Editor’s note: This is guest post from Muamer Razic, a kid with a dream to grow lacrosse in Kentucky. Read on and see what you can do to help him out!
Imagine walking out on to the lacrosse field, it’s your very first time experiencing what it truly takes to be a lacrosse player.
All the practice and hard work that you’ve put in will show all the doubters, non-believers, haters, and even your teammates, that you have what it takes and that with enough determination and will power, anything is possible.
My name is Muamer Razic, and I can’t lie and say that I’ve played lacrosse all my life and have always been in love with the game. In truth, I have spent more time on the basketball court practicing my crossovers and jump shots than on the lacrosse field practicing my split-dodges and behind the back shots.
I started playing organized lacrosse my sophomore year of high school. The summer of my freshman year I met my soon-to-be best friend, Frankie Burkett. Frankie is a long time laxer and played up in New York before moving down to Bowling Green with his family. We quickly became best friends and spent most of our time hanging out. He soon introduced me to lacrosse. He had played lacrosse for most of his life and he turned out to be a great player, and an even better coach.
The first time I ever picked up a lacrosse stick was at his house. That day he tried teaching me how to play, but I was doing so bad, I mean his 8 year old brother made me look like a fool. I got so frustrated and just quit trying, he gave me a stick and a ball to take home, but I told him it would be pointless because I thought that I wouldn’t ever try to play again. To my surprise I actually got really interested in the sport. I used YouTube to look up lacrosse highlights, tricks, and how-to videos on how to play. I saw a lot of cool stuff on there and decided I would go ahead and give it a try.
I can honestly say that for the rest of my freshman year and my entire summer, I spent 24/7 with Frankie and YouTube, learning how to play. Frankie was such a great help, he was constantly over, helping me learn how to play the game, and what to do/how I could improve myself. My life had become devoted to lacrosse; I had fallen in love with the game.
Frankie encouraged me to play my freshman year, but I could still barely catch, let alone cradle the ball. I didn’t want to go out there and embarrass myself. So I decided just to sit out that year and to do whatever I could to improve my skills so that I could become a halfway decent lacrosse player. When the time came for fall ball I knew I was ready. It was the first day of fall ball and I was more nervous than I had ever been in my life. I set aside my nerves and did everything as best as I could. At the end of fall ball we all came together and the coaches we’re talking about stuff to work on and what they saw that impressed them.
The next thing I know, the coach, Michael Timmer, calls my name. Now, being new to the sport and thinking that I did awful, I figured it would be something bad, so I came to expect the worst. To my surprise he complimented me on how well I did and that I impressed him for a first year player and that he loved my determination. The assistant coach, Tony Simms, looked at me with a shocked look on his face. He thought that I had played before and told me that I had a lot of potential as long as I kept working hard. All of theses comments made me just want to work even harder and do better than I had done at fall ball.
The time had come. I made the team and now it was time for my very first game. I stepped off the bus and onto the field and just stood there for a moment thinking to myself about how I wanted this game to play out and what I really wanted to accomplish. Since this was my first game, I didn’t assume that I would play much, if at all. As I was putting my equipment on my coach starts naming off the starters and the mid-field lines. He called my name for the 2nd line of middies, I was so shocked, but also glad that I would get a chance to prove myself. It turned out that all my hard work was finally starting to pay off. I put on my jersey, #23, and proceeded with warm-ups.
The whistle blew, my first game as a lacrosse player had started.
The first quarter did not go our way at all. We were down by 6 goals and you could tell that we were losing confidence. Coach started to talk to us, he told us to keep our heads up and just to have fun playing the game. We listened but didn’t follow through with it. It took a jaw-dropping hit from our goalie to get us fired up.
(Editor’s Note: OH. MY. GOD. That might be one of the biggest bull dodges ever.)
After that happened we all got fired up and went on to win the game 17-6. All it took was something to get us fired up, and after that, we went on and did the rest.
That was my first season as a laxer, and man did I love it. We went on to make history and go to the playoffs for the first time. I will never forget my teammates, brothers, from that season that helped me learn more about the game and improve my skills. The end of the year banquet was bitter-sweet. I was sad to see my senior teammates leave, but was glad that I would have another chance to prove myself on the field and that they we’re going on to pursue their lacrosse careers.
During all of this excitement and great news about my first ever lacrosse season, a new high school was being built in my city. South Warren High School: the most state of the art high school in Kentucky. And along with some of my teammates, I was redistricted from Greenwood to South Warren. This crushed us, but thankfully we were told that we would be able to continue playing with Greenwood since they are only a club team and happen to be the only lacrosse club in Bowling Green.
Now, South Warren is an amazing school, don’t get me wrong, I love it. Since it’s a new school it’s all based on starting “new traditions.” So one day as I was playing wall ball, I got the idea to start a lacrosse club at South Warren. I figured that if they were starting new traditions that I could go ahead and help start my own. I contacted the principal, Terry Cook, because I was on the committee to help out with deciding the logos and other stuff like that, so it was easy to get in touch with him.
He informed me that I should contact Mrs. Hester, our assistant principal. I emailed her asking her if she could help me out and tell me everything that I needed to do in order to start a lacrosse club. After she had informed of what needed to be done, I quickly got to work. I wrote up all the by-laws, found a teacher to sponsor us, came up with rules and stuff like that.
It was time for club rush. I had a table set up in our cafeteria with papers, magazines, and stuff that would show people what lacrosse was because it is not very popular in Bowling Green.
I didn’t really expect that many people to sign up, but to my surprise we had about 60 kids come and sign up in just that one day. I was so glad that so many people were interested in lacrosse. I knew that it would be hard to get everything organized and set up for the club, but I wanted to be able to look back in a few years and see more high schools in Bowling Green have lacrosse clubs and be able to say that I helped start that tradition and contributed to the growth of the sport in Bowling Green.
Now to the tough part, as I have been getting everything ready and teaching people about/how to play the game I have come to realize that there is no way that it is possible for me to teach even just half of these kids.
Because we have no equipment whatsoever. So far, what I have been doing to teach people is just bringing the few extra sticks I have and borrowing some from Dr. Timothy Donley at Greenwood Lacrosse. In all, we have about 10 sticks to use to teach 60 people how to play… even if it was just half of those kids we still wouldn’t have close to enough sticks.
I really need some help with this LAS readers. I really want to spread lacrosse in my city, but I’m gonna be honest… I can’t do it by myself. If there is any way that someone wants to help, you can reach me through Lax All Stars. (Editor’s note: email us at [email protected])
If you feel like going a little more old school, you can even get/renew magazine subscriptions, buy cookie dough and restaurant cards to help us. If you go to our efundraising site, you can do it all from there and part of those proceeds will go to us. They have so many magazines and stuff like that, so you could renew your Sports Illustrated subscription or something like that, anything you can do will help us.
I know that there are grants that we can apply for, but all the deadlines have passed and we have to wait until next year to apply for them. We really just need some sticks so that we can teach people how to play. They don’t have to be good sticks. Anything will suffice. So if anyone has any extra lacrosse sticks that they don’t use, we’ll take ’em!
Thank you so much for your time,
Spartan Lacrosse President
I would also like to thank Dr. Timothy Donley, Mrs. Funkhouser, Mrs. Guelde, and everyone else who has believed in me and helped me with this task. Also thank you to LAS for letting me post this article. (Editor’s note: Thank YOU Muamer, for growing the game! Let’s see what the LAS Nation can do to help you out!!!)