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SU WINS HISTORIC FINAL HOME GAME AGAINST TRINITY 21-3

[4/19/09] On Sunday, April 19th, the Bucs hosted the Trinity Tigers in a game that had to be rescheduled from earlier in the season. The final home game was historic on multiple levels. First and foremost the 21-3 win allowed the Bucs to complete its 5th straight season undefeated, and ran their record during this time to 30-0.

This was also the last home game for Seniors Martin Irish, Andrew Webb, Heath Thompson, James Walker, Ian Flechsig, Derek Sample, and Titus Hawthorne. Other players who would be playing their last home game included David Tomasz, and Connor Hanrahan.

When you add to the mix that the team is going Varsity next year and Southwestern Lacrosse as a club team will cease to exist, the game against Trinity was the last game that would ever be played at SU for the storied Southwestern Club Lacrosse Team.

The Bucs asked Monty Curtis and Stacy Flood to lead them in this game. Monty and Stacy have been the heart and soul of the program since its inception 25 years ago. It was only fitting that they lead the team to victory during the last game to ever be played on the field. As coaches the team signed two game balls and presented them to Monty and Stacy at the end of the contest in appreciation for making the experience that so many have had over the years a wonderful, exciting one.

Obviously with so much to play for, not to be lost was the fact that Trinity is one of Southwestern's biggest rivals in any sport, anywhere. All seniors started the game in appreciation for their hard work over the years. The Bucs wasted no time as they came out firing and took a 6-1 lead into the second stanza. The second quarter, the flood gates opened and the Bucs went into halftime up 17-1. Great shots by Connor (over the back as he was pushed in front of the crease), Derek off an unbelievably quick catch and shoot in the top corner, and multiple other shots off great ball movement by the team.

As the second half started, the Bucs came out flat, at one point having three men in the penalty box. Trinity did not score, but the Bucs did give up two quick goals to start the third. The were the last two the Tigers would score in the game as the Bucs defense clamped down.

Many players deserve accolades for their play on the day. Parker, who stepped in and played beyond his years of experience due to the injury to Hanson at the beginning of the week did an excellent job on the field. Irish, stepped on the field for the first time in over 7 weeks in limited playing time and was able to notch a goal for his efforts. We are cautiously optimistic that he will continue to make progress and be able to contribute more each time he is out there for us as long as the season continues. One thing is for sure. We are a better team with him.

Finally, and maybe one of the best stories of the year, Jimbo Walker, wearing his goalie chest protector and all the regular pads, stepped on to the field as a sniper and placed a quick feed from Thompson right in front of the crease into the back of the net. Walker had been sneaking the short stick into his hands this past week in hopes he could get some time on the field. This was a great story for a player that does not show up on the stat page very often.

However, Walker is the guy everyone team needs, hopes for, and ultimately wants. He is selfless, always doing what is best for the team, often sacrificing himself in ways and on days that no one else notices for the betterment of the team. Someone has to go to the emergency room, he is there, bringing them something, driving them there, staying late if needed, doing whatever needs to be done. If there is a long trip and everyone scatters, he is the guy that stays behind and helps clean the vehicles and helps get them where they need to go after everyone else is gone. No one is harder on themselves than Walker either. He not only wants his team to win, but wants to do his best so that he can help them accomplish that. it is/as been a pleasure to have Walker as a part of this team the past few years. The fact that he got to go in and play at a different position for fun is great. The realization that he was able to do something with that time on the field and others were able to help him get there, was a moment where life comes full circle. I have no doubt he will remember that moment the rest of his life, and rightly so.

Maybe more than any other year, these things are at the forefront of my mind. This is why the only option for the coach of the last game ever for the team at home was monty and Stacy. what a fitting end to a team that has been defined not by others over the years, but by what they have decided to achieve year in and year out. So many memories an so much to be thankful for. It has all been so special.

I can only hope these guys appreciate these moments in time, these days on the team, and these accomplishments they have created, together.

Southwestern will enter the 2009 LSA D2 playoffs next weekend as the #1 seed in the playoffs against Austin College on Saturday, April 25th at Westlake Stadium in Austin, in hopes of capturing a 5th straight Conference Championship and a final trip to Nationals.

I will miss showing up at the field before anyone else, save maybe that one player that was always like me, savoring the entire scene for themselves. I'll miss placing the cones out, and walking the perimeter of the field to calm my nerves and get focused. I'll miss watching the guys on the team show up, literally out of the woodwork, full of stories, and excitement, full of aspirations and looking in their eyes and knowing they were ready to play. I'll also miss seeing the other team arrive and each team measuring themselves against each other. I'll miss the halftime tree, the awesome field, and the fans. Most importantly, i'll miss the opportunity to see so many young men come in unsure of themselves, and watching them walk away from a final game like this brimming with a confidence not only on the field, but ready to tackle life and whatever it brings.

Thanks to the guys on the team, Monty, Stacy, the members of the University that have put up with me for years, and to my family. I walk off that field knowing I did all I could do, and that I was surrounded by the best. I truly believe it takes someone special to be a Southwestern Lacrosse player. I have been fortunate to come along for the ride for 12 years.

Hopefully we still have a few more games in this final season. I know I'm up for it. Thoreau one said that you should never lose sight of your dreams or aspirations, for if you do, you may still live, but you will cease to exist. While the games are done on Moses field at SU and the memories are abundant, my dreams don't end here. The field has always been a stepping stone for so much more for these guys. Let's keep it rolling next weekend, and aspire just a little bit longer, if for nothing else, than that is all Southwestern Lacrosse knows how to do.

- Bill Bowman