Lacrosse Era Begins at Mount Vernon
written by Scott Cain
As he looks out across the field, Mount Vernon Lacrosse coach Bill Palmer can’t help but smile. Palmer, a Hobart College graduate and All-American in both lacrosse and football, isn’t looking at the scoreboard. Instead, he is envisioning the future. A future where the newly formed Mount Vernon MS Lacrosse team is a well oiled machine. A force to be reckoned with. A team no one wants to see on their schedule. For now, however, Coach Palmer finds joy in the little victories. Perhaps it is the improvement of the brothers Armstrong, Jack on defense and Will in goal. Maybe it is the midfield of Andrew White, Brandon Harris and Carlton Colley beginning to grasp concepts that not long ago were completely foreign to them. It might be watching an attack led by Brady Vincent and Jack Riekena, the former of which scored the school’s first ever lacrosse goal against Blessed Trinity.
When starting a program from scratch, as Palmer has done, you take pride in the little things. You are as much a teacher as you are a coach, and your successes aren’t necessarily measured by the numbers on the scoreboard, but rather the daily improvement of a young, hard working first year team trying to compete against well established programs. So far, Palmer has done a masterful job. The Mustangs’ inaugural schedule includes teams like Wesleyan, Holy Innocents, Marist, St. Pius, and Dunwoody. With a squad comprised of mostly 5th through 7th graders (the team has only one eighth grader), many of whom had never played lacrosse at any level prior to this year, the task has been daunting at times, but exceptionally rewarding. The team has seen it’s performances improve every week, and Coach Palmer is proud of what they have accomplished. “Our competition this year has been tough, but the boys have never given up. They continue to develop and each week I can see improvement and a better understanding of the game. We are building a foundation that MVPS can be proud of and in my book that is more important than what the scoreboard reads. The hard work the boys are putting in today will lead to a strong program in the future.”
The addition of lacrosse is yet another example of the growing Mustang Athletic Program. Over the past 4 years, Mount Vernon has grown from 24 total sports teams to 52. Athletic Director Mark Heiser has overseen that growth and is excited about the addition of lacrosse. Heiser, a native of Washington, DC, a lacrosse hotbed, views this as yet another step forward for Mount Vernon Athletics.
“Lacrosse is one of, if not the fastest growing sport in the country and we are thrilled to add it to the athletic program. Growing up in DC, I have always been a fan of the sport. It is a great combination of coordination and athleticism. It is extremely popular in the northeast and mid atlantic regions and over the past several years, it’s popularity in the south has exploded. It’s an exciting sport and we are thrilled about what coach Palmer and the kids have done. I see great things in the future.”
The Mustangs finish their season with games versus Pinecrest, Inman and Dunwoody. Crier Article on MVPS Lacrosse.
Photos by Betsy Armstrong.