“When you make the choice to commit to your teammates, it makes it that much easier for them to commit to you.” That is the message Head Varsity Coach Mike DeWitt left with the players of the Rockford High School Boys Lacrosse program on the last morning of conditioning before the start of the season.
Commitment is the choice the players are making. It isn’t just during the season that the Rams put their noses to the grindstone. The team has been contributing to their choice of commitment since the fall.
Coaches and players have dedicated their time to countless hours both on and off the field through team lifts, 4-Man skill sessions, and speed and agility workouts. Of equal importance, if not more, the boys have been active in the community volunteering their time to Rockford Community Services, Rockford Athletics, fundraising and at guiding youth lacrosse players at camps on Sunday nights.
A key component to the TEAM concept starts with Coach DeWitt’s message of the Varsity, JVA and JVB teams being one united under the same banner – TEAM 20. This season will mark the 20th for Rockford Lacrosse and the TEAM concept is written into the program’s DNA. Whether it’s taking a team trip to South Bend to watch Notre Dame and Maryland face off in a top ranked Division 1 lacrosse game, or showing up for a week of early morning preseason conditioning at 5:30am, all players, freshman through seniors, spend time together growing as a program.
“Two years ago when we first started our morning conditioning the week before season, we had 18 players make it all five days. As coaches, we were pretty excited with that number. I couldn’t imagine that just a couple of years later we would have 53 who showed up for the full week. The players’ commitment to a sport they love, and to each other, makes them even more enjoyable to coach and be around. I can’t wait to watch their offseason efforts pay off this spring,” said Coach DeWitt.
It’s going to be a busy stretch in the next two weeks as the varsity team, which comes into the season ranked fifth in Division 1, will wrap up tryouts with 3 scrimmages in Hudsonville on March 18. Just a few days later, on March 21, Team 20 will travel to Birmingham for a scrimmage against defending state champion Brother Rice. Team 20 will use the scrimmages to build momentum for their season opener at home on March 23 vs Okemos before traveling on March 23 to face Ann Arbor Pioneer. Both teams are ranked in the top 8 in Division 2 and Division 1, respectively.
Come cheer on the Rams this season as they begin their quest to make a run towards the playoffs. The schedule and more information can be found on the team’s website www.rockfordlacrosse.com.