I have a confession to make. I must admit, as of late, I’m hooked on the sport of lacrosse-hook line and sinker.
Just the other night I was watching the Northwestern Women beating Syracuse on ESPNU for the national title. I was channel surfing the next day for the men’s title game, Loyola of Baltimore and Maryland.
Until this spring, I had seen little of local lacrosse. I find the game to be fast paced, action-packed and just down right interesting.
However, the strategies and approach to the game between boys and girls lacrosse is quite different.
The girls play more of a strategic, skills-oriented game. The boys, well we might say they like to knock down the house, and everything in its path.
That’s why there are equipment differences I suppose. Boys wear helmets and shoulder pads, girls neither. I differ on that, but that’s another topic for another day.
Many years ago, good friend Bob Schulte of the John Burroughs school community worked diligently with others to import lacrosse from the east coast to the midwest. The journey has been a long one.
Proponents of the game had to develop coaching skills, find officials, locate fields and create schedules. Seems like these days many little kids are playing the game now with the sticks in their hand. The popularity is unlimited. Summer camps abound where youngsters might hone their skills.
One afternoon, waiting for an interview at MICDS, the girls lacrosse team was passing the athletic office en-route to practice. The line of participants was quite long.
The sport allows many youngsters the opportunity to be on the field and in the action. I suppose that’s why they relish the game? Lots of running, lots of passing, lots of scoring opportunities. Goals can rain down in bunches.
To get from point A to Point B, St. Louis needed some coaches to step up and take charge. That’s where Andy Kay at MICDS and Judith Anderson at Ursuline Academy stepped in. Kay, from Washington D.C. infused his ideas and skill techniques into the local community. He’s turned MICDS into a powerhouse team.
Kay and others sponsored a clinic over the winter break to get eastern coaches looking at local talent. All those efforts are beginning to bear fruit with college scholarships picking up steam. Meanwhile, Anderson just organized the first girl’s All-Star game, Wednesday night at MICDS, 6 p.m. The game is played as a tribute to a former enthusiast and go-getter, Roz Schulte, daughter of Bob and Susie Schulte of Ladue. Roz played for Burroughs and the Air Force Academy and lost her life while serving in the Air Force and defending her country in Kabul, Afghanistan two years ago.
The game itself is fun to watch. The strategies are interesting. Attackers position themselves behind the nets, then come out, either pass or try and score themselves. As they say in lacrosse, and I whole heartily agree: “game on," or just plain old "stick with it."