When we announced the First Annual Grow The Game Award winner, Kevin Flynn, we also mentioned that we would be continuing to showcase the Grow The Game mission by featuring a “Game Grower of the Month” each month throughout the year. Today, we are ready to announce our first winner! This month’s winner, and each month’s subsequent winner, will be automatically entered into the 2012 GTG Award finalist field.
The February Game Grower of the Month is…
Jonny “Vegas” Namer!
If you haven’t read Jonny’s epic story about his battle with cancer, you really should. It’s an amazing story of never giving up and battling against steep odds. It’s about how lacrosse played a part in Jonny’s treatment, life, and recovery. Jonny has experienced the “medicine” portion of lacrosse like few others have in this life, and it’s clear that the experience has had a lasting effect on this young man.
Jonny Namer has taken his passion for lacrosse to the next level by continuously striving to give the gift of lacrosse to others. He grew up in Southern California – Thousand Oaks to be exact. Lacrosse was first introduced to his hometown, and the entire Conejo Valley, when Jonny was in 8th grade (2001). Jonny instantly fell in love with the sport, as did many others at that time, and lacrosse has grown by leaps and bounds in the area over the years.
After he graduated from Westlake High School, Namer immediately started coaching lacrosse in a summer league, then he coached during fall ball, and next he got into winter lacrosse clinics. For the next 4 years he was Sean Lindsay‘s (Cuse grad, LXM Pro) assistant coach for two youth teams. Last year was Jonny’s first year as a Head Coach, and that was for two youth lacrosse teams out of the Westlake Lacrosse Club.
Jonny has helped organize his high school’s alumni games, which he loves playing in. And just last year, Westlake High School lacrosse officially created The Jon Namer Award, which Jonny will present to a deserving player every year at the end of the season. The Award goes to a player that always gives 110% effort at games and practices, doesn’t argue with teammates and coaches, and always displays good sportsmanship. Naming the award after Jonny might have been the easiest decision the program ever had to make. He simply embodies all of these characteristics on the field, when coaching, and in this case, even on the phone when we spoke with him for this article. He just exudes positivity.
Last summer, Jonny founded The CVLPL, Conejo Valley Lacrosse Pick-up League. The CVLPL is open to High School and Adult lacrosse players. They mix up the teams with an even number of adults and high school players on each team, and the best part of all is that it’s free to play!
This past summer the group played every Tuesday night, where they had 40 players or more at several games. The CVLPL will take place every summer, possibly moving to two nights per week this year. In September of 2011, Jonny also founded The Ventura County Bombers post-collegiate lacrosse team (you can find them on Facebook here).
Jonny’s mission is clear: continue Growing The Game as much as he possibly can. His men’s team has over 50 players on their roster now. Almost everyday Jonny gets messages and emails from players that want to join the Bombers and/or help him on his mission to spread our great sport. And his answer is, and always will be, an emphatic YES.
Please join us in congratulating Jonny Namer, the February 2012 Game Grower of the Month, but clicking the Tweet #GrowTheGame button below.