Spellbound: Come ‘check’ out growing sport of lacrosse

Photo by: JULIE JONES
Photo by: JULIE JONES

By NICK DOROGY, Gazebo Staff

“Check” is used to describe the action of a lacrosse player blocking his opponent with his stick.

This was the first term our team of novice players had to be taught.

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Nick Dorogy

We were known as the Macon Grizzles. We also had to learn another kind of “check.” It’s called spell check.

When you first begin playing sports, coaches always teach there is no “I” in team.

Our lacrosse team was supposed to be named the Grizzlies, but the second “I” was left off the uniforms by mistake.

I began playing lacrosse when I was in sixth grade. For the past five years, every time someone asks where I started playing, the first thing that comes to my mind is the “Grizzles.”

Not only is lacrosse the fastest sport on two feet, it’s also the fastest-growing sport in the nation, and it has certainly picked up in Macon.

When one of Stratford’s parents, Katie Durkee, brought lacrosse to central Georgia, I had never even heard of it, and neither had the rest of my teammates.

Since the lacrosse program in Macon began in 2011, Mount de Sales, First Presbyterian Day School, and Stratford have all started teams and began playing competitively. The first five years we were club teams, and this year we moved to a varsity sport.

Our entire first practice was spent struggling to put on pads and helmets that Mercer’s lacrosse team had donated. It was also difficult to learn the technique of picking up the ball.

One of my favorite memories was fishing with former Coach Wally Crosby. We spent more time wetting a hook than attacking the goal.

Unfortunately, the players came from a mix of schools, and slowly we split up.

Stratford’s program began last year as a junior varsity team, and we moved to varsity for the 2016 season. With the help of 15 new players, coaches Josh Pico, Mike Kelley, Andy Bettinger, and Kyle Stutzman, we began from square one, learning the basics.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” they love to say, and that’s for sure.

We’re building the program, and we’re no longer the Grizzles, we’re the Eagles… and we’re much better at spelling.

Nick Dorogy is a sophomore and a sports writer for The Gazebo.