Editor’s Note: Please welcome Dustin Rich to the LAS Network. Born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, Dustin Rich knows a thing or two about growing the game. Rich currently coaches the men’s team at Missouri State University and in his spare time enjoys all things lacrosse.
Show Me Lax sits down with De Smet lacrosse head coach, Ron Kelam, to talk a little lacrosse.
Show Me Lax: Coach, thanks for taking the time to talk about the team today.
Head Coach Ron Kelam: Glad to.
SML: Let’s talk about some of the basics, is Lacrosse is a varsity sport at De Smet?
Kelam: Yes we are supported by the school and considered a varsity sport. The school supports us with field usage but the parents still bear the financial/time burden of running and paying for the club.
SML: How many kids are on in your H.S. lacrosse program?
Kelam: We carry around 90 players at 3 levels: Varsity, B Team and C team. We see about 100 to 110 guys try out for the 3 levels.
SML: When did lacrosse begin at De Smet?
Kelam: 1992. One of the original 4 teams in Missouri.
SML: What are some of the big goals you have for your team this year?
Kelam: Play for a state championship.
SML: Tell me what makes De Smet and its lacrosse program unique. What is different about your school or team that sets you guys apart?
Kelam: The family dynamic that we have is what most people point to when they think of DHS. We have a very active lacrosse family from ’92 to present. We have had nearly 100 players go on to coach at the HS or College level across the country, and just as many having played NCAA and MCLA lacrosse. Every year we have guys returning to the STL lacrosse scene and getting involved from the youth to college ranks. I know of at least 7 High schools and two colleges in MO right now that have a De Smet lacrosse alumnus on the coaching staff.
SML: Tell us about some of the players to watch for this season.
Kelam: We do not have a guy that has emerged with this group yet but have many that are playing high levels of lacrosse on various club teams and are ready to put it together with their teammates for the 2013 season. We have a lot of team chemistry that has been surfacing the last few months.
SML: Who are some of your biggest rivals?
Kelam: In years past it was MICDS than moved to Rockhurst; seems to be those that you are battling for the playoffs the past few years. Any of the MCC schools will always bring some extra emotion.
SML: Do you have any big trips your team takes this spring?
Kelam: We will be taking 2 trips. 1 in late March to Louisville KY. We will be playing Louisville St. X, Ballard and a team to be named later. Late April we will travel to Brebeuf H.S. in Indy for a tournament. The slate of teams has not been announced.
SML: Tell us about your senior class. How much will they define the season, what have they helped do in their time, and are any of them playing in college?
Kelam: The senior class will play a pivotal role in our success this year. We will lean on them to provide leadership on a relatively young team. They’ve worked hard in the off-season and hopefully that will carry over to success on the field. Benj Besancenez has committed to LU and several others are still looking.
SML: Well, thanks for the time today Coach. We’ll look forward to keeping up with you this Spring.
Kelam: Sounds good.
De Smet begins their Spring season on March 2nd with the High School Jamboree at the A-B Soccer Park in Fenton, Missouri. For more information, and a complete Spring schedule, check out the De Smet Lacrosse Website.