Shooting For the Record
How Mike Birney Hit 114 on the Radar Gun
BRING THE HEAT
Getting to a 114-mph shot was mostly trial and error. My parents opened a store (Michigan Lacrosse) with a training center. My friend Gino Pulice and I, we'd go back there every day starting in seventh grade and just shoot. I forgot we had the radar gun until last year. Around 10 o'clock one night, I saw on the radar I got 109 and 110. I thought, "Maybe I should try to beat the record." So I had Gino videotape me. I got to 111, 112 and finally to 114.
DO THE GRUNT WORK
My parents started a local lacrosse program, and sooner or later, all the parents were like, "There's no way to get equipment." So my parents opened a store. My two brothers and sister do all the repairs. I've carried so many crates of balls. Any job there is to do around a lacrosse store, I've done it., but I use a lot.
ENJOY THE RIDE
Winning the MAAC title was one of the best experiences of my life. We came in with not a great record (3-9). That started the fire in our chest. Over spring break, the coaches really started running us.
We played that first Marist game (7-6 win), and what they did over spring break really showed. The Siena game, we were down by 5 at halftime. We put in five quick ones and closed out that game. (Birney scored the winner in an 11-10 OT win.) The NCAA game against Notre Dame came, and no one was expecting much out of us. (Detroit led 7-3 going into the fourth quarter before falling 9-7.) They were kind of startled. "These kids can play." We weren't stressed. We were having fun, singing along, dancing, having a blast as a team. That's what lacrosse is all about.
MY SIBLING RIVALRY
My sister Kylie is a sophomore midfielder for Detroit Mercy women's lacrosse. I'm taking accounting with her this semester. We always compete against each other. Our coaches are like, "Who's faster?" I'm like, "Obviously me." We go home to watch our brother's games. My younger brother Sean is coming to UD as well.
MY 2014 OUTLOOK
We're looking really good. All of our offense is back. We have a good chance of not just startling people, but really handling them well.
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