|Cole Bender, me my junior year (Fred Opie), Adam West behind me, and Matt Mitchell. Croton Point Park Field 1980.|
It almost time for the start of high school lacrosse practice here in the Hudson Valley. This time reminds of my first year on the varsity team at Croton Harmon in 1980. The seniors I played with in my junior year were a hilarious bunch, especially Cole Bender and Josh Stark. They had a language of their own filled with nick names, expressions, and saying that was incredible to hear on bus rides to practice and on away games. To listen to them play the dozens (playfully bad mouthing each other and their families) would have us juniors rolling in laughter. And poor Mike Spotto, his classmates road that guy all season long giving him such a hard time but mike was a great sport and hung in there because he loved playing lacrosse and he was not a quitter. The entire bunch had a deep passion for the game of Lacrosse and they had allot of talent. Adam West for example, picked up the game late in high school, but the guy was such a phenomenal athlete that he was good for a couple of goals and assists every game—even after smoking a pack a cigarettes a day. And the rest of players like Matt Mitchell, Josh Stark, and Cole Bender had very good stick skills and a solid understanding of the game. Perhaps this teams greatest assest however, was toughness. These bad boys loved to hit and they took no prisoners; I always felt safe knowing they had my back.