Everyone’s heard the classic story of the underdog. Well that’s us, The Schaumburg High School lacrosse team. After finishing dead last in the state of Illinois’s class A. Finishing the season 3-13 and being a joke to every other school. We sucked and we knew it, we even had our coach tell us mid-season this would be his last year coaching us. I have nothing but respect for our former coach because he wasn’t a lacrosse guy and he knew it. He decided before the season started that if he couldn’t make us a winning program in three years he would stop coaching. So a team with no coach and nowhere to turn was left with a choice, accept being a joke or work as hard as we could to prove everyone wrong. Nobody was going to hand us success it was up to us to earn not only success but the respect of the Illinois lacrosse community.
We knew our team was special when our new coach came in with a whole new system and attitude and we picked it up fast and even managed to split our summer scrimmages in only our second week of the entire new system. But everyone knows just a new system won’t turn a team around. After only losing 5 seniors and only one of them being a relevant part of our team. We all understood that this was our year. We had almost our entire team back. Two line one middies, two attack-men, a goalie coming off of a freshman season where he finished third in the state in saves, every single d-pole returns, and a face-off man who received all-conference as a sophomore. We knew we could do something really special and shock the world.
Our redemption story begins in our True Lacrosse fall league where we went undefeated beating three in conference teams multiple times and even beat a school we haven’t beat since 2007. We didn’t just win these games we dominated beating every team by an average of five goals and having two shutouts. We were not able to bring home a championship because we let our emotions get the best of us and had a few ejections that really hurt not only our play but our moral. We let a team who we all knew we could easily beat get the better of us and the game was eventually called because the refs felt they could not control it anymore. This was not only embarrassing but our coach was there and as you can assume he was not happy about it.
Going into our winter league we had been lifting daily with at least half of our team and we knew nobody could touch us. In the perfect twist we were facing the team that beat us in the championship and we knew we had to prove that we were the better team. We would go on to win the game 15-13 with a five goal run to end the game. Next week we were playing another conference team that we always had great games with. We knew this league could really show our conference that we were a force to be reckoned with. In a great game were we led 8-7 with a minute left in a game with some dirty fouls and big hits once again we let our emotions get the best of us and a brawl broke out. Lacrosse America who had ran the league had let us know that we had been kicked out of the league. Once again we let a team that we knew we were superior to get under our skin and make us retaliate.
After we told our coach about the brawl he called a meeting to set us straight. In this meeting we as players were only expecting a speech about how we need to control ourselves but we were told really how we were perceived as a team. He told us that teams were refusing to play us not only because of our history of fighting but because they felt we were not good enough to play them. Teams felt we didn’t belong on the same field as them and only knew us as a bad team that only liked to fight. This lit a fire under us and you could tell gave us motivation to prove them wrong.
Around our school everyone knows us as a crappy team with Youtube videos of us fighting. So not only is this season about proving not only the other teams wrong but showing our school that we belong. When I tell people that were going to be good this year they laugh at me and say there is no way we can be any better than last year. But I know with this team in this system and with our work ethic there is no reason we can’t go undefeated and prove everyone wrong.
Throughout this season on this blog you will meet the players get game previews and weekly updates on the season. Our story is something everyone should hear, our team always joked that we should have an ESPN 30 for 30 but I figured a Blog on Lacrosse Playground is just as good.