I wanted to share this update unedited. What is so important about this update is the importance of youth programs feeding high school organizations and the structure that has been created to support the fastest growing sport in America. When you read this you can see that it is the truly dedicated people that make this work and gives kids the opportunity to experience this fantastic game of lacrosse. If you would like to contribute your time or resources please get in touch with the folks below.
I wanted to provide a mid-season update to all of our Yorktown Titan players and parents. We are blessed again this year with a group of quality coaches and enthusiastic players who have worked hard to play competitive lacrosse on boys and girls teams at every level from U-9 to U-15. We have 166 boys competing on 10 teams in the boys youth division and 81 girls competing on 4 teams in the girls youth division of Hampton Roads Lacrosse. We also have a thriving soft stick program that is introducing more young boys and girls to the game of lacrosse. In total, we have over 250 families from York County, Poquoson, Newport News and Hampton participating in lacrosse under the Yorktown Titan colors. Thank you to all of the players and parents as you has displayed nothing but tremendous sportsmanship on the field and on the sidelines throughout the season.
I have been involved with the Titans since 2005 and have watched the organization grow to where it is today. I remember then that we had great energy from people like Mike Hehir, Steve King, Mike and Michelle Gazarik and others who had the vision, the initiative and innovative spirit to create a model program in York County. They have been replaced today by the Hecht’s, the Pozin’s, the Lugo’s, the Lucas’ and others who are taking the program to even greater levels. I am proud to say that unlike other programs, we have never said no to a child who wants to play for the Titans. As an example, when the Newport News program folded several years ago, we gladly accepted their players on our teams. Our hope is that Newport News will find a spark that will ignite their program again and we will see an expanded lacrosse footprint on the peninsula again.
It is interesting to note that the Titans started as a “Tabb” centric program with a large majority of the players from Tabb Elementary, Mount Vernon Elementary and Tabb Middle. Today, the program has spread up route 17 and into Poquoson so that we are truly a program that is equally represented throughout York County and Poquoson. This is never more evident than this year when we have teams representing Tabb, Grafton, York and Poquoson High Schools participating in the Boys and Girls High School Divisions of HRLax. The Titans are the single organization that prepares area youth to play at the high school level on those teams. And we must be doing something right as those teams are routinely in the finals of the HRLax boys and girls high school varsity and junior varsity tournaments every year.
Behind the scenes, a tremendous amount of work was done by our coaches and members of the Titan’s Board of Directors to pave the way for a successful season. I think it is only appropriate to recognize them for their leadership, enthusiasm and dedicated support of the youth on the Peninsula. Without them, and those that preceded them, the only lacrosse on the peninsula would be at HRA and on ESPN.
The “heavy lifters” on the board have been:
- Donna Hecht (Titans VP) who has been the driving force in everything we do, and has leadership roles with Hampton Roads Lacrosse that ensures the Titans are well represented in their planning and decision making processes,
- Will Lugo (Titans Board Member) who has kept detailed financial records, orchestrated the deal with our vendor for spirit wear, secured a new storage facility, and done a myriad of other things that have been critical to our success,
- Victor Lucas (Titans Board Member) who, in addition to officiating and coaching both boys and girls teams, has coordinated activities for the girls youth programs and made sure they are represented on our board,
- Anita Pozin (Titans Board Member) who has done miraculous things while coordinating and negotiating with York County Parks and Recreation and the York County Sports Complex to secure practice and game fields for the Titans.
- Glen Pozin (Titans Boys Coaches Coordinator and Yorktown Area Rep) who has done an outstanding job representing the Titans at HRLax meetings, inventorying and issuing equipment to every team, and in ensuring that we have qualified coaches at every level.
In addition to the Titan board members listed above, I must mention the coaches. Too many to list, each of them has completed a rigorous training and certification program so that they understand the game of lacrosse and how to teach the fundamental skills of throwing, catching, shooting and scooping. Most importantly, they have been schooled in “positive coaching” and how to honor the game, honor their teammates, honor the referees and honor their opponents. These are imperatives to running a successful program.
Together, these board members and coaches have displayed the highest levels of leadership and ownership of the youth lacrosse program in York County, Poquoson, Newport News and Hampton. They all have other jobs and children on at least one of the Titans teams. Without them there would be no program. We all owe them a tremendous “thank you” for all they have done, and continue to do, as we progress through the season. Please show them your appreciation the next time you see one of them on the field or on the sidelines.
We are always looking for volunteers to help within the Titans organization. Several of our board members, including me, will be stepping down at the end of this season. Additionally, we continue to look for ways to raise funds, there is always a need for coaches at every level, and we always need parents to line the fields, maintain equipment, string nets, and act as team parents. Please look in the mirror and ask yourself if you can answer the call to volunteer your time and energy to keep the Yorktown Titans the thriving organization that it is. All it takes is raising your hand and saying “YES” you want to help. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 757-759-9706 if you want to volunteer or serve on the Titan’s board.
See you on the sidelines,
President, Yorktown Titans Youth Lacrosse
- Warhill Lacrosse Club (warhilllax.wordpress.com)