In high school I indentified with attackman like Mike O’Neil and, after a 1981 Army Navy NCAA lacrosse playoff game, Syd Abernethy. I also idolized Army’s great defensemen Bob Henry who covered Syd that game; Abernethy scored four goals on Henry to advance the midshipmen to semi-finals. Henry would go on to earn first team All-American that year and defensemen of the year honors; Abernethy earned first team All American honors too becoming the second African American to do so at the division 1 level since Jim Brown in 1957. Seeing Syd play that day made a big impression on me; it said to me that this was my game too as an African American. “In those days, lacrosse was still an exotic game and I saw very few blacks playing or black youth in the stands or after games asking for my autograph,” recalls Abernethy. I clearly remember that game in May of 1981 and the impact of seeing Syd play off the hook that day did a tremendous amount for my psyche as young black kid playing a white dominated sport. Navy would go on to lose to a tough Carolina team in Carolina in the semi-finals.
Syd Abernathy: http://lacrossememoir.blogspot.com/search?q=syd
Guest Blogger Navy Coach Rick Sowell Part1: http://lacrossememoir.blogspot.com/2010/04/rick-sowell-on-how-he-started-playiing.html
Navy Head Coach Rick Sowell on How to “Really Play Part 2: http://lacrossememoir.blogspot.com/2010/04/rick-sowell-learning-how-to-really-play.html?spref=tw
Navy Coach Rick Sowell: http://www.navysports.com/sports/m-lacros/mtt/sowell_rick00.html
Wining Coach Sowell’s Way: http://www.americanathletemag.com/ArticleView/tabid/156/ArticleID/142/Winning-Beyond-the-Game.aspx
Interview with Coach Sowell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XimZNwcXWcg&feature=related