Pride is a powerful emotion. In my experience of only five Varsity lacrosse games, I have begun to learn of the true meaning of the word Pride.
We are a relatively new organization in the athletics department. Thirty-four members strong, the lacrosse team grew from a small club team.
This club team was not sponsored by the school. They worked independently and funded themselves to provide for balls, goals and other equipment. Led by Jeremy Fullbright, the team finished undefeated and unfazed by their young program’s status.
The administration soon welcomed them as an official school team. Once plans were made for the upcoming season, Pride lacrosse personnel began to prepare for a new level of competition, the CAP-8.
I had no interest in the newly-formed program at the time. Little did I know, I would end up spending twenty hours per week promoting its purpose: To build the foundation of a soon-to-be legendary lacrosse institution.
To begin the season, I was not a clutch player, nor was I an experienced goalie. I contributed very little to our purpose. My teammates did not look down on me and my fellow “scrubs.” I learned a vast amount from the hints and tips they were willing to give me. That sort of kindness left me in debt to them; I wanted to return the favor. I wanted to protect our goal at any cost.
After a few games, I ride the bench as the second string goaltender. My job is to support the field players and to stay warm if I were needed to replace my superior, Jeremy Weiss, senior.
When I take my place between the pipes, whether in practice or in play, I feel an atmosphere like no other. Goalies have the best seat in the house; I observe all the plays and all the players. I am the last line of defense and huge part of the momentum.
However important, we cannot win games by ourselves. The great thing about lacrosse is that every player on the field depends on each other. I depend on the offense to score points; they depend on me to stop opposing shots. This is a strong relationship that digs in deep under the pressure of the stadium lights.
Every game leads to new experiences and deepening bonds between the players of a growing program. This is the only first season they will ever get.
During practices, Fullbright splits the team into two groups. We work together on some drills and compete on others. There is a certain level of intensity accompanied with the competition phase of practice. No matter what happens, we will still break it down as a team.
Our record as of March 15 is two wins and two losses. I know the feeling of a win, and I have shared the pain of a loss. We played Broughton, a state championship contender…at Broughton. The result was 11-0 in Broughton’s favor. They treated it like a practice this time, but that could change come April when we host them in Hamilton Stadium.
That pain of a loss reverberates throughout the locker room. It hurts the mentality of our team, so I will protect my goal as if it were our Pride on the line.
Excellent article, Matt.