richie Meade: That's an ongoing issue that the NCAA rules committee has had under consideration. I'm the chair of the USILA (U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) rules committee and I'm invited to sit in on those meetings. I think there is going to be some sort of standardization down the road without trying to impact the creativity of the manufacturers. I think the coaches' association and the USILA would favor something like that.

There are standards of being legal. The point is, what's a fair and unfair advantage? If you're talking about a defensive guy who thinks the ball can't be dislodged, then the amount of checking becomes a little more violent. The other way to look at it is, it's good for the offensive game. I personally believe the players are little bit more skilled than they were several years ago and along with the technology and that has created the issue of it being difficult to dislodge the ball.

Terence, Darlington: Do you recruit any public school players from Harford County? We have a few excellent players at North Harford High School that only lost one varsity game last year.

Richie Meade: There's been several youth coaching movements up there that's made the quality of play much better, so that's a viable area right now. Harford County has definitely taken a step a positive direction.

Mac, Baltimore: In your opinion, what is the "hottest" new area in high school lacrosse - Northern Virgnia, Ohio or Colorado? Or, is it some other region?

Richie Meade: North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, California, Ohio - it's a nationwide search for ability. One of the best players on our team, Ben Bailey, is from Memphis, Tenn. One of the best players in the country, Tom Nolan (Ohio State), is from Plano, Texas. Now, there's players from all over. All the coaches have a national mindset right now.

Retcoach, Baltimore: : Why don't all the Maryland schools play each other in a spring or fall tournament?

Richie Meade: There's always a possibility, but scheduling is always an issue. It's very difficult to get everyone on the same page, not because they don't want to, but because we all exist in our own little world. In the fall, all of us are involved in different tournaments. Some guys like to play in shorter games with more games against different competition. We prefer to play 60-minute games against only a couple of teams. It's a great idea, but very difficult to get done.