So, a 6’2″ 175-lb sophomore MCLA athlete can pack an orange shirt’s belly full of stuffing, play lacrosse, AND win “Best Costume” as Jabba the Hut at a Halloween costume scrimmage?!? Anything must truly be possible on Chapman University’s Wilson Field.
Yes, that Wilson Field, the very same field that hosted the 2014 Division I MCLA National Championship in May. Just five months ago, the Colorado Buffaloes and the Grand Valley State Lakers were hoisting MCLA National Championship trophies on this very same field. In another seven months the sixteen best MCLA Division 1 and Division 2 teams of 2015 will again invade Orange County to battle for a national championship. While much serious lacrosse will be played on Wilson field in the interim, the home of the Chapman Panthers was the venue for a much more light hearted competition on a sunny Halloween afternoon.
Chapman University, more sentimentally known as “Chaptown,” “Babe City,” or home of “The Jungle,” is actually the residency of two top notch lacrosse teams.
Chapman Women’s Lacrosse is preparing for its third season as an NCAA DIII competitor in the SCIAC Conference after just over half a decade of official existence as a school sport. 2011’s golden year brought the lady Panthers their highest honor yet: a WWLL and WCLA National Championship title taken after an undefeated season.
These two teams, driven by both a holiday bug and a spirit so characteristic of none other than Chaptown Lax, brought it together last week to celebrate Halloween with a co-ed costume scrimmage.
“It was a bunch of wild and crazy people doing wild and crazy things,” said junior midfielder Connor Reilly. Dreadlock wigs, star wars outfits, neon tutus, a lone gorilla suit, onesies, capes, and milk maid getups– yes, milk maid getups (with tights!)– decorated some of the most talented male and female athletes in Orange County, who all ran around a field for a good hour and a half playing some kind of game that barely resembled the sport we all know so well.
How did such a wild and crazy phenomenon happen? So far, it was the first time both men’s and women’s lacrosse ever had a scrimmage together in Chaptownlax history. “We collaborated with the girls and got a great turn out,” said senior captain Chris Herrmann. He said, “I’m stoked on the participation! We had some Chippendales, a hot dog, Jabba the hut, Pocahontas, and a cowboy.”
Sophomore Justin Jones, aka Jabba, may have won “Best Costume,” but other talent was equally commendable. Rising freshman, and devilishly fast Natasha Kashani was a rapid blur every time she sped to goal and scored on the men’s goalie. Milk maids Dylan Garner and Blake Lee were unstoppable dodgers and made a fine offensive duo. Pocahontas was a ninja in politically incorrect disguise. Max Dieter trooped through a couple face-offs in a sweaty gorilla suit. Captain Kylee Moore demonstrated lefty skills incomparable to anyone else’s on the field.
At the heart of it all was a full sport, team effort poured into one goal: to have fun. The simple company of fellow Chaptown Laxers is enough for a hearty party, but add costumes, a couple goals, a 20-year man old dressed as a baby handing out candy, and two teams of talent, and you’ve got an experience to remember for generations to come.
Women’s Captain Kylee Moore says, “Although Chaptown lacrosse isn’t the most talked about sport on campus, it has such a great deal of camaraderie between both our men’s and women’s programs. This scrimmage was a way to celebrate that. Though our styles of play are so different, our love for the game is the same. We were really able to bond over that.”