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Issues and Voices that Matter February 11, 2010

Lacrosse – Courage & Heart

Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing high school sports. The voices of the Oviedo (Florida) High School lacrosse team give a glimpse of the challenge and fun of this fast-paced sport. In their comments on Lacrosse, Coach Sean O’Dell and player Trevor Liljenquist share their years of experience and a deep love of a game that requires “courage and heart.”
Feature length – 14:53

(Produced, reported and edited by Desta Horner.)

Lacrosse is an upstart sport transplanted from northeastern states that has found a home in Florida. It is a fast, aggressive game that got its name from the French word for field hockey. First played by as many as 48 Native Americans tribes, the teams consisted of 100 to as many as 1000 players on a field ranging in size from 500 yards to miles long. Players passed a ball to teammates using a net attached to a long pole. There was religious significance to the game and a single game could last many days.

Modern lacrosse became codified in 1867 and became popular on college and high school campuses. It was a demonstration sport in the Olympics in the 1920’s.

Played in a men’s and women’s version, it requires speed, endurance and stick skill. Many players start young in lacrosse clubs and then join high school teams. Many colleges and universities offer scholarships in lacrosse that make it a valuable game to master.

The furious pace and fierce body checking and stick handling make lacrosse look dangerous. Protection is afforded by large helmets and small pads. The US Lacrosse association says — “Field lacrosse is sometimes perceived to be a violent and dangerous game, however, injury statistics prove otherwise. While serious injuries can and do occur in lacrosse, the game has evolved with an emphasis on safety, and the rate of injury is comparatively low.”

Oviedo High School is one of the teams in the highly competitive Seminole County school district. Their coach, Sean O’Dell, brings many years of experience as both player and coach to the job.

Trevor Liljenquist is one of the seniors on the squad and has played this sport since the 5th grade. He is following in his brother’s footsteps as a star at OHS.

Both the coach and the team’s young players bring a love of the game and athletic ability to the field. As one player said “ Once you pick up a lacrosse stick you’ll never put it down.”

The lacrosse season is in full swing. Visit the website of your favorite high school and check for game schedules. Or attend one of the indoor professional lacrosse games featuring the new Orlando Titans.

Extended Interview & Pictures

Click on the picture(s) to enlarge.
Coach Sean O’Dell
and Desta Horner
Extended interview (17:12)

Trevor Liljenquist
and Desta Horner
Extended interview (10:26)

Sean O'Dell, coach, OHS lacrosse team (photo - CMF Pub Media) OHS lacrosse team (photo - CMF Pub Media)

Additional Feature Information

2 Responses to “Lacrosse – Courage & Heart”

  1. Deuce McKenna says:

    WOW! Us sheltered southern boys had no idea Lacrosse was so tough a sport! I think I’d rather pay football - at least you get to wear lots of padding and a helmet.

    But it’s amazing - no profanity. How’d they do that? Most dudes use profanity like it was part of their regular vocabulary. Three cheers for Coach O’Dell. Trash talking’s not profane - it’s applied psychology the way O’Dell’s team handles it apparently. If you can’t hurt ‘em with a $200 stick, then throw some trash at ‘em, kind of gentlemanly fun without the physical pain.


  2. OM NOM NOM says:

    I’m on JV and O’dell runs the crap out of us. and he’s not even a JV coach. but he’s still awesome. I feel like i have to say thank you sir, may i have another.

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