High school athletes everywhere miss being on the field.
“I really miss having lacrosse every day after school,” said Avon boys lacrosse junior Owen Folkwein. “It gave me something to do and I miss all my friends I had on the team.”
And turning off that competitive instinct doesn’t come easy. Lacrosse players have been working on their stick skills by playing “Wall Ball" which is exactly what it sounds like: passing a ball against a wall. So the Avon boy’s lacrosse coach Adam Cost saw an opportunity to keep competing: the #TeamWallBallChallenge2020.
Cost contacted the Hamden Hall boy’s lacrosse coach, Kevin Warnock, who also happens to be Cost’s former college teammate at Springfield College. Warnock reached out to his friends. They started with four teams and before they knew it, they had 57, girls and boys programs, across 16 states and on province in Canada.
“We’re linked coast to coast,” said Warnock. “We got teams from California, Texas, Florida.”
“This is a great way to see where our team stands against some of the best,” said Hamden Hall senior Chase Lilly.
In fact, they even have a chance to go up against some of the best in the game. Cost said he heard from professional players who wanted in on the competition.
“It just gives us a landmark of how good we could be if we put our minds to it,” said Hamden Hall senior Alex Divincentis.
Proving you can press pause on a season, but an athlete never stops competing.
“This will never replicate what we’re missing right now but it does show the eagerness and competitive level and competitive spirit,” said Cost.
Here’s how it works: 20 players from each team have 20 seconds to see how many passes they can get with the wall. Each team will then roll out five scores each “quarter." The team with the most collective passes wins.
“It has been really cool to see out guys really accept this initiative to push each other in a different way,” said Warnock.
Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts came out on top. But the Connecticut teams held their own. Cheshire in second, Glastonbury in third, Avon fourth, Guilford fifth and Hamden Hall sixth.
“It’s something as simple as just throwing a ball off a wall for 20 seconds,” said Lilly. “But now we have 50-plus teams and even professionals getting excited to have a chance just to compete with one another and play the game that they love.”