Under the Arch: Diesel Group, Fall Ball & Final Exams
Brian Archer

Dec. 18, 2013

Michigan fans! Welcome to the first installment of Under the Arch, a guided tour of Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory for the Michigan men's lacrosse team. My name is Brian Archer, a.k.a your Mr. Wonka, and you're Violet Beauregarde, the girl who turns into a blueberry.

You may have read Michigan basketball freshman Cole McConnell's blog: Cole's World; where he takes you for an inside look at the basketball team. Well, Scott Kemps, our team's director of public and media relations, as well as our head coach, John Paul, decided the men's lacrosse team needed something like that so they searched our team for someone who was well-read, charming, humorous, and most importantly handsome. It didn't take him long to realize good ol' 37 was the man for the job. (It's still unconfirmed whether those were actual requirements, although the answer seems pretty obvious).

A little about myself: I played high school ball for the Brighton High School home of the Bulldogs before coming to Ann Arbor this fall. I'm a faceoff specialist, although I usually introduce myself to girls as an offensive midfielder. I drive a moped around campus (yes, lacrosse is pretty much the reason why there are now two moped spots outside the Academic Center instead of just one like in previous years) and my favorite restaurant is Chipotle. Of course, once this blog makes me famous I will let you buy my burrito bowl for me sometime. That's about as much as I want a stranger to know about me at this point so be a normal person and stalk me on Facebook if you'd like to know more.

Now, as one of my good friends Bo Schembechler once said, "The team, The team, The team."

The freshmen have all been very excited to be on campus and eager to work. A few were looking exceptionally diesel heading into the fall. Namely, Andrew Hatton. Clearly, he never skipped a chest day this summer. New to the freshman class was Peter Khoury, who tried out and made the team and has been an incredible addition receiving reps at defensive mid right from the beginning. Sophomore Mike Hernandez also put on roughly 20 pounds of beef so add him to the "Diesel" group as well. Grad student Thomas Paras returned for a fifth year, and as a team we're pumped to have him for one last season.

Fall Ball went exceptionally well. We spent a lot of our practice time on team-focused drills and relearning the system of Coach Paul's style of play. After a long fall, we finished up by scrimmaging Notre Dame in South Bend. Although we didn't get the W, we still were able to learn a lot and it gave us a good benchmark for where we stood as a team. To mark the end of the fall season we had an intrasquad scrimmage in the Big House with the loser having to run a 4-stop, also known as a suicide, or a ladder. My team ended up victorious due to a superior draft by captain Chase Brown. Highlights included Ian King's buzzer-beater, Andrew Portnoy's buzzer-beater-beater, and that sick five-hole rip I had on Gerald (Logan) in warm-ups.

Following the fall season we had a week of non-lacrosse related competition known as Victors Week. A week where the team was split up into four sub teams and competed each day in different events including tug of war, capture the flag, and a hill run. All topped off with a 6 a.m. stadium run on Friday -- which is up there on the list of "Things You Don't Want to do at 6 a.m. on a Friday When it's Freezing Out" -- which may seem like a pretty specific list but there are more things on it than you'd think. The winner of Victors Week was Team One, a.k.a Team Cry Babies, a.k.a Team Sherman. They all received exclusive Victors Week champion T-shirts that Justin Bieber and I both would consider swaggy.

These last few weeks of the semester have been particularly hectic. Although we haven't had any required practices since the 5th of December, everyone on the team has had quite the stressful schedule. Guys have been studying for exams, completing end of term projects, and Mikie Schlosser has been watching ESPN 30 for 30 documentaries in record numbers. I think it's safe to say everyone will be excited to get home for a much needed break.

This just about wraps up the first edition of Under the Arch. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @bwarcher6. I'm trying to compete with Cole for Coolest Blogger Award at Michigan, and right now, I'm losing.

Go Blue!