As I’ve mentioned previously, Kyle made the high school lacrosse team. There about sixty kids on the team – counting both Varsity and JV – but the team only has two coaches. During January’s first week of training, the coaches asked if any of the kids knew someone with coaching experience who would be willing to help out. Kyle, for his part, said nothing, but his friend Joey elbowed him and said, “Dude, your dad.”
After practice, Kyle and Joey mentioned the coach’s request, and I immediately – and highly sarcastically – replied, “I’m retired.”
I walked on to the lacrosse team at Saint Joseph’s University as a freshman way back in 1987. I never played the game before, but four years of cross country and track helped build my speed and endurance. The coach told me, “You can learn how to throw and catch, but your speed is your best asset.” I played at SJU for four years, and had an average career. I was by no means a scorer, so I did a lot of the grunt work.
Lacrosse exploded in the Philadelphia area in the early ’90’s, and many high schools were looking for coaches. I was lucky enough (at 22 years old) to land a job as the head coach at Holy Ghost Preparatory School. I spent four very successful years there, but when I was hired by the PPD, I couldn’t put in the hours necessary to be a head coach.
I left HGP and landed an assistant job at Father Judge – where Kyle is now – and spent two years there. The administration treated lacrosse like a redheaded stepchild, so the head coach and I moved to Northeast Catholic High School. We spent thirteen years there, until the school closed in 2010. The head coach and I lamented the fact we were one year away from twenty years in coaching.
I’ve been retired from coaching since 2010, with the exception of working with Kyle and Erik in the backyard. I’d be lying if I said I miss it, but watching the boys play satisfies my hunger. I wouldn’t have made the decision if it wasn’t with one of my kids’ teams, but it is. I said yes.
So, my already cluttered life is even more cluttered now. Practices are Monday through Friday from 3-6pm, and Saturday from 7-9am. Games are during the week after school. I’ll work my schedule around Erik’s lacrosse games and track meets – don’t want to miss his events – but the rest of my time will be at Judge’s pretty kickass new turf facility.
Wish me luck.
UPDATE: Final cuts were made today. Kyle officially made the team, so I am now gainfully employed.