Lacrosse Our Lives

Lacrosse Our Lives 

Eight years ago, our oldest son said he wanted to try lacrosse. It was a new program, and it looked like fun.

Eight years ago, we said yes.

And eight years ago, we started on a trajectory that continues.

In fact, we don’t see an end to this for another five years, when our youngest finishes high school.

The season starts up around the end of March (depending on the snow that has fallen and continues to fall in the “spring” of Vermont in March and April). Actually, in our house, the season no longer really stops. Our junior son plays throughout the year, with a “summer league”, continuing into “fall ball” and then “box lacrosse” and “pre-season prep” over the winter.

One of our main requirements in choosing which of the exchange students would be a good fit for our family was if they checked the box marked “lacrosse” as a sports interest. When we told our Spanish daughter this, she was a bit panicked. “But you do understand, right, that there is no lacrosse in Spain? I only marked it because I thought it would be fun. I don’t know how to play. I have never played.”

We only smiled and answered, “But you would like to play, right?” She nodded yes. “All settled, then,” we told her. “You’ll play.”

The first practices rolled around. Luckily for her, the same cadre of amigas she first met during soccer season pretty much all play lacrosse. They prepped her with a few private practices before the official season started. They explained the rules. They showed her a few defensive moves.

Soon enough, the season started in earnest, even if a bit delayed by the interminable winter we had this year. Her “two good things of the day” matched her two host siblings: “lacrosse practice” is always number one at this time of year.

Lacrosse is a “good” game. Even New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says that practicing and playing lacrosse is “always fun”, which he says is definitely not true about football. It moves fast. There is opportunity for players of all types and sizes to play well. Individual skills are valued, but the team still has to work together in order to win.

Better yet, for our family, we’ve found great parental connections while sitting in the stands, cheering with such statements as “Push him out!” and “Stop the shooter!”

All of that is a positive. Because the season, while short, is also very intense. This week–and I am checking the calendar as I write this, to make sure I’ve got it right–we will hit all three of our charge’s games. Sunday (Mother’s Day) was the 7th and 8th grade girls’ team, with three hours of driving, plus about three hours of actual warm-up/play/in-between games’ time.

Monday was supposed to be a JV and varsity girls’ game, but it was cancelled. No matter, though: there was still practice for all. Tuesday is JV and varsity girls’ game again. Wednesday we switch back to boys’, but the girls will still have practice first. Thursday, the girls are at home yet again. Friday, the boys are away for a game, and the high school girls are home. And Saturday, girls are home yet again.

Lacrosse has crossed the line of take-over at this point. The question is no longer “what’s going on after school?” but rather, “where is lacrosse tonight?”.

But just yesterday afternoon, they made the observation that the JV girls team is rocketing to the end of their season. There are only twelve days left (and counting). “It’s just started,” the sophomore JV player complains. “It’s going by so fast!”

Good thing her mother recently found a lacrosse team she can play with over in Barcelona.

Jill Stahl Tyler is currently a parent to four, maybe five, depending on the day: one at college, two (or three) at the high school and one at the middle school. She firmly believes in all education, and currently sits on the board for the Brattleboro School Endowment and the Brattleboro Town School Board. Contact her at jill@globalcow.com.

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