Casey Carroll’s Homecoming Season

Originally published in Lacrosse Magazine:

Casey Carroll would rather it not be about him.

Plenty of Army Rangers and other military personnel continue to put their lives at stake in Iraq or Afghanistan or somewhere else where there’s a threat to the U.S. And there are 43 other members of the Duke men’s lacrosse team, he said, that deserve their time in the spotlight.

It’s hard to realize the weight your story carries when you are living it, but as Blue Devils defenseman Henry Lobb said, “I’ve never heard of a story like it in college athletics.”

At 29 years old, Carroll is a sixth-year, redshirt senior defenseman at Duke. With four Middle East deployments behind him, a wife and two kids at home, two season-ending knee injuries and a two-year graduate business degree nearly complete, he’s not exactly a college kid.

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Lacrosse Magazine’s Overtime

I love interviews and interview shows. In 2015, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to delve into long-form video production. Working with our then US Lacrosse video manager, Josh Rottman, and ESPN analyst and reporter Paul Carcaterra, I produced the “Overtime,” interview series for Lacrosse Magazine. Parts of this piece, with two-time Tewaaraton Award winner Lyle Thompson, aired on ESPN television.

Doesn’t Get Much Better Than Army-Navy

Saturday was my first Army-Navy game.

I didn’t play. I didn’t sweat, at least not to the point where it was noticeable. I didn’t parachute in like three men courageously did in a stiff wind during pre-game ceremonies. No, I just showed up to Navy Marine-Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., along with roughly 10,000 others on Saturday afternoon, and watched what unfolded.

I took a few pictures on my phone, tweeted and wrote about the game afterward, but that story – while it described how Navy ended Army’s six-game winning streak in the series with a huge fourth-quarter rally – probably missed the bigger picture. And, no, not the Patriot League playoff race, although that is important. But how great the whole day was in general, and why can’t there be more games like this one?

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#Lacrosse is Trending: Social Media Effect on the Sport

Originally published in the October 2014 edition of Lacrosse Magazine:

On a drizzly Thursday evening in late May in Washington, D.C., two men stood side-by-side inside the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, relatively invisible to the cocktail party crowd around them at a pre-Tewaaraton Award ceremony. But if those lacrosse enthusiasts, friends and family just a shoulder-length away knew what social media account access was in a pair of pants pockets nearby, it’s easy to imagine people would have lined up for any number of requests. Just like the kids and fans asking for autographs with the five men’s and five women’s Tewaaraton finalists.

Albany assistant coach Eric Wolf’s smartphone is notified of any mention of the Great Danes men’s lacrosse team on Twitter. And with Lyle and Miles Thompson both finalists for college lacrosse’s highest individual honor, he said “it’s getting crazy,” as anticipation built for the ceremony that eventually crowned the first-ever co-Tewaaraton winners in the form of the two brothers.

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Great Day to be a Tar Heel

Originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Lacrosse Magazine

The ghosts of North Carolina teams of the past quarter century — the talk of not winning the big game and why — were nowhere to be found at 4:35 p.m. on Memorial Day Monday in the visiting locker room at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. Joe Breschi’s last dab, the Cam Newton-inspired dance that made the Tar Heels’ coach Internet famous a week earlier after the program broke a 23-year final four drought, brushed those bad vibes out for another generation.

“Dad’s like the dab guy now,” Breschi’s wife, Judy, said, standing nearby, with three of the couple’s four daughters in toe. They had all just spent time celebrating on the field of the NFL’s Eagles. “I cried … and I cried again,” 10-year-old Lucy said in a stream of consciousness to no one in particular.

Beneath the south end zone seats, a party raged. Most of the 46 members of the 2016 edition of the Tar Heels gathered in the center of the long room, doing a dance of their own, gyrating in unison to house music that would make most DJs proud. Equipment, sweaty white-and-Carolina blue jerseys and other garments were scattered about, soaked by the perspiration of North Carolina’s epic 14-13 overtime win against top-seeded Maryland in an instant classic title game.

“We just won the national championship!” Breschi said, as if he couldn’t believe it.

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