Even This Year We Have Plenty To Be Thankful For

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  2020 will be a standalone noun pretty soon.  It will join those select short descriptors that most Americans will understand intuitively. 9/11 Pearl Harbor D-Day 2020 will be known as the worst year of our lives for a long time to come . . . well, it better be, none of us want to experience what makes that false. Go back to the beginning of the year, even before Covid shook all of us up.  Death, illness and serious injury hit the Florida lacrosse community early and often.  I’ve usually had one per year to deal with and this year it was 5 separate incidents. I don’t need to recap the effects on the economy, plenty of the readers have been affected, either through a family member passing away from the virus or having a difficult recovery period.  A business collapsing and savings being depleted, or even worse.  The mental anguish that comes from the uncertainty.  So much to process, and for some, no answers that make sense. So why am I also thankful this year? Well, first I’m alive and writing this.  That was a simply assumption for me before this year, but it won’t be anymore.  No one in my family passed away but my family size is so small.  That’s not true for the lacrosse community and I offer our solace and condolences to those who did lose loved ones. A small thing for us down here is that we did have half or more of the high school season to enjoy before the shutdown and not much of the country can say that.  In most states the season never even started.  We got to go out to some games when others didn’t.  We experienced triumph and disappointment . . . saw programs rise to new heights . . . saw our high school kids given great coverage nationally for their showcase performances . . . and a few of our rising college freshmen given the same coverage.   Click HERE for the IL Story   Click HERE for the IL Story   We sampled the two-class system . . . but didn’t see how the playoffs will work nor the new state championship weekend location. The Club season snuck a few events in over the summer and this is the first Saturday in 5 weeks I am not on the road for an event. I’m thankful for our new FLN tent and it’s seen 3 of those events so far and it will be a staple going forward.  Lacrossewear did a fantastic job with it and for those who haven’t seen it yet, here’s what it looks like when you are attending a weekend event:     Stop by and say Hi when you see it and me!  I’m also thankful to those who help me put up the tent and fold it back up.  As many of you know, putting one up or taking it down by yourself is no easy task. I’m thankful for the growth of the Girl’s game at the youth level.  The Boys are still coming out strong for their side and some of my favorite times at a Club event is watching the youngest kids showing their passion and now the younger girls are filling out their age groups too.  I first saw it about 4 years ago at a Boca Jets clinic where there were girls as young as 6. I’m thankful for the way my beloved Statesmen started their season . . . 3 big wins to start and a highly competitive game in the Carrier Dome against the #1 team in the rankings.  Leading the nation in Goals Per Game as a throwback to my days in school.  A national ranking when the season was halted.     I’m thankful for the continued friendships I’ve made in this community, through thick and thin.  The coaches and ex-Coaches who always have time to discuss where their program is at, both high school and college, and who they are looking at to recruit/help get recruited.  The referees, who tell the best stories when they are alone . . . at some events they have their own break room and I get to hang out there and listen.  The parents who ride the roller coaster through the years from youth onward . . . who are dedicated to giving their children the opportunity to see how good they can get and how far they can go.  And who always stop by with an encouraging word and even a lunch or bottle of water, and I appreciate the gesture even more than the food. I’m thankful to the players for providing both the action I get to cover as well as the interaction with me.  The goodwilled joshing about a perceived slight in the poll or a lack of coverage . . . but also understanding how rare FLN is in the lacrosse community compared to so many other states.     I’m thankful to the contributors of content to us: parents and coaches who send in Game Recaps and photos for use.  Seth Green, Victor, Paul, Tom and so many of you out there who help keep the information flowing to the community.  The SID’s at the colleges who supply press releases so you can keep up to date on the schools.  And the kids who provide their input to the Recruit Commitment questionnaire so we can publish those articles too. I’m thankful we were able to play a small role in shining a light on an issue we all hope goes away ASAP, when it comes to judging by skin color instead of character . . .     I’m thankful that I can correspond with Alex Ozuna up in Gainesville to get an answer from the FHSAA’s side of things.  Alex is patient with me, which is good since I can sometimes get on a soap box with him and he understands it’s about the good of the sport as I perceive, not as a shot at them. I’m thankful that the national lacrosse media still takes my emails and stops by when in town, like Terry Foy did last weekend.  And that my media buddy Wells is still around to talk to. I’m VERY thankful for our team at FLN and we are working on a lot of exciting stuff that will take us to the next level . . . a few of you are privy but until we’ve got everything nailed down we’ll keep it underwraps, but be assured they will be HUGE for our community if put into action! I’m also VERY thankful for my family for allowing me to indulge in all this.  Many of you know about and even frequent my son’s business, Just Baked Boca, and I can’t stress enough how gratifying it is to see your child happy, healthy and building a business from scratch to success!   Just Baked Boca on Instagram   As we go into the final month of the year, with a few more events coming up, we at FLN wish all of you a better end to the year and some momentum into 2021.  We all hope the Covid vaccines work as advertised and that we are ready to go with our favorite sport when the high school and college seasons roll around.  We’ll be more active going into the month and you’ll start to see our shift gradually to a more visual path forward. Thank you for continuing to read and enjoy our site! Lee