From Denver to Vail and back for lax
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL ” In the Vail Valley, for residents to hold second jobs isn’t that uncommon. And more than often, those jobs aren’t ideal.
But Scott Davidson, who moved here this summer for a job and the lifestyle, gets to live the dream on weekends, too.
Davidson works as an assistant project manager for Viele Construction and recently signed a contract with the Colorado Mammoth indoor lacrosse team.
“I love the mountains and always wanted an opportunity to work and live here,” Davidson said. “This was a great job opportunity, and in the back of my mind, I said, ‘If (lacrosse) was going to work out, it was going to work out.'”
After playing lacrosse for four years at the University of Denver, Davidson, who grew up in Guilford, Conn., was selected 39th overall by Colorado in the National Lacrosse League draft. For the 2006 season, Davidson was on the practice squad, and last year he made the 23-man roster.
Prospects for this season were grim a few weeks ago, when the National Lacrosse League announced the 2008 season was canceled due to a labor strike. But 10 days later, on Oct. 25, the Professional Lacrosse Players Association and the league struck a seven-year deal. Less than a week later, the Mammoth signed Davidson to a two-year deal.
Although Davidson still has to go through tryouts like any other player, the faceoff and transition specialist feels pretty good about his chances.
“I was second in line facing off behind Jamie Hanford, and it looks like the door could be open,” said Davidson, who went 19-for-29 on faceoffs in his debut last season. “There are some new guys coming out of college from the draft, but I feel good about having a couple years experience under my belt getting comfortable with the indoor game ” it’s so much different.”
While lacrosse isn’t a full-time profession, Davidson is certainly happy to have a weekend job.
“I really didn’t think they were going to have a season this year,” Davidson said. “But this is great because the deal has improved our contracts … and we’ve gotten a little bit more money and more (compensation) for missed days at work.”
Although most games are on weekends, some are on weekdays and will require Davidson to leave town a bit early.
“We generally practice the night before the game ” for a game on a Saturday night, we have late practice from 9-11 p.m. Friday night. There are some weeks we have Thursday and Friday games, so I’ll have to take a few days off here and there. My employers are very cool with that,” Davidson said.
Equally important, his other employer doesn’t mind him living in Vail.
“Steve Govett, the general manager, was OK with me living up here,” Davidson said. “Although the weather may play a bit of a factor.”
Before moving to Vail, Davidson had been to the area several times, including during the summer for the Vail Lacrosse Shootout. After graduating from DU in 2005 with a degree in construction management, Davidson worked in Denver and also got drafted by another local lacrosse team ” the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse.
“I made their practice squad the first year as well. I was with them but didn’t play,” Davidson said. “This most recent summer, I was drafted by Chicago and went to the training camp and was there up until the first game, but it didn’t work out.”
While Davidson showed he still has the skill to play field lacrosse during the Vail Lacrosse Shootout this summer as a member of the winning Go Fast team, he’s adapted to the much different indoor game.
“Everything is so much tighter,” Davidson said. “There is no room to move around.
And there are no rules compared to the outdoor game. Guys can crosscheck you at all times. You’ve got to have your head up and move a lot faster. Offense is structured a lot differently ” there is more picking, and it’s more like a basketball offense.”
The picks, consequently, make defense a bit more challenging, Davidson added.
“That is the hardest transition,” he said.
In the field game, players handle, pass and shoot the ball with both hands and try to keep their stick to the outside most of the time.
“(In indoor) you play with your stick on the inside the whole time and don’t change hands all that much,” Davidson said.
Tryouts are slated for the first week in December, and the Mammoth kick off the season Dec. 29, hosting Calgary.
“I really cherish the opportunity to be able to continue to play after college,” Davidson said. “And the Mammoth are great ” they have the best fans in the league, and we get to play at the Pepsi Center.”
For more, check out http://www.coloradomammoth.com.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or email@example.com.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.