By John Smithson
As the North Myrtle Beach varsity lacrosse team began their season, I had the chance to talk with coach Dan Rosa. At that time many weeks ago, I witnessed an energetic group of boys and girls, players going through drills and practice guided by assistant coaches. Two students were there that day to volunteer their time as managers for the team.
Rosa was pleased with his program and its growth in such a short time. He was even setting a goal for his boys team to end their season with a winning record. On Sunday, I again spoke with Coach Rosa to get his feelings about the final cancellation of the spring sports season.
“Well, we did end our season with a winning record. We were 4-3 after seven games. Our last game was against Carolina Forest on a Thursday. We won that one in overtime to get our winning record at the time. We practiced the next day but I cancelled practice on the weekend because I knew that when they cancelled school our season was over,” Rosa said.
As far as trying to keep his team ready to play if school resumed, Rosa stated that they were restricted from doing anything formal with the team. “I think the players were hopeful that maybe we could come back and they could do things individually to keep sharp, but there was nothing I could monitor. There were YouTube drills out there and things like that, but as time went on I believe they got deflated with all the social distancing and quarantine aspects of the virus. I think there became a time when we knew we weren’t going to play again this year,” Rosa said.
As bad as things turned out, Rosa still felt that his players didn’t have it as bad as some. “Before the season ended, I remember that we had scrimmaged a team from Virginia in our preparations for the season. That coach called last week and said we were the only game they got to play. I guess in retrospect we didn’t fare as bad as some. We played seven games. Most teams up north never were able to have any season since they started later than us. In some ways we were fortunate,” he said.
Rosa also spoke about the surprises in life. “I hope our kids now realize that there are no guarantees in life. You don’t know when something can happen, an injury, or even something like this virus that will mean you’ve played your last game. They are now living through something like that,” Rosa said.
Rosa felt sorry for all his players, including seniors, whose season ended abruptly. ”We had seniors who were reaching out to see about playing in college and we had some who were in career paths where schools had no lacrosse. It really will be an individual mindset and choice to see if and where they might play again and I’ll help where I can,” Rosa concluded.