“Return to Normalcy” or “get back to normal”. We have all been looking forward to it for almost an entire year! Well, this week, some things really did seem to, at least approach, some kind of “normal”. I have committed to helping coach not one, but TWO Youth Lacrosse Teams, this spring. I have already been helping out with a 5th and 6th Grade Boys Team from Hempstead. And this coming week, we begin practicing with the East Meadow 2nd and 3rd Grade Girls. The Boys are practicing on Mondays and Fridays and the Girls, on Tuesdays and Thursdays – just lucky, how that worked out. There may be some conflicts on Sundays, when both teams play their games, but both teams have a number of other coaches (I am sure they will get along fine without my loud mouth, if need be). So, I have brought my US Lacrosse Membership and Coaching Certification, back up to date. Monday we had an outdoor practice in Hempstead (I had forgotten how cold it can be on mid-March evenings). Tuesday, I attended back to back Rules Interpretation Meetings (one for the Girls and one for the Boys), in Hicksville. There have been a good number of Rules changes, since I last coached Youth Lacrosse, so I am back on the learning curve. We had another Boys practice yesterday, and this morning we handed out equipment to some of the Boys. I have to say, I am surprised at how excited I am to be back to Coaching.
Wednesday, I tuned in to @MercyhurstWLAX game at Slippery Rock. Those weekday away games, in the PSAC, are always fertile ground from which an upset, can sprout. Travel is often overlooked or at least underestimated, as a contributing factor in a team’s performance. So there was cause for concern, when The Rock recovered from an early 4-1 deficit, to make it 4-4, and then 7-7 at the half. But the second half belonged to the Lakers, who quickly opened a 4 goal lead and would go on to a 16-12 Road Victory. After the game it was time to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day (Erin Go Bragh!), and the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner, which was as delicious as I can ever remember having.
On Thursday, we tuned in to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Tournament, but I could not resist checking out the live stream of the UNC vs. Louisville game, on my phone. In the end UNC came away with a 19-7 road win. And of course they were impressive in doing so, but I was also impressed with Lousiville. They are speedy, highly skilled and they never backed down or conceded anything to the Tar Heels. While they may not be on that very top tier, they are not too far from it. I will be interested to see if they can continue to be that good. If so, they are capable of making a deep run into the NCAA Tournament!
Last night, after practice, I checked out the Wrestling Tournament, again. ESPN is covering it and you can watch all 8 screens at once (not sure that is really possible, but I tried). I love the tournament and there are always some upsets and plenty of great wrestling. I may try to watch the finals at 7, tonight.
After the equipment handout this morning, I did some work around the house, before tuning in to the Season Opener for the Springfield Pride Women’s Lacrosse Team (@SpringfieldWLAX), as they took on NEWMAC Rival Babson, on Amos Alonzo Stagg Field in Springfield. I was pretty amped up for this one, since I know how much work had gone into being able to begin playing again. When I heard Diana’s name announced, it was not quite like when she was playing, but pretty cool, nonetheless. It turned out to be a seesaw battle, that saw both teams make impressive runs. The Pride was unable to hold a 12-8 with under ten minutes to go and Babson tied the game at 12 with less than four minutes to play (aided by a pair of yellow cards on Springfield – one of which was non-releasable). Springfield grabbed a 13-12 lead before Babson knotted it up again with about 30 seconds remaining. So for their first game in over a year, and a huge one at that, they headed to Over Time! The Pride gained possession of the Draw Control and notched the Victory on a Free Position Shot, for a final score of 14-13. Though it probably would have felt like a “win” just to be able to play the game at all (there have been and continue to be, so many Covid related obstacles), I am sure that actually winning, is even better.
So, it was a week chock full of lacrosse activity (and some wrestling!) for me. And that feels really good. Spring officially begins tomorrow, and since Lacrosse has returned, it feels like Spring. I am a bit sad to admit that my Snow Boarding season is over, but it is time to turn the page. I am hoping things continue to improve and we can all get back to the things we love to do.