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Greenwich Academy Press

Greenwich Academy Press

A Letter to High School Lacrosse

Gregory Raymond

Eliza Bowman ‘20, Senior Editor

Dear GA Lacrosse,

I am grateful.

That is what I have been saying out loud to myself every night before going to sleep and every morning after waking up for the past few weeks. In times of feeling the most helpless and defeated, those three words light me up inside.

I have learned more about the strength and resilience of this world in the past few weeks than in my entire life. We are living through history, witnessing nations battle their own struggles but standing together in the process. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the big picture and to see the world as a puzzle with far too many pieces to put together.

For those of us lucky enough to be safe at home during this time, our blessings have become evident. I have gratitude for the health of my family, for food on our table, for space to be outdoors, for patient and enthusiastic teachers, and for so much more. I have found that the simple moments have been magnified in their meaning, and the appreciation I feel for a morning cup of coffee, a blue sky, or a game of driveway basketball with my brother is a gift.

As our senior year at GA has drawn to a close with sadness, I have been reflecting on the highlights of my time here, and I have arrived at a place of gratitude. The happy memories include walking through the hallways, engaging in vibrant class debates, laughing through the lunchtime conversations, and cherishing friendships; none of that has been lessened in any way by our time together being cut short.

I wanted to write a letter to the GA lacrosse program in particular, not only in light of the loss of our senior season, but because of what I have learned from this team over my four years: growth, confidence, work ethic, compassion, and unity. We are a group that loves one another just as much as we love what we are doing together. That is success.

My tendency to meticulously organize everything has really backfired this spring. I wrote down each of our lacrosse games in my school planner for this season when our schedule first came out. Now, every day that I open my planner I see the words written at the bottom of each page, noticing the excitement and anticipation visible in every scribbled word. Although I still feel a pang of disappointment each time my eyes land there, I have slowly learned to smile thinking about what could have been.

As I’ve written, the small snapshots in time have grown in their meaning for me these past few weeks, and my memories of GA lacrosse are perfect examples of this gratitude. I have realized that it is not the games that I will miss the most. The simpler moments are the ones that stand out: the van rides to far away games with the radio cranked, our annual spring break trip to Vero Beach, the mini golf rounds that got way too competitive, and the sight of bright orange cones placed in the perfect arrangement for the tiring box drill. Playing an entire practice with a rubber snake in the pocket of my sweatpants, waiting for the perfect moment to scare Coach Johnson with it. The rainy practices, huddled under the overhang before heading out on the warmup lap with the hoods of our raincoats pulled over our heads and our goggles laid on top. The hustle and bustle of Jo’s training room and her rolls of ankle tape awaiting to serve their much-needed mission. The feeling of the warm turf as we walk across Tammaro Field in our socks on a warm Saturday afternoon to set up the scoreboard and water jugs before a game.

I smile to myself as I write this letter because I am taken back to those moments when I close my eyes. I am grateful for the laughs that brought tears to my eyes and the inside jokes I will never forget. I am grateful for both our victories and toughest losses. I am grateful to have learned how far you can go when you travel together, when you believe in something so strongly that other people start to see it too. I am grateful for this team to have gotten some of the recognition we deserve and for all the support we have received.

Sometimes it takes losing something to make you realize the true value of it and how much you are going to miss it. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet. No matter how hard we wish we could suit up in those uniforms together one last time and take that final lap, we can’t. All we can do is keep saying those three words to ourselves: I am grateful.

Thank you.

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A Letter to High School Lacrosse