In our latest QuickStick Q&A, we caught up with Alex Cramer, a senior goaltender at Whittier College in California. Cramer, who hails from CT, has been a four-year starter for the Poets and helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament in 2016. Cramer took a unique route to playing college lacrosse, picking up a stick for the first time as a 16-year-old after going to Prep School to play Ice Hockey. Safe to say, he picked the right sport.
As a team that competes as an Independent, what’s it like not playing for a conference title and fighting for an NCAA at-large bid?
As an Independent team playing in Division III, especially in California, we definitely experience college lacrosse a little different from most teams. There is no men’s lacrosse in SCIAC – the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Because of this, we aren’t subject to the same teams year after year, playing within a league and only being able to find variety in our schedule by making the NCAA tournament. At Whittier, we can schedule whoever we wish to play, allowing for a much more diverse schedule over the course of a player’s four years. Being the only DIII team west of Colorado, we have to travel a lot – teams fly to us, or we fly to them. This gives us more opportunities to bond as a team away from the places we usually hang out together and creates a much more unique college lacrosse experience.
What song is most often playing in your locker room?
Recently, Du Hast by Rammstein has been playing an awful lot. We like to get weird.
What game is everyone most looking forward to this season?
Every year, without question, our games against Colorado College are looked forward to the most. We always play them at least twice – once for a regular season game and once for the Locker-Stabler Cup, which is a trophy created to honor two coaches from Whittier and CC that were instrumental in bringing lacrosse to the west coast: Doug Locker and Doc Stabler. Because of this cup, a rivalry has formed between us and we very much look forward to our games against them.
Toughest matchup you’ve ever faced? (can be team matchup, or personal in college or HS)
The toughest matchup (shooter in my case) I have ever faced, at least in hindsight, was against Foster Cunningham. Foster was a senior captain of mine at Whittier when I was a freshman. Foster is 6’5”, 225. He shoots hard. Foster came to mind over any actual opponents I’ve faced because my freshman year he fractured my left thumb twice, perforated my left eardrum and left me partially deaf to this day, and literally shattered one of my throat guards into a million little pieces. That’s not supposed to happen.