Good afternoon all,
I must admit this is an email I've never thought I would have to write. As many of you have heard, Virginia schools have been closed for the remainder of the school year thus ending all spring sport seasons. While the logical part of me understands and supports the decision made to protect lives, I must admit that the emotional part of me is still struggling with this situation. VHSL supports the governor's decision but has announced that they have put together a team of professionals tasked with creating an alternative spring season. I am selfishly hoping they are successful as the coaching staff was looking forward to game days with your sons. That being said, I believe it is right to move forward with the current situation we are dealing with. I will try my best to briefly discuss a few things to consider during these unique times.
Finances: As stated in an earlier email, $50 dues will remain with the team as the players have received their player practice packs. There are 5 players that still need to pay for their practice packs and these families will be emailed individually. With regards to the meal fees, there are 3 options. First option is to have a refund check mailed to your home address; second is to have this money put towards next year's meal fees; and third is to donate the money to the program. Everyone has a different financial situation so we understand and support any option your family selects. Please email myself and Coach O regarding your decision for the meal fees.
Communication with the players: While we are not allowed to hold organized practices, I would like to still communicate with your sons via text, email, social media, GroupMe. We are currently doing our "21 ways to be a better teammate" exercise via GroupMe and our first volunteer did an amazing job today. I believe this exercise helps strengthens the bonds between the players. College coaches are recruiting now more than ever and I have received several emails already. I would love to work with you and your sons if they have an interest in playing lacrosse in college. And finally, coaching this program is a dream come true for me and I selfishly want to stay in touch with the young people that make this program great.
Equipment and the locker room: For those that have equipment in the locker room, I will email the school to see when they will open up the building for locker clean out. Once I receive a date/time I will share this information via email, social media, and GroupMe. As far as lacrosse equipment goes, all graduating seniors (5) will have to turn in their helmets, equipment bags, borrowed sticks, and miscellaneous borrowed gear (gloves, arm pads, etc). We will work out a date/time when it is safe and smart to meet at the weight room door of the school. If you want to purchase the helmet for half price, let Coach O know. The underclassman can choose to hold onto this equipment until next year. However, your sons signed for it and will be held financially responsible to the program its cost. The helmets are $170 and the equipment bags are $70. If you don't want to be held financially responsible for them, they will need to be turned in to Coach O at a later date. If you'd like to purchase the helmet, again it's half price ($85 for the older R model and $95 for the newest S model). We also gave out over 15 pairs of used gloves, arm pads, and shoulder pads for use. Now is the time for your boys too start buying their own gear and equipment. Our loaner stuff is meant to help bridge the gap between a new player coming out and his second year.
Senior night/recognition: The athletics department is working on a creative way to recognize our senior student athletes and I will share this information when available. If you have any ideas or suggestions please let me know so I can share with the athletics department. This is a very unique and unknown time. I want to say thank you for allowing myself and the coaching staff the incredible opportunity of coach your sons. Seniors, whether I coached you for 3 weeks or 3 years, I am so grateful for our time together and am excited to see where life takes you next and how you successfully pursue excellence.
Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors: we hope to see you soon as we WILL be back and we will also continue to pursue excellence. I am always available if a player has questions or would like to vent about this season or talk about next steps.
Thank you all,
Boys Lacrosse Head Coach
Stonewall Jackson High School