What does it take to be a lacrosse goalie?

Photo Credit: syracuse.com

Lacrosse. A sport that was played by the Native Americans. A sport that solves the problems of war. Instead of killing each other with swords and bows, many chose to play the game of lacrosse. (The solution of the problem would be decided by the winner of the game.) Since then, lacrosse has evolved into a modern sport, although it is not as popular as American football or basketball. Lacrosse industries have seen immense growth in the sport in the past ten years.

There is one specific position in lacrosse that requires the player to have a tough mentality, and good reaction: the goalie. If you think hockey goalies have it tough, imagine guarding a six-by-six foot goal with almost no body protection. Considering that the shots are usually taken five or ten yards out, an 80 mph condensed rubber ball no smaller than a baseball is flying towards you. Knowing that you only have a helmet, chest pad, gloves, and a stick with a net on it, would you stop it or would you get out of the way? The feeling of hot rubber scrapes your legs as you try to stop it, and it burns. Are you able to picture being in that position?

I started my lacrosse career in my 8th grade year at Ojai Valley School. Since then, I have fallen in love with the sport. At the beginning, I was introduced to the goalie position when some of my friends encouraged me to try it out and see if I liked it.

I had no idea that the position I was about to take was one that is high risk and requires a tough mentality. It was tough start to a new sport that I had never even heard of and had never even seen. My coach saw my potential in the position as well as my teammates and friends. With their encouragement, I continued and persevered. I played throughout middle school, and continued playing at the high school level.

There were not a lot of injuries during my 8th grade year, but playing at the high school level, I have suffered injuries to my knees, ears, and more. I have realized the sacrifices I have to make in order for my team to win and for me to be a successful goalie. Now I am a senior in high school and a team captain. After multiple losses and meltdowns in past seasons, I finally realize and understand what it takes for a person to be successful in a position as tough as lacrosse goalie.

So, are you tough enough to try the position out?

Brothers or Losers

Lacrosse is one of if not the hardest team sport offered to high school students. Coming into the 2016 season I had little optimism and little enthusiasm; we were coming off a no-win season and we were only losing more and more experienced players. We’ve added numerous new names to the roster, but very few of which have any lacrosse experience. It’s proving to be quite a challenge for the OVS lacrosse team to come together and play to their full potential.

For those that aren’t familiar with lacrosse it is a blend of soccer, hockey, football, and basketball. Every player has a stick customized to his preference and position. There are short poles, long poles, and a goalie stick. There are two half to a lacrosse field and ten players total. Three defensive players have to stay on their respective sides and three offensive players stay to theirs, the midfield can move between the two sides freely, the goalie stays in the goal. The game is very fast paced and each team will try to set up on the other teams side until someone has the opportunity to shoot on the goal. All players must wear a helmet, mouth guard, gloves, arm pads, and a shoulder pad. Lacrosse is a full contact sport that will make you want to quit after the first quarter of a game.

Here’s an in-depth video on what lacrosse is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXO1lPc3p38

I’m hoping that as the season progresses and we go through more practices and games the team can start to come together and learn to play this amazing sport as a team. Our first game comes March 16th, every game is winnable, but only if we want it more than the other team.

Inspiration

The internet is full of inspirational videos. Sports videos, spiritual videos, just plain old inspirational videos, but there are few that touch me and make a big difference. Being that team sports have not always been a part of my life, but have recently come up and made an impact I look for something to keep me moving. Something that makes me want to play hard and something to inspire my teammates. A quote by Henry Ford is something I keep in my mind when the team is having a hard time, “Keeping together is progress, coming together is a beginning, and working together is success.” Sometimes our teams don’t work together, but work as individuals. That isn’t how the game is played. Some people have to be willing to work hard and get none of the glory. Being a lineman in football I understand this feeling very well. I go out everyday and I try and I try. Am I the best at it? No, not even close, but do I try? Yea, I try really hard day in and day out. But nobody ever says, “hey he really took up space so that that someone else could get the glory.” The glory goes to the people who run the ball, throw the ball, but that’s not possible without the people on the line. As our coach said, we are the Dirty Dogs. Nobody wants a dirty dog, but they are rough and tough, but get no glory. That is how to work as a team, everyone has to be willing to put in 110% and get nothing in return personally, but understand it was for the betterment of the team. This is one of the first speeches that truly inspired me to be better and do better.

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Lacrosse Week

This past week marked the first 3 games of the 2013 lacrosse season.

Our first game was against the York School from Monterrey, CA.

The team was on a southern California road trip and had played four games prior to their game against us last Saturday.

Our team on the other hand had not yet practiced as a whole team yet, and it was evident on the field.

The team has many beginning players and adding new players changes the chemistry of the team every year.

It is an adjustment period to learn how people play the game and to be able to predict how they will react to certain situations.

Come game time I was excited to be back on the field from 9 months ago.

For most of the game York was dominating offensively and defensively ultimately scoring 11 goals.

The game almost ended in a shut out until one of our star returning players, Grant Spencer, scored the one goal of the game.

We all celebrated like we had won the game, but to us it was a victory because we did not give their goalie the shutout.

Final score was 1-11 L.

I was disappointed, but also realized it was the first game of the season and we had a lot of room to grow.

On Wednesday came the game against Laguna Blanca, a game I look forward to every year no matter what sport I’m playing whether it be football or lacrosse. Even when I’m not playing in the game, but the school is, I get excited.

Many think that Thatcher is our biggest rival, and they are, but they are our biggest hometown rival. Laguna Blanca is our biggest rival over all.

Most games with Laguna consist of some mouthing off from players and their parents which at our level of play can get a little out of hand.

We aren’t playing Division 1 sports, what parents need to remember is:

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Time to Break the Poetry Trend-Intro to LAX

The past few posts on this blog have been straight up poems and I AM a big fan of poetry but it’s time to break that trend. I’m a sportswriter so let’s talk sports!

This weekend was our first lacrosse game. I was excited after I got done from my SAT and strapped on my pads.

Then we lost 12-1. So much for excitement. I am experienced enough to know that one game will not define our season. But, that’s not the way you wanna start off the season. I had a good time playing, and I thought personally that while I could have given more, I played a solid game. We could have all given more. Some guys had excuses after the game and as captain, I have to listen to them. I dismissed a lot of them.

Following the game, something interesting happened. My football coach, coach Titus, walked over to me, gave me a fist bump and we talked about the game a little bit. He then proceeded to ask me to take a picture with his baby, Shepard. I happily accepted his offer, squatted down next to the stroller and smiled.

It felt good actually. Ya, we just lost by 11 points, but I enjoyed the experience of getting back into the game. Hopefully, we can get some wins going this season.

The Season of the LAX Bro is Upon Us

I’m sorry to use the term “LAX Bro,” but I just love using it to piss people off.

It is almost that time of the year to go beat the crap out of people with metal poles and have some good old fashioned fun.

Lacrosse has been defined by Webster Dictionary and all other reputable sources as, ” (n) Lacrosse: The sport real men play during baseball season, (v) To Lacrosse: The act of beating opponents with metal alloy sticks whilst others throw leather balls into leather mitts and slide in dirt because dirt is fun.”

If you would like to check up on that I urge you not to because I would hope you trust me enough to know that’s true.

Lacrosse combines aspects of basketball, soccer, and hockey.

It is the sport of all sports, while it is not my favorite sport to play it comes in 2nd due to a 3 way tie between Football and Ice Hockey.

Lacrosse is raw.

Lacrosse is mean.

Lacrosse is what is up my friend.

Last year was my first season and I was just learning the ropes.

I chose to play defense because I enjoyed the idea of holding a 6 foot long metal stick that I can beat people with.

It is so hard to talk about lacrosse without billions of sexual innuendoes going through your head, but bear with me people.

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Choices

I have been thinking a lot lately about what my future is going to be like.

Not as a grown adult, but where I want to go to college, what I want to study, and what about sports?

Thinking about what’s going to go into getting in to the schools I want to go to, and if I will be able to do it.

It’s a lot to be thinking about, there are so many choices we have to make even at the young age of 16, but I have realized the future is really up to me and how hard I want to work.

I have always been the kid who doesn’t put in the effort, and I come out with a few As and a few Bs.

I have realized I need to start actually trying to put in more effort to make it all As, instead of sitting on my butt when I have free time, maybe I should study more, and get work done before sunday night.

Maybe that means I can sleep more seeing as my schedule right now is crazy.

That brings me to the other thing I have been thinking about.

It was just last year that sports started to mean something to me again.

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