Sometimes the greatest athletes age like a fine wine. Alexander Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr are two perfect examples from the world of hockey. Somehow Tom Brady becomes more timeless on the football field every year. In lacrosse, Kyle Harrison is a man that somehow evolving on the field as time passes the rest of us by.
At age 37, this is Harrison’s 16th year of professional lacrosse. After catching buzz from the hater’s after last year’s campaign saying it was time to hang ’em up, Harrison has blazed into 2020 with some heat for the Redwoods offense. In game one, a two-point bomb landed for the veteran and in game two, it was a nice time and room step-down stinging the twine.
One of the best shake-them-out-of-their-shoes midfielders lacrosse has ever seen, Harrison still has that jolt in his step to make even the fleetest of feet defense trip over their shoes. As his game developed, so has his approach to attacking the cage, supporting his teammates and focusing on issues outside of the lines.
Kyle Harrison: Woodshop Series S02E02
Although this episode is from Season 2, it features a man that needs no real introduction, Kyle Harrison. Kyle is one of the most accomplished lacrosse players living today. He’s also an ambassador for the sport, which is a job description that he has defined himself by spreading the game, growing it every chance he gets, and really appearing wherever the sport needs him to appear.
Kyle got an opportunity that I don’t usually give people. We bent a full sized box lacrosse stick. It’s a general bend, and one of the easier bends, so I wanted to make sure that something came out nice, crisp and clean for Kyle.
I was actually cleaning out last year’s inventory, so he got the chance to split the log for his own stick.
*Excerpt from the the video dialogue*
Skaggs to Harrison: The biggest misunderstanding with the actual steam bending is that it’s the moisture that does what it needs to do. It’s actually just a conduit for heat. You’re literally melting the wood. You’re not, you know, making it soggy to the point where it bents. You can go down that road, but then, it’s like 7 or 8 months to dry.
Voiceover: While the stick was cooking in the steamer, I wanted Rich to teach Kyle what it was like to string with gutwall. I know he’s not necessarily a stringer, but no one uses gutwall, so this is gonna be something unique and something that not a lot of people get an opportunity to do.
Justin Skaggs: So, what made you want to come in?
Kyle Harrison: Well, for starters, I’ve obviously always seen wood sticks, but never understood how they’re made, outside of what I see quickly on social media, so that part was intriguing, understanding the history of the game. How sticks are created and made at the beginning is really dope, but as a kid, my dad played with a wooden stick…
JS: ’Til when?
KH: I don’t know, years…
JS: High school or something?
KH: Yeah, definitely high school at the beginning, then he used STX’s first plastic stick and we still have that one hanging in the house.
This is cool. I think probably everybody at some point who plays lacrosse should do this, right?
JS: I’d like to give that kind of opportunity, cause right now, I mean, working with Penn and things like that could bring young kids in here to this, so if they don’t want to make lacrosse sticks, I mean, then at least they know what it’s like to make something.
KH: Yeah, 100%. I think this is actually like a good starting point, I think
JS: Oh, yeah, because it’s abstract as hell.
KH: Yeah, yeah. When you’re introducing kids to the sport, this is a good place to start.
JS: Yeah, after this, you can definitely make a table. (laughs)
It was an honor to have Kyle Harrison in the wood shop. And, to be honest, it’s an honor to have Kyle wherever he is. He grows the game, and truly cares about the sport and the next generation that’s going to play it.
Here’s to you, K18.