Drimal picks up ground balls
Published 4:46 pm, Monday, August 30, 2010
Tucker Drimal proved the old adage that good things come in small packages. A graduate of Weston in June, he was All-SWC and All-State selection for its Class S champion boys lacrosse team.
"It's a great feeling," Drimal said. "I worked my butt off in the offseason and my hard work paid off, but nothing was more rewarding than winning the state championship."
Despite being only 5-7, 170-pounds, he excelled as a long stick midfielder where he won many battles in the trenches. His plucky nature enabled him to win many ground balls and led Weston with 139.
"It comes from playing football," he said. "I learned how to get in there from my coaches and I applied it to lacrosse. I also hustled. My Pop Warner coach, Rob Cordisco, told me to make up for my [lack of] size by hustling."
Winning the battle for ground balls is important but one needs to know how to control the ball after doing so. This wasn't a problem for Drimal.
"Our coach consistently had us do drills in practice and over time, I got better at it," he said.
Trojans Coach John Mathews said, "Tucker is a unique player in that his size is deceiving and he can play with or against anyone. He accepts what his size is and uses it to the best of his ability and advantage. He has a low center of gravity with the true athleticism that allows him to be a great lacrosse player. He is quick on his feet, and plays bigger than he really is. A great compliment is what other coach's think of him. He was unanimously chosen as the as the best and only representative from the SWC conference for LSM. He has good hands, and has a knack to get the ball."
Opponents have trouble getting past him because of his ability to guard them.
"Basically, I try to be aggressive by playing good defense and watching their hips," Drimal said. "I try to stay on their hands and work with my other defensemen as a unit. It wasn't hard being successful on defense because our defensive coach, Nick Kammerman, made it so much easier to be productive because of his knowledge of the game."
Teams passing against the Trojans did so at their own peril because of Drimal's defensive prowess. He knocked down his share of passes, forced turnovers and came up with clutch interceptions.
"I put my stick up there and I hope to pick it off," he said. "Sometimes, I get it and most of the time I don't. I try to follow the head of the attacker and keep my eye o the ball as best as possible."
Possessing speed enhances his game is well. His ability to accelerate to the scrum and to the open field played a role to his winning battles in the trenches and for carrying out the ball.
"I never thought of myself as fast," Drimal said. "I run as fast as possible and I try not to get beat."
Once he picked up the ball, he got Weston's transition game going and got the ball to an attacker. His picturesque passes put the Trojans in excellent position, which led to many goals.
"When I was younger, I played short stick midfield, but [former Weston] Coach [Alex] Whitten switched me to long stick midfield and helping with the transition wasn't that hard," Drimal said. "I always tried to look for the open man. I always looked for Lyle Mitchell on the wing, who is a very good player."
Life on the lacrosse field began for him in seventh grade because he didn't play a spring sport at the time and his friends were playing it. It looked like fun and he decided to give it a try.
Drimal didn't try lacrosse at an earlier age because he was a competitive snowboarder and had Olympic aspirations in it. Snowboarding went into April, which conflicted with lacrosse. The Olympic dream was realistic because he won twice at Nationals but he gave it up because he had to be away from home a lot and preferred being in close proximity with his family and friends.
Trojan goalie Alex Peyreigne's father Bob was Drimal's coach back then and he learned a lot from him.
"He [Peyreigne] was a very good coach," he said.
Growing up, Drimal played football and soccer, the latter in which he stopped in middle school. He played football from second to 10th grade before giving it up to focus on lacrosse.
His aspirations is to play Division I lacrosse. This coming year, he's doing a post graduate year at Bridgton Academy in Maine and will play lacrosse there. He hopes this will help him get to the next level and would like to play for either, Salisbury, Stevenson or Sacred Heart.
"I hope to improve as a lacrosse player and do well with my offensive game and with faceoffs," Drimal said. "It will take a lot of hard work and getting used to the faster-paced game [to succeed]."
Mathews said, "I think he will do well in college as long as it's the right system. As long as the school, staff and system allow Tucker to excel, he will do great."