Welcome to our Insider spotlight series, where we recognize a member of our Insider community who is doing their part to Grow the Game of lacrosse.
Today’s spotlight is on Kevin Farrell, who works for a technology and digital consulting company and still finds time to balance a wife and two kids, along with lacrosse and other hobbies.
Kevin, welcome to the Insider family!
Insider Spotlight: Kevin Farrell
Lacrosse All Stars: Where do you currently live?
Kevin Farrell: Herndon, VA
LAS: Please describe the state of lacrosse in your area.
KF: Lacrosse has come a long way in the Northern VA area in the last dozen years or so since when my son started playing in 2007. All the high schools have teams, there a half dozen or so quality club teams, and the area increasingly sends kids off to the top DI, DII, and DIII programs around the US. The level of coaching is the most noticeable aspect that I have seen improvement in, which directly translates into better lacrosse players.
LAS: What else do you like to do? (Work, hobbies, etc.).
KF: I work for a mid-sized, very fun technology and digital consulting company based in Reston, VA and manage some of the accounts and contracts we have with the federal government. My wife and i have been married for 23+ years. I have a son who is a junior in High School, and a daughter in 6th grade, both of whom play lacrosse. I continue to play ice hockey and am a rabid DC sports fan, especially the Caps, Redskins, and Nationals. I am also a huge college lacrosse fan.
LAS: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
KF: It would be seafood of any type – can’t live without it!
LAS: What has been your history in lacrosse? (i.e. How did you start, where have you been since then, etc.)
KF: I grew up in Annapolis, MD, so lacrosse is a part of growing up for many. I went to St. Mary’s School in Annapolis, where the High School lacrosse team was / is often nationally ranked in the top 10. That said, I never played organized lacrosse (instead playing ice hockey and baseball growing up and throughout high school). Many friends from Annapolis were amazing lacrosse players and went on the play in college. My son was born in 2002, and has always had a ball or stick in his hands. We signed him up for lacrosse at age 5 and he continues to be an lacrosse freak to this day. My daughter was born in 2007 and also started playing when she was 5. So, while I have a long history being exposed to lacrosse, I have only been directly involved since 2007.
LAS: How are you currently involved in lacrosse? (Player, coach, etc.).
KF: I am an avid supporter of my kids in their lacrosse pursuits and follow college lacrosse extensively. I have volunteered as a scorekeeper, field marshal, or whatever other duty needed filling during my kids lacrosse games. As a junior in High School at Oakton HS, my son is engaged in the college recruiting process, and I am involved in helping him research opportunities, reach out to coaches, and generally advise him along the way.
LAS: What have you done to grow the sport in your current area?
KF: Really, just supporting my kids and their programs as much as possible. Attending college games with the kids whenever we have a free weekend day.
LAS: What is the biggest obstacle for the growth of lacrosse in your area?
KF: While it has improved in the last decade, I think the biggest obstacle is the quality of coaching at the younger youth levels. Fundamentals are so important in any sport, especially in lacrosse, and having experienced, quality coaches is essential to youth development. As the game has grown in Northern Virginia, we are starting to see the college players come back and help coach the kids during breaks and after college, and that is huge for continued growth of the game.
LAS: What has been your biggest accomplishment when it comes to growing the game?
KF: Raising two kids who both love to play and watch lacrosse. Having never played organized lacrosse (but always wishing I had), I have instilled a love for the game in my kids and encourage them in all aspects to grow the game.
LAS: What inspires you about lacrosse the most?
KF: It’s just an amazing, beautiful game, combining the bests aspects of other sports such as ice hockey, soccer, and basketball. The lacrosse community itself is one that is competitive but generally collegial and we have experienced some really good programs (and amazing parents) with Herndon-Reston Youth Lacrosse (son/daughter); Evergreen Hammers Lacrosse Club (son); and the 2018 VA 6A state champion Oakton High School Lacrosse (son).
LAS: Do you have a favorite lacrosse team? Favorite player(s)? Please tell us who and why.
KF: I was fortunate via my schooling to attend lacrosse powerhouse institutions at every level – I attended St. Mary’s High School, then transferred to Annapolis High School (to play baseball); Anne Arundel Community College; Towson University (undergrad); and Syracuse University (grad school). That said, my favorite team from early on has always been the Maryland Terrapins.
LAS: If you could change one thing about our sport, what would it be and why?
KF: I think the shot clock will prove to be a great change, and I like how the sport has always been willing to experiment with change. For me, the biggest issue I have encountered involves the sportsmanship and respect of the players for each as as brother / sister warriors – most times it is great, but when it is not, it is ugly and needs to be fixed.
LAS: What lessons and skills have you learned from the game of lacrosse?
KF: For me, having never played lacrosse but other sports (ice hockey, baseball, soccer), the lessons are many as they transcend sports to work and life: respect the game and the rules, learn the fundamentals, and play hard, but have fun.
LAS: Why should someone take up the sport of lacrosse?
KF: Lacrosse is the most exciting, fun sport out there. In addition, the friendships and lessons learned from lacrosse will stay with you throughout your life.
LAS: What is your greatest lacrosse memory?
KF: The Maryland Terps winning the National Championship in 2017 (and ending the national title drought that began after its last championship in 1975).
LAS: Where is the coolest place that you have traveled to play or coach lacrosse?
KF: With my son’s Evergreen Hammer’s club team, we have been up and down the East Coast for summer and fall tournaments. One of my favorite places to visit is Williamsburg due to the history and beautiful town; another favorite is my hometown, Annapolis, MD.
Special thanks to Kevin for doing the interview!