Lacrosse at Rectory


Rectory School has offered a lacrosse program for its students since before Mr. Brad Seaward started working at Rectory, which was back in 1975. For many years, lacrosse was only a boys’ sport. Then in 2011, two new coaches/teachers at Rectory School, Ms. Lokitis and Ms. King, started a girls’ lacrosse team, which they coached for two years, followed by Mrs. Gibbs who coached girls’ lacrosse for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Today Rectory has three lacrosse teams: Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse, coached by Mr. Ducksworth and Mr. Smith; Boys’ JV Lacrosse, coached by Mr. Long and Mr. Fuller; and Girl’s Lacrosse, coached by Ms. Hannah Minifie and Ms. Erin Bradley. All over the U.S., lacrosse has recently become a very popular sport, and that has been the case here at Rectory, too. Here the focus will be on the Boys’ JV and Varsity Lacrosse Teams, and we’ll take a look into their 2016 season.

The 2016 Rectory Girls' Lacrosse Team with Coaches Bradley and Minifie.
The 2016 Rectory Girls’ Lacrosse Team with Coaches Bradley and Minifie.

2016 Boys’ JV Lacrosse Team

The Boys’ JV team had an overall losing record this year, but, according to Mr. Long, they did fare well in their last two games of the season. “We had our best showing against Eaglebrook. The team played as one, focused on the basics of the game, and had excellent ball control, along with passing and catching. Each player played for each other.”

Coach Long said they struggled a bit in their last game against Bancroft School, but the players played well and ended the game on a positive note.

In the end, Coach Long was most proud that the team came together towards the end of the season. In his opinion, “It’s not easy playing a sport like lacrosse where hand and eye coordination is key, especially when the ball is not in the hand, but hit with a stick. The guys made the season a positive one in the end by their strong play, grit, and determination.” And isn’t that more important than winning? Remember the old adage, “It’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.” This aligns well with Rectory’s overall sports philosophy of teaching sportsmanship, teamwork, and perseverance to students. Sounds like the JV team did well this year, then.

The 2016 Rectory Boys' JV Lacrosse Team with Coaches Long and Fuller.
The 2016 Rectory Boys’ JV Lacrosse Team with Coaches Long and Fuller.

2016 Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Team

This year the Boys’ Varsity Team had a lot of good wins over the course of the season, but they did not start winning immediately. The players put in a lot of hard work every day during their practices, which helped the team achieve a winning season. What exactly does happen in practice every day? As a member of the Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Team, I want to give everyone a closer look at what our lacrosse players do during their daily practices; I think you will have a much greater appreciation for the players and their coaches after you read more about our daily efforts.

We start each practice off by going on a jog around the fields to get warmed up. Then, we move into “walking stretches.” After this we start to do “line drills” by passing and throwing the ball to each other and by picking up ground balls with our left and right hands. We do this for about 15 minutes, and then we go into one of three drills. We could do a fast break, the man-ball drill, or a star drill. “Fast breaks” are when the midfielder comes down from the top of the field, and the attack men have to get the pass on a fast break to shoot. The “man-ball drill” is when there are two offensive players and one defensive player trying to get the ball that the coach throws to the ground, and then we try to shoot. Finally, a “star drill” is when everyone gets into one of five lines, and then we position the lines in the shape of a star. We pass balls to the line opposite from where we are standing, and everyone is on the move; sometimes we might even add in multiple balls.

Next up, we either do 1 vs. 1s, 6 on 6s, or shooting on the run. The 1 vs. 1s play is when an offender goes against a defender and tries to run around them and then score on our goalie, Robbie. The 6 on 6s play is when there are 3 attack men and 3 midfielders against 3 defenders and 3 midfielders. Each “team” is wearing different colored jerseys. “Shooting on the run” is when the coaches stand on the sides of the goal and give us passes while we are running; then we shoot at the goal and try to score. We do this drill using both hands to develop strength in both our right and left hands. We also may work on other drills during practice time to help us improve our game.

After we do all the drills, towards the end of practice, we normally do conditioning. This could mean that we might do “suicides” up and down the field. This exercise is where two players start at one end of the field; they run together to a point not too far from their starting point, touch the ground, and run back to the start. Then they run together to a second point on the field that is further than the first point, touch the ground again, and run back to the starting point. They keep running to a point that is further away from the previous points where they touched the ground, and repeat the same procedure several times until they’ve run the whole length of the field. I can tell you that this is very tiring, but it really gives you a good aerobic workout, and it helps you to improve making fast stops and starts. Another conditioning exercise we sometimes do is our “jogging-and-then-sprinting drill,” which is done continuously for a certain amount of time. After the conditioning exercises, we are done with practice. Whew! Once we are done, we “bring it in,” as the coach says, and he tells us the plan for our next game, and how we’ve been doing as a team. He also tells us what skills or plays we still need to improve on.

Over the course of the season we won many games, but we also lost a fair amount. When we played in the Greenwich tournament, we came in third place overall, which is quite respectable. We worked really hard the last few weeks of practice, and we ended up with a winning season. As you can see, in addition to the physical conditioning lacrosse players undergo, there is also a lot of strategy involved in learning the game of lacrosse. It’s hard work, but I really like playing lacrosse; I like my teammates and my coaches, and I even like the hard work. As the saying goes, “Hard work never hurt anyone.”

The 2016 Rectory Boys' Varsity Lacrosse Team with Coaches Smith and Ducksworth.
The 2016 Rectory Boys’ Varsity Lacrosse Team with Coaches Smith and Ducksworth.