Editor’s Note: Josh Acut usually writes about positive steps that Texas Lacrosse can take. However, today he is here with a very different story to tell. The Texas Lacrosse Community has lost one of its own. Randall Perkins will be missed.
On Saturday, March 24th, 2012, I woke up thinking it was going to be just another typical “game day”, but then I got a phone call that would change everything. I had to check online, just to see if the news I got over the phone was real, and that is wasn’t just some horrible dream.
There was a shooting last night, and our own Randall Perkins was one of the victims…
“Police said one of the victims, identified as Randall Perkins, later died at University Hospital. He was 20.” (KENS5-San Antonio)
The details are scattered, with numerous reports saying different things, but one thing is certain and constant here and that is the fact that Randall Perkins was the victim. The alleged gunman pulled a gun from his waistband and started shooting into a crowd. Two people were shot… and one died.
Randall (#2) was a former Reagan Lacrosse (San Antonio, TX) player, and he was currently coaching high school lacrosse with me for the Smithson Valley Lacrosse Club in Texas.
I can not say that Randall and I were childhood friends, or teammates, or classmates, but I can say that through personal experience, and over the past couple of days of reading Facebook posts and emails, that Randall was definitely one of the good guys. He was “that” guy, whom everyone loved. His personality, which I did get to witness firsthand, was outgoing and passionate and man, did he love lacrosse!
Out of the four coaches that walk the sidelines for the Smithson Valley Lacrosse Club’s high school team, Randall was the young buck. He was our “bro-lax” coach, and at 20 years old, he added a fresh approach to our coaching style. Randall’s younger brother, Trevor, is a varsity attackman for our program and it was an amazing sight to see Randall’s reaction every time Trevor would score.
In fact, every time ANY of the kids would score, Randall was super excited, because he played alongside some of our upperclassmen and was an “older brother” to our younger players. That connection, the one with our players, is the thing that I will miss the most. The players not only lost a coach, but they lost someone they loved, and who loved them.
The raw emotion that the players expressed was as sincere a thing as I have ever seen. The level of respect and love that they had for Randall is readily apparent, and will be known by everyone, since they have decided to dedicate the season to Randall. I lost a colleague and friend, but the kids lost someone they looked up to, and that is truly heartbreaking.
Randall was not only a lacrosse player and coach; he was a son and a brother. He was a friend and a colleague. He was too young to be taken from all of us. We as lacrosse players, and as a community, have lost one of our own.
In honor of Randall, I am going to ask all lacrosse players, coaches, and families to participate in a moment of silence before the start of their games this weekend. Even if you do not, or did not, know Randall, during that moment of silence, remember how blessed and lucky we all are to get the chance to play the game that Randall, and so many of us, love. Let us, as lacrosse players, coaches, and families, come together to show support for his family; a lacrosse family.
Honor Randall. Honor the tradition, the brotherhood, and the game.