As a student athlete, a lot is expected of you. When coming onto campus as a freshman, there’s a lot going through your head. But with the season fast approaching, the only thing you’re really thinking about is, how am I going to prove myself to the coaches, and stand out among the rest of the team?
Making the transition from highschool to a top tier D3 lacrosse program is not easy. Not only on the field, but in the locker room as well. There are many different personalities, both player and person colliding for the first time, and at times can be intimidating. Coming from high school, where all of us were generally standout athletes, there’s a lot on our plate to put out performance wise, as well as become friends and eventually brothers with our teammates. The key to making all of these things come together and forming bonds that will never be broken, is the unity of the team.
The unity that is formed within the Men’s Lacrosse team is like no other that I have ever experienced. So fast we are all forced into such a wild environment with school, practice, team lifts, and living on our own for the first time. But one thing that makes all of these things much easier and much more fun is the brotherhood within our team that we developed a sense for before even stepping on campus. From my overnight visit part way through my senior year of highschool, I could tell that these guys were much more than just teammates, but brothers.
The unity that this team has developed over the many successful years of its existence, has not come from just the players. The coaches are what started it and have nurtured it into what it is today. You can tell just by looking at the coaches themselves. Keith Bugbee has been the head coach here since his mid 20’s, and every year he has players 1-2 years removed coaching alongside him because the love they developed for this team during their time as a player.
As well as the coaches, the captains and upperclassmen really showed me how much they loved one another and what they were willing to do to not only better themselves and the program, but unify us young guys and teach us the Springfield way so that it is always passed down, and the traditions of this team never die. They do this in multiple ways, whether it’s early morning off-season conditioning, pickup basketball or lacrosse, or just getting us all together to just hangout and be friends outside of the lacrosse environment.
The success of the program speaks for itself. But the underlying factors that no one sees from outside the circle of this team are what really make us as good as we are. From the moment you tell Coach Bugbee you want to play for him as a 17 or 18 year old kid, to the moment you die, you will have the feeling of unity. The brotherhood that is created within this team is something that lasts a lifetime.