The Falconer

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Lacrosse in the valley

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Lacrosse is a growing sport in the Shenandoah Valley. The Falconer spoke to two coaches of a local team called the Sabers. Jonathan Dodd is an eighth-grade science teacher at PMMS and has been coaching for 3 years.

What made you want to be a lacrosse coach?

My son started to play, and they needed help coaching the little guys.

Did you play lacrosse?

I did not. But I wish I had the chance to.

Did you know much about lacrosse before you started coaching?

I went to a coaching seminar and got my level 1 certification as a lacrosse coach. Before that, I didn’t know much other than what I could find on the internet.

How have your past few seasons gone?

The last few seasons have gone pretty well. When I was coaching the U9/U11 team, we would combine with Strasburg. Both seasons were winning seasons. For this past season, with the U13/U15, we had a winning season.

Would you say the lacrosse community has grown?

Yes, more so in the northern parts of the county and community. Since the beginning of lacrosse in Shenandoah County, the number of players has gone from about 15 players and 1 team to fielding several teams in our county and other counties.

What are your favorite parts of lacrosse?

Any player can be successful – regardless of size. It combines aspects of several sports. It is a fast-paced game with lots of scoring.

How would you say lacrosse compares to other sports? (football, soccer and etc)

Lacrosse is very similar to soccer, hockey and basketball. Soccer- formations, give and go passes, goalies. Hockey- you can go behind the goal, goalie, etc. Basketball- teamwork, set plays, etc.

I also got to talk to Frank Haun who has been a coach for this team for 7 years.

What made you want to be a coach?

Love of the game that has been really good to me. I wanted my son and our community to have a chance at playing a game that is really special

Did you play lacrosse?

Yes, My oldest brother started when I was 11, and that got my attention. He gave me a stick for Christmas and I would not stop cradling it and throwing the ball against our garage wall. I had to wait until high school to be on a team. I was hooked from the start and played in high school through college. In fact, lacrosse was a factor in my choice of colleges. Playing in college was one of the best times of my life.  It is responsible for some of my most durable friendships and provided many great experiences.

Did you know much about lacrosse before you started playing/coaching?

As a player, I knew a lot about the game, the “on field” perspective, teamwork and sportsmanship, but coaching is different. I and fellow coaches invested a lot of time in learning how to coach.

How have your past few seasons been?

Sabers lacrosse in Woodstock has been pretty good. We have had some growing pains that present challenges to keeping competitive in our league as the pool of players have thinned. Our league has grown from two small teams to 7 teams over the past seven years.

 

What are your favorite parts of lacrosse? 

The game is great, it has constant action, is exciting and fast-paced, Players with different abilities and attributes can be successful in lacrosse. Small and large players can find a place on a team to be part of a winning combination. Defense can be a place for less quick players with a sense of body position and teamwork to stifle offense players who are generally quicker and often smaller ball handlers. Midfielders must posses balanced attributes of both the defense and the offense. Goalies come in all shapes and sizes but more often are jittery, quick reacting, unique and brave souls. Starting every quarter and following all scores, play begins with a face-off; there are players who have careers in that specialty. Beyond athletics, lacrosse has continued to offer me new and lasting friendships with a community of players, parents and coaches and folks who support what we are doing.
 
How would you say lacrosse compares to other sports? (football, soccer, etc.)
 
 There are many elements of lacrosse that are transferable to and from other sports. It is closest to basketball and soccer with regard to field movements and play, but faster. The pace is quick like hockey with contact, with higher scoring and the added dimension of having the ball off the ground. Players with football experience have many transferable skills regarding contact and body position both on offense and defense.
 
 

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