April 12, 2016.
Eight years into my now 15-year journalism career, it was the first day I ever covered a game for Boston Lax. Reading hosting Wakefield. A bit cold and raw as you’d expect early in the season. I can’t remember the final (I think Reading won, Hardy might kill me for not remembering), but I know I’ve got the notebook my notes are in saved somewhere.
I had been on the sidelines for a game hundreds of times in my life, but this was the first time I was nervous about watching lacrosse.
Not because I didn’t know the game. I grew up in the Billerica and Waltham youth systems, did the book for my dad during his days as the Burlington head coach, played for Waltham in high school and then helped out the New England College program during my time there. I went to my first Boston Blazers game at six years old and had Cannons season tickets for years.
Covering the game and not sounding like an idiot was the easy part.
The thing was, I didn’t want to let people like Bruce Lerch and Ryan Killian down. Unfortunately, I never actually got to work for or with Bruce on a lax field. If my memory is correct, we had actually chatted in the Bentley University (College at the time) press box during a football All Star game about me joining the Boston Lax team that year, but that was our last interaction. When Ryan took over, he immediately gave me repeated opportunities that I definitely didn’t deserve yet and was just a phenomenal person to work for.
This site has done more for local lacrosse than anything I’ve seen in 25+ years of being around the game and because of that, I’ve thought of them repeatedly when covering games in miserable weather or on a scorching hot day. They loved doing it and wanted to see lacrosse grow as much as possible around here.
Mike Flanagan did an unbelievable job last year taking over as that next guy in line when he really wasn’t given much of a choice if Boston Lax was still going to thrive. Sean Morris has continued to be the backbone, but editing stories, planning out game coverage, working on the All American game, filming stuff, all while balancing every day life is something I marveled at when both Ryan and Flano did it. I can’t count the number of times I said “I don’t know how they’re doing it,” while covering games and writing my story that night.
As many – if not all of you – reading this know, Flano is the best camera guy in New England and has seen his career continue to grow with more opportunities, which means there needs to be a new next guy in line if Boston Lax is going to continue doing what we do from a written standpoint.
Proudly, I’ll now be the editor here at Boston Lax. When Sean asked me to write this as sort of an intro to who I was for those that don’t know – I don’t mean to sound pompous, but the lax community is a tight one that I’ve been part of for a long time, that’s all – I immediately said to myself “how am I going to do that?”
But, I quickly realized it’s actually easy when you love covering the game and writing for this site like I do. I encourage everyone to email me any feature suggestions, complaints, box scores, stats, All Star nominees, sick goal videos, sick save videos, Anything. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guys like Brando – who like Flano is one of the best camera guys in the area – and a few other freelancers we’ll use are going to help this site continue to be better than anyone else at what we do. We plan on continuing our polls and I also hope to add a girls lax top 10 (possibly a Game of the Week) this season too. I had considered a College Game of the Week which Sean and I talked about, but it’s probably not plausible for now. I’ll be starting to write some preseason features next week as we get our coverage rolling.
I’m admittedly nervous about the site not looking or running as smoothly as it did when the guys before me ran the show, but I’m going to bust my to make sure it’s pretty close. Balancing this and the New England Football Journal is going to be tricky at times, but I have no excuses after watching Ryan and Flano.
The support of Sean and encouragement from Flano have been huge and hopefully, we’re still going to be the Boston Lax you’ve come to know and love.
Two weeks away. LFG.