SOUTHWESTERN LACROSSE - A SPECIAL PLACE FOR 26 YEARS
[8/28/09] For 26 years, through good times and bad, along with some great lacrosse, and some that was mediocre at best, the Southwestern Club Lacrosse team has strapped on the pads and traveled all over to play anyone at anytime for nothing more or less than the love of the game and their teammates.
For 26 years, the players and coaches that have put on jerseys and roamed the sidelines have been been able to achieve greatness both on and off the field, and both as a team and as individuals. By doing so they have established what it means to be a lacrosse player at Southwestern.
It has been a long process, a road that has been windy, bumpy and hilly, sometimes all at the same time. However, the men and women that have played lacrosse at SU have done a few things that should be remembered.
Lacrosse at Southwestern is blue collar. With more people that have come through this program that have never picked up a stick than have, a yeoman's attitude by everyone has contributed over the years to a demeanor on the field that an opposing team or individual may have better stick skills, but they will never out hustle or out work anyone on ours.
The passion and drive and willingness to work so hard when no one is looking has defined Southwestern Lacrosse. Each win over the years, and there have been quite a few of them in 26 years, has been instrumental to the continued success of the teams that came after it. This is the case simply because the players have been willing to teach each other, to learn from each other, and most importantly to believe they could achieve great things together.
After all, if you don't dream it, it can't happen. If you don't try something, you'll never know if it will work. For the Bucs, young and old that have graced both Moses and Snyder fields, as well as many other ones across campus and the nation, for many, and the University, Southwestern Lacrosse is where you went to exceed not only the expectations of yourself (even though you may not have known it initially), but of everyone else along the way.
I have no doubt that the University has been served very well by the presence of the lacrosse team over the years. The young men have left a strong impression on people all across this nation. More importantly, their participation in the team has made them fine examples of the type of person that Southwestern as a University produces upon graduation. Whether they are Doctor's, Lawyer's, Chemist's, Accountant's, members of the military or Coast Guard, or countless other wonderful members of society, the men who played on the Lacrosse team have been shining examples of the commitment and dedication that is required to be successful in life and as a student at SU.
Maybe more than anything else, what I take from 12 years as a humble part of this team is the strong will of the guys that made it up. If the young men that have been a part of this team are any indication to the kind of person their generation represents, I know we are in good hands going forward. I may be biased, but I have had the honor of knowing some of the finest folks around, maybe helping them find their way every once in a while, or keeping them on track when they wander out to the different corners of the world.
What I will miss more than anything is seeing the guys on each team every year figure themselves out, the game out, and ultimately how to be a successful team on their own. Henry Ford once said that coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. Each year the evolution of the guys on the team was our strength.
Of course, the jerseys, fields, face paint concoctions, sock choices, casual Friday practice attire, halftime under the tree at home games, and the fans will all be remembered as well. And how can anyone forget the pre-game warm ups. I'm certain with our rag tag warm ups and people all over the place, we won multiple games because other teams garnered a false sense of confidence based on our appearances. We were never crisp or great at that compared to "other" teams. However, that wasn't that important to us. We were, on the other hand very good at evaluating our opponents, addressing our needs, and playing together in a way that not only exemplified teamwork, but allowed us to compete by playing within our selves and NEVER EVER conceding anything without a fight.
Simply put, we expected that no one would work harder or hustle harder than us. Over the years, I became amazed at how far a heart, simple effort and a strong will can take you. Maybe that is the secret to success of Southwestern Lacrosse all these years, of growing up and learning life lessons, and finding a way to mesh the two together in a way that will have a lasting effect. Add in the "student" part of the equation, what these guys have been able to accomplish is unheralded.
As I sign off one final time, and with far more thankful memories that the players and teams over the years have given me than I'm sure I was able to contribute to them, I leave with a final thought.
I believe in sports analogies mixed in with many others to keep people on their respective toes.
A game is not won in one inning or one quarter, or even one half. And while you may have a strikeout or have an interception, or miss a goal, fly ball or basket, in the course of a game you will have many more opportunities to "right the ship".
In the end, we all get a shot at life, and that is all we can hope for. For the days and years we are on the earth, we are spectators and participants, often both at the same time. The bad news is that time flies. The good news is that as long as you are on this earth, YOU are the pilot, and a pretty good one at that, often finding your compass when you need it the most.
I can think of no other way to describe Southwestern Lacrosse, and those that were a part of it for the past 26 years. Here's to the next ?? years.
For so many great years...and cherished memories....