Grow the Game®

Today's installment is dedicated to Robby Schartner, a loved and respected college lacrosse player we will always miss. Join me on #TeamThree today.
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Today’s installment is dedicated to Robby Schartner. I hope you’ll join me on #TeamThree.

The lacrosse community is still mourning the loss of a loved and respected college juniorRobby Schartner. The marketing student athlete from Brookfield, Connecticut, was the tragic victim of a drunk driving accident this past Sunday. That type of loss is inexcusable in our book and it calls for raising awareness as we honor Robby’s full life.

Manhattanville College President Michael Geisler, Ph.D. addressed students, faculty and staff of the school with the following passage about Robby’s commitment to his team:

“In his three years as a men’s lacrosse player Robert earned his spot on the team the hard way.  It was not easy for him, but the sacrifices he made inspired the team and epitomized what it means to be a scholar-athlete at Manhattanville.  The level of Robert’s commitment to his team could never come into question; whatever he was asked to do, he did with a smile on his face. That was his understanding of what it means to be a true teammate. We are all in shock and we extend our prayers and condolences to his family members and friends.”

My Launch teammate Owen Blye coached Robby at Manhattanville College.  When Owen reached out to me we decided to give this cause all the firepower we had as ambassadors of the lacrosse community.

Jacksonville U on #TeamThreeThe World Lacrosse Foundation – led by Heather Chase O’Neill – followed up this week by honoring Robby’s life with a #TeamThree campaign across social media.

I led the charge with a post on Wednesday and we proved that the lacrosse community is strung tighter than a tennis racket.  We abide by our mission of supporting sick and injured lacrosse players and we tried to take it to another level to honor this awesome young man.

We quickly garnered and reposted over 50 images of lacrosse players, coaches, teammates and entire lacrosse teams holding up threes for Robby.  We pray that this tribute was an example of the support the lacrosse community is able to provide for the Schartner family in their time of need.

CPWLF #TeamThree CampaignEveryone that was moved by this story shines light on the darkness of drunk driving.  Every single person that sent a #TeamThree picture was touched by Robby’s life.  Every person that sees a #TeamThree picture will be touched by his life.

I must admit.  We had some wind in our sails here at the World Lacrosse Foundation when attempting to launch our social media campaign to honor Robby.  We had the back drop of a sports story I like to call one of those “mini miracle moments” that doesn’t get nearly enough TV coverage.  (For some unstrange reason.)

Thirty-year old Brandon Berry had a seizure while attending an Arizona Fall League baseball game. It just happened to have been a minor league game former Jet quarterback with a strong Evangelical Christian upbringing was playing the Outfield in.

Tim TebowBrandon Berry went down in the stands on the 3rd base line and was briefly unconscious.  He remembers being disoriented, “Then I saw Tim” Brandon said specifically.

“Then I saw Tim.”

That’s when I started thinking. If I went down in a #22’s medical emergency heap and the hulking blue-eyed 2007 Florida Gator Heisman trophy winning quarterback knelt beside me and started praying – I would imagine there would be a pretty sizeable improvement in my mental condition no matter what my physical condition was.  At least, I would know that I wasn’t alone.

That’s what’s important and that’s why we reached far and wide to support the Schartner family and honor Robby’s life.  Here comes a Tim Tebow quote that made it to the CPWLF locker room wall for motivation through tough times this week:

“In my opinion, it’s not even a choice, it’s the right thing to do.  It’s what you are supposed to do, in my opinion just try to in those moments try to be there for people and try to help people, because there is not a bigger, better more important thing you can do in life than be there for people in need…. what is more important to do? Go on the bus and catch up on social media? Catch up on the game? What am I going to do in the next 24 hours or the next week or the rest of my life? When someone is in need what are you ever going to do that is more important than that?”

Thank you Tim.  Nothing is more important than that.  And nothing is more important than that to the World Lacrosse Foundation.

It’s about having a dream and being a worker.

– Tim Tebow


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