As I’ve mentioned previously, Kyle’s high school lacrosse career is now underway, and I am an assistant coach. Saturday was our first bright and early practice, which lasted from 7am to 9am. When Kyle and I arrived at school, the sun wasn’t even up. So… yeah.
It was cold here Saturday, so practice was light. We ran through our offensive and defensive schemes, and made sure the kids were properly stretched and mobile. At the end of practice, the head coach issued the kids their uniforms. They were distributed in order of class; seniors first, and freshman last. Kyle was literally the last person in line.
There are two separate uniforms; one for the varsity, and one for the JV. After the seniors received their kits – seniors must play on the varsity squad – the head coach went through the line, giving the boys their assignments. Some were just varsity, some were just junior varsity, and some were assigned to both teams. (They suit up for the varsity game, and the JV game afterward.)
Eventually it was Kyle’s turn, and as he walked to the uniform table, I snarked, “Wow Kyle, it’s a shame you aren’t playing varsity because your favorite number (13) is available!” Kyle glared at me, told me to shut up, and walked to the table.
The head coach looked at him, then at the other assistant coach. The head coach said, “Kyle… Jv and Varsity.”
Kyle and I both stood there with our mouths agape. “Wait, what? Varsity? As a freshman???” Kyle was on cloud nine, gleefully picked number 13, and took both uniforms to the locker room. Five minutes later, he was wearing it over his shirt for the ride home.
We met in the coach’s office for a few minutes, and I turned to the head coach. “Hey, thank you for that. I know Kyle won’t play in any varsity games, but I appreciate the gesture.”
The head coach replied, “Um, I didn’t do that for you. I want him suiting for varsity because he’s worked really hard. He probably won’t get much time at varsity, but he deserves to be there.”
I was floored. Yes, Kyle has worked hard, and yes, Kyle has been playing lacrosse for nine years, but I never in a million years thought he would make the varsity team as a freshman. He was so excited that when we got home, he ate lunch, then went right into the backyard to shoot on the net and practice his opposite hand shooting. I have never been more proud of him.