This past December, the LMU men’s lacrosse team received an award that recognizes sportsmanship and respect for the game. For the second year in a row, LMU received the District 10 Ace Adams Award, the first time that consecutive Adams award wins has ever been accomplished.
James “Ace” Adams was a coach noted for his teams’ character when he led Army and the University of Virginia, and he is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in Baltimore. District 10, which encompasses California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii), is one of 11 administrative districts of the Men’s College Lacrosse Association.
Brad Chestnut, a junior who is president of the LMU men’s lacrosse team, said two factors that probably influenced the decision are the team’s cooperative demeanor on the field and its commitment to promoting the game in the Westchester community. They’ve been instrumental in establishing the West LA Lacrosse League for elementary school-age kids in the Westchester neighborhood. “We’re trying to make the sport something better and put lacrosse in a positive light rather than just trying to win games,” he said.
We did two pieces on the team last year, a video titled “Lacrosse Brings On the Next Generation” that focused on the team’s work in the community and an interview with the 2012 Team President Johnny Gilbreath in the spring 2012 issue of LMU Magazine.
The team’s efforts are inspirational: college athletes working with parents in the neighborhood and teaching the game to kids. Chestnut said that since LMU Magazine covered LMU lacrosse last year, the kids have advanced to the point where teams are divided into two groups according to skill level. “The LMU players usually coach the less-skilled kids, while the parents work with the more advanced team,” he said.
A scene in our video that I can’t forget comes at the 3:19 point: a shot of little kids wearing authentic jerseys — with “LIONS” spread across the chest — and helmets that have their own names taped to the front. If I were a kid in love with the game, having a helmet with my name taped to the front would make me feel just about perfect, like the big time, the real thing. Learning from college players has to be a huge thrill for those kids, and what a gift the players are giving them.
LMU lacrosse, a non-NCAA club sport, competes in the MCLA’s Southwestern Lacrosse Conference. Game results and news can be found at the team website. Last year, the Lions finished 7-7 and advanced to the SLC playoffs, where they lost to Arizona, 14–12. During the season, they competed against teams representing the University of Texas, Southern Methodist, Washington State, Colorado, Santa Clara, UCLA and UCSB.
(Photo by Jon Rou)