Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lacrosse farewell .... on to football

Lacrosse summer league is so relaxed. Twice a week all summer, young men show up to play summer lacrosse.And parents come to watch . . . OK, and to talk. These warm summer evenings of summer league feel something like the early days of t-ball, when our young men were, for the first time, experiencing 'the field' and all it has to offer. It doesn't really matter who wins, so no one actually keeps score. There is often vicious scrambling over a ball or a goal or ground not yielded. Summer ball for parents is more about finding a shady spot to talk and watch. For me, I just like to be on the premises when there are young men, extreme heat, and lots of beating on each other with sticks. Just sayin'.

For the boys - it's serious, intense competition with mortal enemies. It's also laughing and talking, and joking around on the sidelines. Boys, balls, sticks, water bottles in a shady spot on a warm summer evening. What's not to like about that?

When next we line up for lacrosse, there will be nothing relaxed and little joking. This is a serious and fierce state championship team. So, before lacrosse summer league fades... consider what we saw at the field, and who we saw at the field. Summer lax starts and ends like this: a bunch of guys slinging lacrosse gear all over the track. Fans wandering around in the sparsely populated stands. Looking for shade. In the summer, younger sibs can run up and down the stairs, climb on the seats, crawl in and out the rails. The stands won't be sparsely populated in a month, so the youngest do all that clambering in another place.Get into the right shoes. And make some jokes about something.
J-Rut is working the elbow pads. We'll see lots of these boys in heavier and hotter football pads, in about a month. The heat will still be oppressive and muggy.
Everyone who shows up to play summer lacrosse begins by lining up midfield. Guys come from different schools. One day you may play against a guy you play with the rest of the year. Another day ... same team with a brother who is your enemy the rest of the year. Every time the teams are different. There is NO LOYALTY in summer league.When you get to wear a red COACH shirt, like Coach Ron here, you get to tell people what to do and where to play and who is on what team. Also, whether you wear the blue side or the white side of the jersey. Occcasionally he yells all that. "Yell" is the operative word. The playing starts. Just so you know, it's really, really hot.
Lucky for everyone, there is an easy way to get a drink of water, and also to spray other people . Those things are called A-frames, they are attached to a regular hose, and have many nozzles on each one, so several boys can get a drink at the same time. Also, spray themselves on the head to cool down. Also spray some unsuspecting guy and start a water fight. OR, just get a drink of water. Boys and water hoses, boys with balls and sticks, boys driving around on Gators. Boys and their toys. And...... boys and their phones.
Well, moms and phones, too.A little time for conversation. Always.And for watching the action.Mr. T. is always there. His son, Big Russ, can be full of suprises.What is Big Russ doing HERE, playing goalie?Doing this? He doesn't play with that kind of stick, usually.Big Russ is supposed to be down here, doing this.

The relaxed pace of summer league lacrosse is over. Football . . . the early morning summer work-out phase . . . yields to the football all-day phase. And then school starts, so football + school = Total Physical Exhaustion. When next we see these stands and this field, sorry - turf, it will be intense and loud, and fiercely competitive. It will still be seriously hot. So more squirting water at each other and riding around the Gator.
Different line up.

Different uniforms.
Same friends.

4 comments:

Kathryn said...

I love this post. It makes me antsy for fall even though I'm loving summer.

Steph said...

We don't do lax, but we do football. Starting Monday. It lasts for months and months. Seems like years. And I love it. I agree w/kathryn...it leads into fall--my favorite season!

Thanks for visiting me...

angie said...

What great pictures. I'm really not looking forward to the time committment that sports require when my boys are "grown up". You make it look fun though.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

These are great photographs. You have caught some wonderful people shots.

My husband and I don't have any children--school-aged or otherwise--but we are big football fans (pro and college), and these photos are making me anxious for the season to start.

Thank you for visiting my blog the other day and leaving your encouraging comment. I'm sorry it took so long to return the visit. We went out of town Sunday, and yesterday I didn't do my blogging till very late and basically ran out of time.