Today we attended the first ever Lacrosse Day at Hampton University and were really happy that we did. Not only did we get to see some really exciting lacrosse but added some new friends to our lacrosse community and discovered yet again why this game is so important on so many levels.
One of the big highlights of the day was talking to the players of the Hampton University Pirates Lacrosse Team. The Pirates won their first game and proceeded to the stands to presumably chill out before the final game. My sons Michael, Joe and I spent the time talking to the team we discovered that the majority of the team had only been playing lacrosse for 2 – 4 years, which was really hard for us to understand since my sons have now played lacrosse for over a dozen years. You could not miss the excitement of the players to be part of the first ever lacrosse team at Hampton University. That kind of excitement is hard to miss and we have experienced the same with our newly formed York High School team that was started this season with the majority of our players not having played lacrosse before and many of the others limited to somewhere between two and four years.
One of the funniest moments was when the Coach Lloyd Carter started towards the team to take the field for the final game, we joked with the guys and said here comes the coach and they all started exaggeratingly talking lacrosse just like we used to do when someone said the teacher is coming. We got to meet Jordan Hagans #22 who is an absolute ambassador for the team as well as the sport and it is no surprise to see that he is also the Communications Chair for the Hampton University Lacrosse Club. We also would like to give a big shout out to Small #6, Louis-Charles #18, and all the players including the team’s goalie who while not only appearing to be the team’s resident comedian but one helluva of a player in the cage as well. Hats off to Coach Lloyd Carter for leading such a great group of players, we wish you great success on the rest of your season and many more to follow.
And this could be just another blog entry about lacrosse and all the laxheads could say “where’s the action shots?”, “who won?’, and “I didn’t know they had a team”, but this is a much bigger story.
This is a really big story about a Mike Crawford,
Hampton Alum who had the dream of bringing the game to Hampton University. Mike attended HU and having played lacrosse at St. Thomas More School a college prep school in Oakdale, Connecticut. Mike also played football and basketball but it seems very obvious that the game of lacrosse is something that he truly loved and was extremely passionate about. Mike worked to make lacrosse a reality at Hampton University but his life ended before he could see his dream come true. His parents Verina and Errol Crawford were going to make sure that a lacrosse club got started at Hampton University and although they knew little about the game they started a chain of events that made lacrosse a reality at Hampton University. Verina started her quest by contacting Lloyd Carter, President of Blax Lax, to get things going. Lloyd is a major player when it comes to development of African-American lacrosse, especially in the Mid-Atlantic area, and is a former Morgan State player. From there they contacted US Lacrosse and other support groups, and even got in touch with the US Coast Guard Academy. Eventually, the team was even accepted into the NCLL, and that brings us to today. Please check out the story by clicking The Hampton Lacrosse Story: From Incredible Loss Comes Family.
That’s a really big story, but even bigger was the fact that the team that the Pirates faced in the finals was an alumni team from St. Thomas More with many of the players traveling great distances to make this game. What a tremendous tribute for Mike Crawford to have his previous teammates on the field playing lacrosse at HU. The St. Thomas More team ultimately won the game despite some really impressive play from the Pirates all over the field. In the end it was a big win for Mike Crawford, his family, Hampton University and the sport of lacrosse.
It would be impossible to end this without talking about diversity as it is such an important component. I recently read a blog entitled “Talk is Cheap” by Chazz Woodson, who attended Norfolk Academy, where he played Lacrosse, Football, and Basketball before transferring to Blue Ridge School in St. George, Virginia after his father accepted a coaching position at the school. Chazz went on to Brown University to play Division 1 lacrosse, where he earned All Ivy and All New England Honors in his Junior and Senior years. Chazz went on to be one of the hottest and most exciting players in Major League Lacrosse and is a positive role model. He spends a ton of time and effort building community and helping America’s youth play the sport of lacrosse. Chazz speaks openly and honestly about diversity in the sport of lacrosse as he should, anything worth doing needs to have diversity at its core. I am excited to see lacrosse grow at every level and especially America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities just like the Hampton University Pirates and it is my belief that we all need to work harder to encourage diversity at every level of the game starting at the youth level. We need for the football coaches and the basketball coaches to attend some lacrosse games and practices so they can see the benefits. We need for them to understand what an incredible opportunity this is for their student/athletes to experience the game of lacrosse and we need them to encourage participation. The fact that people of color are limited in lacrosse is probably not for reasons of discouragement but more likely lack of encouragement by everyone in our sport.
Let’s work to create awareness of our sport at every level and by all means support diversity.
Thank you for your interest, we welcome your comments.