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Editors & Writers: Why We Are Thankful

It would have been selfish for us to write why only one or two of the family was thankful this year, so instead of publishing a rambling letter of gratefulness from Jeff or myself, we decided to ask our blog editors and writers to provide a broad view on “giving thanks”, from across the LAS diaspora.

The diversity of things people are thankful for knows no end, and we’d like to add another thing to the list… Thank YOU, to all of our writers and editors for putting their thanks giving out there for public consumption.

Chris Rosenthall:

I find the older I get, the fewer things there are that really matter to me. The things that do matter? They matter way more. I’m thankful for my friends and family, the opportunity to write for my favorite lacrosse site, the annual alumni game, the people in my life who legitimately don’t care about lacrosse, but politely ask me about it from time to time, and the post-game conversations I hope to never forget: lacrosse advice that applies to life in general, and life advice that applies to lacrosse right back.

Tom Huppmann:

2012 was a great year for me both personally and with respect to lacrosse. I have much to be thankful for. First and foremost, I am thankful for the health of myself and my family, especially that of my wife Heather who celebrated her first Cancerversary. I am thankful that as a parent, husband, and old man, that I still have the opportunity to play ball. I am thankful for how welcoming and accomodating the lacrosse community has been to 24 Seven Lax. Finally, I am thankful to those who read our blog. Thanks.

Paul Woody:

I’m thankful that at age 43, I can still ball. I’m thankful that people take the time to read my drivel. I’m thankful to be a part of the lax community. I’m thankful that I have an amazing and caring family, that understands how much lax means to me, despite the amount of time it drags me away from them.

Ryan Powell:

First off, let me start by saying that I’m thankful for our FREEDOM! A big shout-out to the men and women who have and continue to serve our county. My Uncle “C” is over seas right now doing his part to make sure my lovely wife and my gorgeous daughter will safely enjoy the holiday season. Thank you to my grandfather, uncle’s and the entire military for your service.

I’m also thankful for FAMILY, FRIENDS and the sport of LACROSSE. Each have given me so much in my life; all very different but super important and all play a roll in putting a smile on my face everyday. HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all!!

Catherine Conway:

With our posts restricted to (about) 100 words, I feel that I can not adequately list all which I am thankful for this year, but I will list the big two: 1) I graduated from Boston College in May with the love and support of my family and friends; without them I would not have made it through four years on the Heights. 2) I recently moved to NYC to coach at Manhattan College, and was met with open arms by new, and now very dear, friends. Hopefully these two blanket “thank you’s” are suitable for now… All the best everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Adam Edgington:

I am first and foremost thankful for my daughter.  Fatherhood has opened up a whole new world for me.  Knowing that her love is unconditional and her excitement is genuine just makes life better.  No sound in the world brings as much joy as her laughter. I am thankful for my wife, without whom I would not have my daughter.  It was her urging that connected me to lacrosse and it is her support that has allowed me to develop the game in Iowa.  She has been my rock throughout this whole experience. I am also thankful for my dog; she’s awesome. Does anything else need to be said?

Finally, I am thankful to God, the Creator, for giving us this game that we all hold so dear.  It was his will that brought me into this sport through my wife’s suggestion.  It is his voice that pushes me ahead as I continue to my mission to spread the game across Iowa.  And it was God that provided me with my wife, dog, and daughter.

Payu Nerngchamnong:

Not often do I have time to put my life on pause, and reflect on what I am most thankful for in this break neck pace of our daily lives. However, despite all the great things in my life, I am most thankful for my family, and friends. Without them, sticking with me through “thick, and thin” and whatever life threw at me in recent years, it would have been a very different Payu today had it not been for them. Although I believe that fruitful results come from your own hard work, it’s those around you who are your vital support system… mentally, and physically.

I am graciously thankful to have the support I have received, to help me help lacrosse grow in these new places. It validates all the hard work you put in, and help re-energize mw to tackle all the tasks ahead. Even though this IS a festive season to be thankful, all of us should take the time all through out the year to appreciate all the people, and little things you can be thankful for. I would like to wish everyone in our LAS family a wonderful holiday, wherever you are in the world.

Tyler Steinhardt:

I’m thankful for the lacrosse community. There are so many people whose ties to this game extend well beyond the field. So much good work is being done using the platform of lacrosse, and I’m thankful for all those who are involved with and/or supported those projects. No other sport has the same kind of family we have.

Greg Rose:

To say that I am more thankful for one thing compared to another would be a misstatement; while tragedies of nature and human kind alike can be perceived as bad, the matter of fact is that all things can be seen from a different angle, depending on the person. For the sake of this post, I will not list all of the things I am most thankful for; I doubt you would want to hear about the lovely little cockroach I found in my apartment last week.

To me, I am most grateful and thankful of people and beings who can learn from mistakes without judgment of self or others, find positivity and openness in the direst of straights and love all living things with the same compassion as they do their own mother, brother or pet. I am also thankful for truth; truth is at the core of our being – as the late, great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Vinnie Ricasio:

It’s VERY SIMPLE. I’m very thankful for friends & family, and even the most random of strangers who have been positive in my life. In times of ANY personal, or general need(s), they will listen and answer to the call. I remind myself, each and every day, that the reason where I am now, is due to some form of positive assurance from friends, family and even those random strangers.

Kevin Rowen:

I’m thankful for being able to be with my entire family this holiday season, and so grateful to all of those who have supported me and and my family by donating to my Lacrosse Mustache Madness campaign.

Clay Hillyer:

I am thankful for parents who sacrificed so much in order for me to pursue my dreams, for a brother whose success will know no limits, for a cousin who has always been a big brother to me, for the friends and teammates who have made unforgettable memories with me, for a beautiful girlfriend who loves me and my idiosyncrasies, and for her family who have treated me like a son since the moment I came into their lives. Without them, the things that have brought me great joy would mean very little. Thanks to all.

Ryan Connors:

I recently read a book titled “War” by Sebastian Junger.  Junger spent 15 months embedded with the 173rd Airborne in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan.  The Korengal Valley is considered to be the deadliest place in the world.  Junger details the war “as the soldiers really live it” and dissects the minds of young soldiers in the war.  The book opened my eyes to see what our military goes through on a daily basis to keep us safe.  I am thankful for all our military, especially my friends who have served or are currently serving.  They sacrifice not only their physical health, but their mental health to protect our country.

Nicole Dyrdahl:

I’m thankful for my amazing family, my wonderful partner in crime, my awesome friends, my bad ass dog, Brecken, growing up in a state as beautiful as Colorado, the opportunity to spread the love of lacrosse, the kids I coached, and the opportunity to think freely and live freely.

CJ Greene:

Thankful for the game of lacrosse. This game has brought me some of my closest friends and provided me with some awesome life opportunities. It’s truly amazing how a little ball and stick can impact your life…

A Native Perspective On Thanksgiving:

Before we finish up, I want to share an important email I got from Neal Powless, of the Iroquois Nationals:

please FORWARD this site and share with anyone and everyone you know of that has the potential to chance the way this holiday is presented to young children. It truly does leave an impression on children across the ENTIRE COUNTRY which effects Native people everywhere.



The perspective Neal shared with us does not negate Thanksgiving, or the important values of family, community and sharing. That being said, the article linked to above is powerful, and deserves deep consideration. Seeing as we all play lacrosse, which is a Native cultural emblem, we should be cognizant of how aspects of this holiday can impact others within our own community.


Photo Credit: Larry Palumbo –

In conclusion, and to truly show our thanks, not only to the game, our friends, the service members, and our families, but also to the Native community which has given us all so much, we offer the following prayer, which Richard Roy and the Nadzitsaga-Harney team say before, and after, every game they play. The prayer is a “hybrid” taken from a Catholic prayer and from a prayer/blessing Richard once heard Oren Lyons give:

We give thanks to the Creator for having created us, for all the joys in life, its sorrows too, for the homes you have given us, for the loved ones with which you have surrounded us, for the friends we have made through life.

We give thanks to our Creator for giving us the game of lacrosse, for blessing us with the skills and abilities to play this game, for our opponents today and pray that the Creator watch over all of us and keep us safe.

We pray that the Creator finds our efforts on the field to be pleasing to Him.

Can’t be said better…