School Spotlight: LSU Lacrosse
Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA)
Lone Star Alliance (LSA)
The LSU Tigers Lacrosse team is coming off an 8-5 season that saw them finish 3rd in the Lone Star Alliance (LSA). The team is primed for a big season with 16 returning seniors, including defending LSA Offensive player of the year, Caleb Monzon. The Tigers brought in former Catholic High School coach and State Champion, JR Ball, to serve as the team’s new Head Coach. They also brought in LSU Lacrosse Alum and 2021 graduate, Brett Davis, as the team’s defensive coordinator and former Head Coach Reece Townsley will serve as the team’s Offensive Coordinator.
The defense looks to be one of the most experienced groups on the team and is led by senior captain Collin Ferguson. Ferguson is a very athletic defenseman with great range and can erase passing lanes while also shutting down opposing teams’ best attackman. He is very aggressive on ball and keeps pressure on opposing attackman’s gloves extremely well. Collin is the most experienced player on the defense and is also the vocal leader on that side of the ball. The defense will also return 2022 starter and current senior Mark Warren.
The Tigers will also return their entire starting midfield, headlined by senior Ty Sams, who is a second-year transfer from Holy Cross University. In his first season with the Tigers, Ty was an immediate starter and was able to capture an LSA All-Conference honorable mention. The offensive midfield will also feature 2022 team captain Alex Klimowski and rising sophomores Jake Daut and Jake Tommeras.
The attack will be the most electric and exciting position group on the team with defending LSA Offensive player of the year, Caleb Monzon, and second-year transfer from Wilmington University, Mason Duhon. Monzon plays primarily from behind the net and is extremely creative when facilitating the offense. He has great vision from X and can feed cutters or find the post shooters even while dodging. Monzon’s biggest strength is his ability to create distance between him and defenders and find an easy shot from in front of the net. He is extremely creative with his dodges and uses his high lacrosse IQ to outsmart defenders. Mason Duhon is the right-side attackman and pairs his blazing speed with one of the best shots in the MCLA. He is one of the best athletes on the team and another very experienced player that will be looking at an increased role as a shooter after the graduation of left-handed Christian Latino.
I had the opportunity to talk to new Head Coach JR Ball and he sounded very excited about the opportunity to coach a talented group that really wants to win. I asked him a few questions and this is what he had to say.
Q: What are you most excited about in your new role as LSU’s head coach?
“Assisting young men to ultimately be successful in life by pursuing excellence in time management and work-life balance as well as embracing the fact game-day success is directly tied to one’s willingness to master the basics and sweat the details. This is true in lacrosse and it’s true in any professional endeavor these players choose to pursue.”
Q: What is one goal you’ve set for this upcoming season?
“For each player on the roster to understand his particular role in the whole of the team and getting highly-skilled players to understand playing for the collective leads to greater highs than playing for the individual. If key players embrace this concept and hold others to that standard then the wins and conference titles ultimately will take care of themselves.”
Q: Why did you decide to make the jump from coaching High School to College lacrosse?
“One always wants to coach the highest level of athlete one can. There is no higher level of lacrosse in Louisiana than LSU’s squad in the MCLA. I had been a part of championship teams at the youth, travel, and high school level and I want to see if my offensive and team beliefs will work at the collegiate level.”
Q: What makes LSU special or different?
“Not only is it a university that I attended, but it is the flagship institution of the state. For Louisiana to improve, LSU must lead the way. On a more micro level, the blend of academics, lacrosse, and social is such that anyone playing for the Tigers can get a quality education, play championship-caliber lacrosse and do so while balancing an incredible social life. If you have NCAA talent (and a great many players on the current roster have such talent) but aren’t into the grind of an NCAA program then there is no better university in which to play high-level lacrosse while having a more balanced college life.”