Football coach: Lacrosse not ‘frail’

Tue, 05/20/2008 - 4:04pm
By: Letters to the ...

To the person who stated, “Lacrosse, a great game for girls and boys too frail to play football”: Your incompetence to the game of lacrosse is extraordinary.

Let me preface this with two things: first, I have coached football locally for 10 years as well as played the game for 16 years.

I use my real name because I’m not too “frail” to accept the consequences of my statements or accept ownership of them as well, unlike you and everyone else who hide in this forum.

I talk about my coaching because it shows I have experience with football. Let me address your statement with a story. In the recent Georgia State Championship game, a “frail” lacrosse player from McIntosh broke his foot early and played on this broken foot before being forced off the field by the trainers.

I apologize for not knowing this player’s name, but I’m sure someone does and can write in and recognize him.

Another “frail” McIntosh player received a severe concussion during the game.

These are but a couple of examples of how “frail” lacrosse players are.

Let me take it down to the peewee level for a moment. The “tough” football players you suggest in your ridiculous statement play by rules. At different age groups the running backs are limited to certain size. I believe the 11-12 age group limits the running back to 100 or or 110 pounds.

To compare, my 95-pound son Zach (who has played football for six years) regularly faces off — playing at full speed, with full contact — with kids who weigh easily 150 to 170 pounds.

As a matter of fact, he was recently in a tournament where he was “checked” (that’s where the “frail” lacrosse players hit each other at full speed with little to no padding, unlike tough football players with shoulder pads, hip pads, thigh pads, etc.) by a 160-pound, 5-foot-10-inch 13-year-old.

One of the other kids was “slashed” (that’s where the “frail” lacrosse players crack each other with the aluminum sticks and hard plastic heads to knock the ball out of the stick) so hard that he had a welt on his arm the size of a baseball, but continued to play.

The goalies rarely wear leg protection, all while standing in the path of a very heavy dense rubber ball being hurled at them at speeds approaching 80 mph. That speed, by the way, is at the 15-year-old age. The amazing McIntosh goalie was standing in front of 100 mph speeds and higher.

I haven’t even touched on the pure eye/hand coordination it takes to catch the ball with the stick and run down the field while the other team is trying to take your head off and then throw the ball in to an area of about 12 inches (the average window for a shot on goal).

Your assessment of lacrosse is utterly astounding, ignorance at a level I haven’t seen in some time. I still love football and I still love to coach football (I would LOVE to coach lacrosse too, hint, hint) so this is definitely not an anti-football response, just a pro lacrosse one.

I challenge you to get your child involved with lacrosse to see if he or she has the toughness to play. Congratulations to the McIntosh lacrosse team for an amazing year.

Skip Stephenson

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borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Thu, 05/22/2008 - 8:55am.

Skip, I completely agree with your assessment. I suspect the writer of that blog really didn't believe what he/she wrote but was trying to start an argument.

The young man you reference who broke his foot but continued to play in the Georgia State High School Lacrosse Championship game was Senior All-State Defensive Player David Bexley.

I have to chuckle because while there are a lot of adjectives that apply to David (all good), being that David is around 6' 4" 240 pounds or so, "frail" is certainly not one. And I'm sure you would have no problem coming up with plenty of players from opposing teams who have played against David and have been on the receiving end of his hits who would agree with you.

The player who received the concussion was Senior All State Player DJ Ward. DJ plays attack which is a position that often is on the receiving end of vicious body and stick hits. Again, not a position for a "frail" person and DJ has taken his share of hard blows not only in this game but throughout his stint at McIntosh.

Both of these young men showed extraordinary courage and leadership in the State Championship game and as I understand it both will continue their lacrosse careers at the collegiate level as will several other McIntosh girl and boy lacrosse players. No doubt we'll hear more about these dedicated athletes as they continue their lacrosse careers.

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