Last week we started looking at Failed Lacrosse Innovations in our Old School posts, and while we got a ton of submissions for NEXT week’s Failed Lacrosse Innovation, we also got a legitimate Old School product that just never took off in a major way… but we would hardly call it failed!
The EverPocket is one of the more interesting traditional pocket inventions we’ve laid out eyes on in a long time, and it’s been around for DECADES! We got a note from the Inventor of the EverPocket, Doug Trettin, (who now runs SONofaHON in Maryland) and from the sound of things, it might even be making a comeback:
In the 80s, I invented a product called EverPocket. The EverPocket is a traditional lacrosse pocket that is strung with double-sided buttons and can be tranferred from one head to another. It is NCAA approved. The buttons I used back in the day were made of nylon plastic – I’m in the process of bringing it back using aircraft aluminum and/or titanium buttons (EverPocket2 & TiEP). My website is http://www.sonofahon.com
I’ve attached a photo of an original I still use today!
After receiving that note, and the photo above, we were fortunate enough to speak with Doug for a bit, and he regaled us with the history of the EverPocket and it reads like a who’s who of lacrosse back in the 1980s. It’s really quite an incredible story, and one we’re honored to share. Take it away, Doug:
I thought of the idea in the mid-80s after a teammate of mine at the University of Maryland broke his Laser Hi-Wall, cut out his traditional pocket, and transplanted the pocket into another head using safety pins. The original buttons were made from a nylon plastic and are single-piece and double-sided. Stewart Friant (Amisco Warrior) made the custom arbor press to punch/slit the leathers.
I received a U.S. patent in 1989. I offered the pockets in “kit” form to string your own and I offered it “pre-strung” to be buttoned into heads. The pre-strung pockets were woven in a Loom.
Looking back, the product was not ready to bring to market, but I did so anyway. I approached STX (Fielding Lewis at the time) and Brine (Bill Brine at the time) in an attempt to partner up, but with no success. Back then, I believe STX held the rights to the plastic head ,with Brine paying them a royalty to sell their heads (oligopoly perhaps?).
I worked with several retailers including Bacharach Rasin (Joe Gold) and Lax World (Lance Holden and Jim Darcangelo)… but again, the product was not perfected and my impression is that most retailers saw EverPocket as a threat because they were keepers of the “custom” traditional pockets that went into plastic heads.
Eventually, I focused my energy on family, with my wife and 3 kids, which meant following a different career path.
Doug also filled us in on how we came to love traditional pockets so much, and who some of the biggest influences were in his lacrosse life. Talk about a walk down memory lane… this are some PRICELESS stories!
While growing up in Severna Park, Maryland, I learned to string traditional lacrosse pockets from a master, Chuck Jones. It was 1973, and I was 10 years old at the time. I was in 3rd/4 th grade and played with Chuck and several other great Green Hornets (State Team/Midgets), including Michael Burnett (UNC/Hall of Fame) who were all in 6th grade at the time. Chuck was the originator of Flow – all of our opponents called him “Charlotte” because of his long blonde hair flowing from the back of his helmet.
Being called Charlotte aside, we got the last laugh because we won the State Championship that year. One of Chuck’s signature pocket characteristics was long, flowing, frayed string ends (like his hair!). Chuck liked to experiment with all kinds of pockets, including Bobby Pool’s pre-formed pocket, which was new at the time. I’ll never forget discreetly making my way into the forest next to the American Legion field to weep after my custom dyed and strung head by Chuck (the “Dougie Special”) broke. So sad!
Another person who was a huge influence on me was Navy’s legendary equipment guy, Tommy Adams – he actually kept notes on how each player liked his pocket strung! He was great man; I remember not wanting to leave his equipment room! Anyway, I have always been the stick doctor on all my teams…I’ve been stringing pockets for 39 years!
I hand delivered an EverPocket to Okey O’Connor (Hall of Fame) in Glen Burnie, Maryland – he took me into his basement, the contents of which resembled the U.S. Lacrosse Museum & Hall of Fame! His collection of lacrosse artifacts was amazing! I could have stayed there all day! Another great memory.
For me, after being a four year varsity lacrosse starter at Severn School (the first 2 coached by Hall of Famer Ed Mullen), I got my fair share of recognition, including being inducted to Severn’s Athletic Hall of Fame. We were also MSA champs in 1981 and 1982 under Dave Cottle. I was a starting attackman for the TERPS and Loyola University, and managed All USCLA Honorable Mention in 1993.
In 2011, I started a company called SONofaHON, which is an Outfitting Company in Maryland. We offer Clothing, Gear, and Accessories, with hopes of reviving the EverPocket using aircraft aluminum and/or Titanium buttons!
TO see more on the EverPocket, check out SonofaHon.com! A HUGE thanks goes out to Doug for sharing his lacrosse invention story with us. It’s definitely one of the more interesting traditional variations we’ve ever seen and could be popular now with all the new pocket stick stringing rules in place!