Brett Hughes

Brett Hughes, OC Crush U-13 live loud at California Lax Classic

3 - Published July 10, 2012 by in Grow The Game

I had a chance to chat briefly with Brett Hughes at the California Lax Classic on Saturday while his U-13 OC Crush played the QC Starz in pool play, and I’m using that as an opportunity to highlight a passionate guy who lives loud (one of his favorite expressions).

Brett Hughes

Brett Hughes is constantly on the move, but we caught up with him at the California Lax Classic.

In describing Hughes, it’s tough to know where to start. He is an Ohio native who started every game during his four years at the University of Virginia, where he was a two-time All-American; he is a six-year veteran of Major League Lacrosse, currently playing for the Ohio Machine; he has served as an assistant coach at Palos Verdes HS, the reigning LA County CIF champ; and he also is quite entertaining on Twitter — @Brett_Hughes.

But more interesting than all of that is his nonprofit organization, Lacrosse The Nations. Hughes co-founded the group with Brad Corrigan in 2008 and now serves as its chairman of the board. According to its mission statement, “Lacrosse The Nations unifies the lacrosse community to sustainably improve education and health while creating hope and opportunity for children in need.”

You can read more about LTN at its official site, but the group currently runs international programs in La Chureca and Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua, and Potrero, Costa Rica, as well as domestic programs in Charlottesville, Va., and Weinland Park, Ohio. It’s work Hughes feels passionate about — using sports, and specifically lacrosse, to teach life skills and help kids learn to be healthy.

OC Crush, Lacrosse The Nations

The U-13 OC Crush looked sharp in their Lacrosse The Nations uniforms.

This summer, Hughes said, he had the opportunity to apply some of that close to home, when OC Crush director Jon Fox, head coach at Foothill HS, asked Hughes if he wanted to coach a team and co-brand it with the Lacrosse The Nations colors, logo and URL. The result was a great-looking uniform worn by kids who were getting some terrific positive instruction and coaching and — hopefully — some exposure for Hughes’ worthy project.

The U-13 Crush rolled through pool play, winning four games by a combined score of 50-6 before taking a 9-6 loss to FCA in the Platinum semifinal on Sunday. Despite the loss, I can imagine Hughes looking back on Sunday and calling it by another of his favorite expressions: Another Best Day.

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3 Responses to Brett Hughes, OC Crush U-13 live loud at California Lax Classic

  1. Nicky Wilks July 12, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Brett and Jon are some class acts. Great piece. 

  2. Gregory Rose May 15, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    LDT – yes, that is what I’m trying to explain, but, with more weight on the fact that many of these calls are subjective to begin with, which means it’s much easier for it to be influenced. Not only lacrosse TV and spectators, but from the entire contact sports media (NFL with huge focus on it).

    Can you honestly say that this pressure has not increased the number of calls going one way, when, in other years, they would have perhaps gone the other? I think that is a fair and reasonable statement, especially with crosschecks (which is interesting, because now we are talking about a rule that specifically states that you cannot do something, but was let go for so long, especially for short stick d-mids, that it seems like a big jump in those calls, as they are actually enforcing it). Nonetheless, I am less speaking about specific cowing from lacrosse fans, but, rather, almost the reverse of that – that there is a pressure to make a call, legal or not, that looks dangerous, rather than is, to appease a society calling for greater safety.

    What hasn’t been mentioned is our overarching cultural penchant for breeding athletes. Native Americans, those that started the game, are not known for their size, rather their speed and toughness; this is a recipe for some pain from a few hard cross or slap checks, but not concussions that can affect your brain for the rest of your life, if you’re not careful. Conversely, you can clearly see how many Division 1 athletes are getting bigger, faster, stronger, especially on the defensive end of the field, (barring a decent amount of exceptions – which is something I really love about lacrosse) which leads to greater chances of concussions happening, overall. It doesn’t matter how big your muscles are when it’s your brain that’s jiggling to become concussed.

    I agree that their needs to be training, and this includes teaching kids to play the game the right way, and not go out to specifically blow someone up – you make a hit for a reason: to gain an advantage in the game, so your team can win, but nothing more. I think this is essential, rather than relying on a punishment based system, which is what throwing a flag is. Throwing a flag, in that moment, does not protect anyone, as the act was already committed, but it is thrown in hopes that other players and the fouling player don’t do something like it again.

    I do agree that there are rules, like a slash, that could be the same check (in their motion) and called two ways, based on safety. There is a sense that good referees have that can determine between an innocent attempt at dislodging the ball and a purposely vicious or emotionally spurred check. I totally respect refs for their intuition on this.

    To be clear, I am not trying to blame referees or lacrosse fans or anyone, I am just trying to see how our perceptions (and actions based on perceptions) and the truth, of what occurs, mixes. Thanks for the well thought out response!

  3. Luscious Dick Tacoma May 15, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    I see, so I did misunderstand. The pressure would be to allow more, larger contact. This pressure is even more evident, and is to some extent documented.

    Consider the major rules changes in the past few years to NCAA, MLL, and NLL – specifically the shot clock, the 2-point line, and the 8-second clear rule, respectively. None of these were implemented for player safety; they were all specifically added to make games faster and more visually appealing to spectators, and at least in a couple of cases were specifically stated by the leagues as the reason for such. Changes like these assuredly add to a strong implication that referees need to make sure the game is fun and exciting to watch. I can only assume this has at the very least an unconscious effect on some referees, and in some cases a conscious effect.

    Immediate solution? The simplest answer is to have an ombudsman act in the interests of the players. But it’s not clear, and not obvious – I remember the “outrage” from players and fans when the dive shot was banned. Cries and shrieks of ruining the game were written constantly. The game has only grown exponentially since. Not because of that rule, sure, but I have to think that removing flamboyance has helped prove lacrosse to be a team sport, not a sport of collective individuals. Sometimes you have to ignore the desires of the fans – or at least NOT act in their interests – to create the best game.

    I think some kind of review process of Rules Committees would alleviate the problem you present – I can’t imagine it ever being truly eliminated. But the specific solution of “how would a review process of the Rules Committee work?” is an answer that’s beyond me.

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