Midsummer Bonus Blog

It has been quite awhile, since my last entry. I have missed the process of writing and posting. It is not like I have been idle, I just did not think most people would find my post “Lax Odyssey” life, very interesting (let me know if I was correct about that!).

So, Diana and I finished up coaching the FLG 2020 Girls about a week ago. It was a little over two months of practices (once a week) and tournaments (four in total). It went by quickly, despite the steady stress we both felt about our very small roster (14 players, including 2 goalies). We were able to get through it, due to excellent attendance, players from the FLG 2021 Team helping us out, and guest players from Annapolis and from Harlem Lacrosse.

The injuries and late spring departures (several girls quit), left our squad depleted but not defeated (I thought that sounded kind of catchy). In fact, our team played its best lacrosse, by far, this summer, as a number of the ladies rose to the occasion and played at a much higher level than ever before.

We played at the New England Cup at UMASS Amherst in June, where we ran into Mercyhurst Parents, Julie Spinelli and Jack Netti. Brief as it was, it was great to feel the reach of the Laker Nation, once again! I also got to catch up with longtime friend, Chris Theofield. I have known the Theofields since I was in Junior High (not Middle School). Chris was probably 3 years old when I first spotted him racing around the fields with lacrosse stick.

Photograph provided by Chris Theofield (he’s the little one in the middle). Freeport Summer League, circa 1979 ish! Some of the best lax times I have ever had.

In July we played at the Northern Rise in Devens, MA, before heading to our final two tournaments, back to back in Maryland. The 3D Summer Draw was on Wednesday and the Capital Cup was Thursday and Friday – when did club lacrosse start having events during the week? The heat was oppressive last week, and playing three consecutive days in it, was tough on our players, to say the least. They battled through it, and the girls played their finest game in their final game of the Summer, and last as a team! By that time, the girls from Harlem Lacrosse (Kadi, Janiera and Hass) were no longer really “guest players”, they were happily part of the team. As we gathered for our final words (I of course, choked on mine), I was sad that our team was finished but so proud of how far they had come. Diana and I have been coaching some of those girls since they were in Middle School. It turned out to be a great group of kids. I will really miss them.

The Final version of the FLG 2020 Team!

I have been realizing, that last week, may have been the final time that I would be coaching with Diana. We have coached together since she was in the 8th Grade (I think). I now recognize how fortunate I have been to be able to Coach with her, throughout the years. It has been a wonderful experience (hopefully, for both of us), and I have had a front row seat to see her grow into a really terrific young coach – truth be told, she was really the head coach of the team, the past two summers. While I will definitely miss coaching with Diana, I could not be more excited for her, as she enters the next chapter of her life, as a Graduate Student and Assistant Coach at Springfield College!

Head Coach and Her Assistant!

Coach Diana with a great role model, Coach Struss! The reach of the “Laker Nation”, down at the Capital Cup.

I have decided that the Capital Cup was my last hurrah as a Coach for FLG. For the first time, I find myself with no future coaching, lined up. I am left to contemplate what my next chapter will be like. I certainly want to continue to coach lacrosse, I just do not know where it will be. So, my “Lax Odyssey” did not really end with the Lakers’ season, it just took on a different nature, the past two months. While it was stressful and difficult at times, it was also rewarding and a whole lot of fun, I certainly would not trade it.

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