The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The life of a lacrosse player: for the love of the game

A normal day for lacrosse starts at 4 p.m. Players flood the locker room before four. The early birds usually get treatment from trainers Jared and Danielle.

There is nothing soft about lacrosse.

I have seen players injure their knees, dislocate shoulders, break hands and suffer concussions. You cannot escape playing lacrosse without a nagging injury.

The game is physical, and you expect some sort of injury during your career.

Practices start with offensive and defensive drills taking place on opposite sides of the field. The offense works on fine-tuning their sticks by shooting at the goal. Sometimes, we work on formations to practice on the defense later on in practice.

The defense works on clearing the ball to the offensive side of the field, slide packages, defensive positioning and new strategies to combat a potent offense in the next game.

After stretches, Coach Tom Carmean reads the practice plan aloud, followed by any last remarks players want to say.

The heart of the practice begins with a full-field transitional drill called “Syracuse.” This drill implements foot movement but also helps players focus on fundamental passing.

A majority of practices consist of man-up versus man-down. This drill matches six offensive players against five defensive players. This situation can occur in a game when a player receives a penalty or an offside call.

The last 30 minutes of practice focuses on six-player offense versus six-player defense.

Friday the 25th was the last of these practices I would have with my Guilford lacrosse team.

During stretching, thunder and rain hovered over the field, drenching us in cold water that was swept in by humid wind.

Soon, there was not a cloud in the sky. I felt an ease of contentment hover over me as I stared at my team doing their drills.

The woods behind me boasted many shades of green, while shades of purple dangled high up in the trees. It was a tapestry of nature.

I kept telling myself that I would not cry on Senior Day.

I was lying to myself because I knew I would shed some tears. I knew that lacrosse has always had a sacred place in my heart.

I will no longer have a locker room to share with 41 other family members.

I know that I will no longer have to wash the pungent odor off of my body six days a week. I know I will no longer have to heal my bruised and beaten body in the ice bath and never again do so with other individuals who are suffering the same as me.

I know I will no longer have the opportunity to travel on long bus rides eating Rice Krispy Treats and Nature Valley Granola Bars.

No longer will my teammates witness my odd dancing while I shout, “It’s your boy! DJ Chucky Clausen!”

No more surreal moments admiring the Appalachian Mountains while listening to Pandora on bus rides. I’ll miss these moments most of all.

These were moments filled with happiness that comes from the natural energy shared with teammates. They were the moments where I was most content.

I know that I will be happy during the next chapter of my life. I just find it hard to give up this sport and this team.

I shared this college with many individuals; it is my sacred space.

Thank you Coach Carmean and Coach Bates for everything you have done for me. Thanks for believing in me as a student and as a player.

To my teammates, thank you for a great four years. I have cherished many moments spent with you and will always remember my time as a lacrosse player at Guilford College.

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