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Men's lacrosse: a team on and off the field

by Alyssa Daley- Executive Editor
Tue, Apr 25th 2017 06:00 pm
Photos courtesy  of the Brockport Athletic Communications via Flickr
Photos courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Communications via Flickr
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Life is a book full of plays; some work and some don't. Some of them we toss out completely while others we make slight changes to and try out again. All the while we are making and following these plays, we ourselves are growing up and changing too. 

For The College at Brockport Golden Eagles who compete on the men's lacrosse team having one another by each other's sides during the four years when young adults find who they are, is crucial. 

Even though they are student-athletes who have extremely busy schedules and commit long hours to a sport that has been around since before the 13 original American colonies, they are also regular college students.

Each day, the 44 men on the lacrosse team wake up and worry about everything normal students do like, the essay that was put off until the day before it was due or which classes to register in for the fall semester in order to stay on top of their majors. 

There's no doubt, however, that lacrosse is never far from their minds as they put in 20 or more hours into the sport they love each week.

"We practice about five days a week for about two hours each day,". Sophomore attackman Brad Sovocool wrote, "We start out practice typically with a jog and stretch, then get our sticks warmed up, work on some individual skill work (shooting/footwork), a conditioner here and there, then always finish up with some team building (scrimmage or man up and man down)." 

Even off the field, the team is close. When asked what they liked to do outside of lacrosse many of the men simply said, "spending time with the guys on the team." Others proved that they did in fact have hobbies outside of practicing fast breaks and feed passes. Sophomore midfielder Tyler Bonilla revealed that in his spare time he likes to play his guitar and create code for computer programs.

Even with individual interests lacrosse is enough to create a brotherhood that season after season not only entices students to commit to play for Brockport but motivates players to continue playing even when balancing between academics and athletics seems to be impossible.

"Playing a sport in college is something everyone dreams of growing up as a young athlete," Sovocool wrote. "My love for the game is why I continue to play. The largest motivating factor is season after season would be my teammates, no other guys I would want to play this sport with."

Being a part of a team means sticking with one another through thick and thin and like most college students as a "lax bro" there is a stereotype attached to the title that the men have to try and overcome.

"They don't care about their grades," Bonilla wrote in an email when asked about the misconception people have about lacosse athletes. "[It's] very false. It is difficult to maintain good grades while putting so much time into a sport but we work hard at it."

Stereotypes have the ability to make the people who are supposed to fit in that category act like they are said to but with so many other men facing off with the same reputation Bonilla and the rest of the team know no one will have to go it alone. There are certain stereotypes that are true for some people and not for others. Bonilla honestly hinted at one of them.

"People tend to think that all male lacrosse players are douchebags," Bonilla wrote. "To that I have to say that some are and some aren't."

In many movies/films the "jocks" are portrayed as being the "cool" kids." They have the life everyone else wants on the surface: parties, devoted fans and crowds of friends. As we gain more expereince in the world we find out that not everything is the way it seems: not all girls who wear "masculine" clothes are lesbian, not all men who paint their nails are gay and not all athletes are full of themselves.

Stereotypes are something all students face and have to decide to either disprove or uphold. Just like the rest of the stuent body student-athletes share in these universal struggles. The only difference is they have a set group of people who are there for them when they need it.

With the last games of the season coming up this week before the SUNYAC tournament begins in the first week of May, this brotherhood and each athlete's skills will need to be as strong as ever. But as the saying goes, a team that trusts is a team that triumphs.

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