Editor’s Note: The entire Oregon lacrosse community is feeling a monumental loss today after one of their own was killed in a senseless act of violence. Richard Roy is back on LaxAllStars.com with sad news, but he also tells some wonderful stories about Fred “Fritz” Hayes, and we hope that these stories can help the community begin to heal. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Oregon lacrosse community, and all who knew Fritz. May he rest in peace.
On Monday September 17, the Oregon lacrosse community lost one of their own in a senseless and random act of violence. Fred “Fritz” Hayes, an Oregon lacrosse official, was stabbed to death at his home by an unknown assailant.
I did not know Fritz all that well, but this lacrosse coach will remember him as very professional, knowledgable, caring, competent, in control, and genuinley interested in the game, and the kids. The first of our games that Fritz officiated was the 2010 OHSLA Wild Card game between us and Sprague High School. This was a hard fought game that we won in overtime. The game was tense, loud and emotional and Fritz clearly demonstrated who was in charge. I came away quite impressed with his abilities.
In 2011 Fritz worked two of our games. In an early season game versus Hillsboro, Fritz and I had a little fun. We ran several different rides and one was called Zebra. I called the “Zebra” ride numerous times by yelling “Zebra, Zebra, Zebra.”
Finally, Fritz turned around and asked “what do you want coach?”
I replied, somewhat confused, “nothing.”
Fritz replied, “Then why are you yelling at us?”
I said, “I am not.”
Fritz retorted, “But you keep on calling me Zebra!”
It then dawned on me that Fritz thought I was calling the officials “Zebras” to get their attention. I explained to him I was calling for a specific ride, not calling out the officials. We had a good laugh, and he suggested I come up with another name for that particular ride!
During 2010/11 I had worked with the Klamath Falls (OR) YMCA to help get their lacrosse program established. They had received a USLacrosse grant for equipment. I worked with the KFalls YMCA, the Oregon High School Lacrosse Association, Oregon Lacrosse Officials Association and Roseburg High School to play a game in Klamath Falls.
Fritz “volunteered” to work the game and drove over 275 miles one way from Lake Oswego, Oregon. Fritz arrived at the field early and saw me lining the field by myself. He walked out onto the field, said “Hi, coach”, and proceeded to help me line the field. After the game both teams put on a lacrosse clininc for local kids and parents. Instead of leaving right after the game, Fritz stayed for the clinic and mingled among the parents.
Fritz did not have to drive 275 miles one way (550 miles round trip), he did not have to help me line the field, nor did he need to stay for the clinic. But he did, because he cared about what we were trying to accomplish, and he wanted to help spread the game to more remote and rural areas of Oregon. He cared about the game and he cared about the kids.
Our lacrosse program will honor Fritz on Saturday October 13th during the 40th Annual Burns Paiute Tribe Reservation Day, Reception, Lacrosse Tournament and Pow Wow by playing a Medicine Game. The game for Fritz will be the last game of the day. We will play to honor Fritz and to help heal his family and the Oregon lacrosse community.
Rest in Peace, Fritz.
Richard Roy, Head Coach