Fun Fact of the day: I bet you didn’t know that I am the team mom for the Acton Boxborough’s boys lacrosse team. This is my second year doing this job, and for the most part, it’s easy. I communicate almost daily with the coach & the team via email & texts, feed the boys (and parents) treats when necessary and essentially try to keep everyone rallied and organized.
Here’s what’s not easy about the job: watching the games.
This is my third year standing on the sidelines watching AB lacrosse games, and while one might think that I would have gotten used to the highs and lows of high school lacrosse games by now, sadly, that is not the case.
My first year, I tried to be invisible. My son Sammy was a freshman, and I only knew one or two other parents who had boys on the team. It was hard to break into the social scene on the sidelines, and so I opted for the path of least resistance and watched the games off to the side by myself. That team ended up winning States in an epic game against Duxbury, and I remember thinking to myself at the time – high school lacrosse is awesome.
The following season, I showed up to the games with an expectation that we would win, and that’s when I realized I had a lot to learn. The season was tough, every game was a battle, and in the end, the team didn’t make it too far in the playoffs. It was disappointing, but I kept saying to myself ‘it’s high school lacrosse.’ No one’s life was on the line.
I have tried to hold onto that perspective this season, and while it has been helpful, there is no denying the pain of watching a team your child plays on struggle to hold things together. This season has been particularly challenging with too many games lost by one goal or in overtime. Whereas with the previous year everyone was disappointed that the team didn’t go further in the playoffs, this year, we didn’t even know if the boys would make the playoffs. It all came down to the last game of their season which they played yesterday afternoon against Catholic Memorial.
All I can say is that it is a game, similar to when the team won States, that I will never forget. Catholic Memorial has had a much better season than AB and had already made the playoffs. The teams battled during the game, and in the last quarter, AB was down by one. In the last two minutes, AB scored and tied the game. AB was not going to give up, and what followed was an unprecedented display of mental toughness, resilience, courage, luck and fortitude.
The game went into triple overtime. Triple. Overtime. I think everyone on the sidelines lost at least two years of their lives for each OT. In the end, AB scored, won the game, and locked in their place in the playoffs.
I know. It’s high school lacrosse. But it’s more than that. It’s teamwork. It’s never giving up. It’s players fighting through injuries to be there to help their teammates. It’s dedication, hard work, and playing to the bitter end. It’s uniting to work for a common goal. It’s watching players do the extraordinary, and bonding with parents on the sidelines in those moments of panic, desperation, and thrill. I think I do a pretty good job of keeping all of this in perspective, but when I woke up this morning still reveling from what I witnessed on the field the previous evening, I knew I had to share it.
Here are some amazing photos taken by Ingrid Joyce…enjoy.