RKA lacrosse overcomes hurdles in first season

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“No one had ever played before,” Hirsh said. “No one had ever even held a stick before. And though our equipment was either donated or purchased through some fundraising, it came piecemeal. First we had sticks, but we didn’t have anything else. Then we had the sticks and gloves. Then we had sticks, gloves and pads. Finally we got our helmets, but we weren’t fully equipped until just three days before our first game.

The Tigers’ inaugural game was a memorable one as they rolled to an 11-5 victory over Tuitt Educational Campus and a program was born.

“I was really fortunate to have great guys who were really committed,” Hirsh said. “We were practicing six days a week but with the winter, we had we started practicing in the cafeteria. Then we were able to use the gymnasium. Then the week before our first game, because the snow had melted, we finally got to practice outside. So I was pretty nervous, especially because none of the kids had ever been in a game situation before. But they stepped up to the plate.”

Calvin Amaro, a sophomore captain, said it’s been a labor of love for both Hirsh and the players.

“The thing about our team is that we are the only team in the league that doesn’t have their own field,” said Amaro, who has scored 20 goals going into this final week of the regular season.

“We were almost unprepared coming into the season because the only field time we were getting was when we got to play games. We were practicing in the gym, the cafeteria and now, since the weather got better, when the softball team isn’t playing, we’re on the softball field. When there’s no baseball, we’re on the baseball field. 

“Literally every practice has been in a different spot. But we owe it to Coach Hirsh,” Amaro concluded. “Just two or three months ago he taught us how to play lacrosse, and now our record is not bad for a first-year team.”

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