The 2012 season is here and we wanted to work closely with college programs to bring a part of the excitement to you. Throughout the 2012 season we will highlight lacrosse programs on our space for all of our readers to follow. Player blogs serve as a unique outlet for programs to showcase their season as it develops, plus highlight everything they have to offer a student-athlete. In contrast, families and fans get a glimpse into the program’s athletic and academic regimen.
Jason Coppersmith, Senior Defenseman from Boca Raton, Fla.
This entry is going to be a little bit different than its predecessors in the sense that it will be used for reflection rather than just going through the week.
Obviously a team never wants their season to end on a loss, but when looking back…what a ride. At the end of last season, the senior class knew we’d have a talented squad to lead this year, and understood how strong leadership combined with a cohesive group make for a great team. It would be our job to do just that. With about a month left in summer, the news was announced that Coach Murphy was hired as our new coach. He made sure to call every player, and discuss the coming year. When talking to each senior, Coach Murphy made clear his main goal for his inaugural season: make it the senior’s best one yet.
As we had our final team meeting this morning, each senior spoke and said how this indeed was his best year of the four. It was a year of firsts: The coaching staff of Mike Murphy, Mike Abbott, Matt Abbott, and Joe Starsia’s first season, Colgate’s first at-large bid, Colgate’s first Tewaaraton finalist in Peter Baum, Colgate’s first lacrosse team to get to 14 wins, and Colgate’s first NCAA tournament game win. Alongside this whole run, we the seniors missed our normal graduation. Instead, Colgate set up an off-campus graduation at our hotel on Saturday night. This was also a first; it was the first Colgate graduation ever off the premises, and it allowed our parents and families to attend. A Board of Trustee, Gus Coldebella ’91, was able to give a wonderful commencement speech and we thank him for that. I couldn’t be prouder of my teammates and coaches. We made history.
Everyone talks about how the four years of college fly by so fast and to make sure to treasure them. You hear it so much, that you take it for granted. Looking back now, it’s absolutely crazy that it’s over. Throughout the week, Coach Murphy repeatedly told us how winning the game wasn’t only to advance to the final four, but it was also about having one more week together with this family we had made. He would name seniors at different times, and say how it will always be different without them. Coach is exactly right, and when all of us look back on our time as a member of Colgate Lacrosse, we’re not going to remember the individual plays, wins, or losses we had, we’re going to remember the guys we shared them with and what they meant to us.
One of the best things about Colgate is its alumni connection, and when we turned around to the stands yesterday, it was proved why. Of course our families were there to support us, but what stood out was the amount of alumni who made the trip to PPL Park to see in some cases, people they didn’t even know. Now as me and my best friends Patrick Campbell, John Donnally, Kevin Gordon, Jeff Ledwick, Jared Madison, Pat Shanley, Colby Wilson, and Chris Zielinski all go our separate ways and become alumni, I know that I’ll always be able to see them again as we reunite for our Colgate Raiders.
The whole year we’ve had a few sayings that we would keep coming back to in order to remember our goals: “dare to be different”, “make it the best day ever”, “what will our legacy be”, and what we always break it down with, “together”. Everything we did, we did together. The legacy we left behind is definitely one to be proud of, but also one for next year’s team to use as a benchmark. The talent on the team is all still there, and it’s up to the junior class to take the reigns and lead the team to a Patriot League title and Colgate’s first Final Four appearance.
In closing, all that’s left to do is thank everyone who was involved in my four years here at Colgate. They were hands down the best of my life, and will not soon be forgotten. It was great getting to know all of my teammates and their families; the bonds made will last a lifetime. I wouldn’t have traded in my experiences with this group of guys for anything- we’re a family. I’ll miss every single guy in that locker room, and will always remember the 2011-2012 Colgate Lacrosse season.