Every Sunday morning at 11 a.m, members of the Oswego State club lacrosse team gather at Hidden Fields and play the sport they love, with a more laid back feel to their competition. The start time isn’t concrete and the practices aren’t mandatory. The pressure isn’t high.. There are no coaches screaming at them. There is just lacrosse.
The team has had a few practices so far this semester and are preparing for their first game this weekend against Binghamton University.
Despite Oswego State Athletics competing at the Div. III level, many of the club sports compete at a higher level. Club lacrosse competes at the Div. II level, but still competes with many familiar SUNY opponents.
Jonathon Ross, a fifth-year senior on the team, said the team plays other SUNY teams like SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Oneonta, Binghamton University and University at Albany. Besides these common foes, they play other in-state schools like RIT, Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University.
Ross said that they have the freedom to set up and schedule whatever games they want and they want to set up as many as they can to increase the level of competition.
“We practice during the weekends and then we’ll have about three games this semester,” Ross said.
The practices and games this fall will help prepare them for the winter, which in turn will help them prepare for the spring semester when they play a majority of their games.
Because of the weather during the winter, the team is limited to indoor practices. However, the team is not permitted to play inside Romney Field House.
“They don’t let us [practice at Romney]; I wish they would let us,” Ross said. “They should definitely let us play at Laker [Hall] with all of the other sports.”
Because of these restrictions, Ross said he and his team will usually practice at either Lee Gym or Swetman Gym.
Once spring semester rolls around, the team will begin to schedule games on the weekend, and start mini-tournaments.
“Once it gets nice out, all of our games will be in a span of three weeks,” Ross said. “We’ll set up little tournaments… We’ll play three games one weekend and the next weekend we’ll play two and the next weekend we’ll play three more.”
While he enjoys the competition that club lacrosse brings, his favorite part of being on the team is the people he gets to play with and the camaraderie they all share.
“We’ve got good team chemistry,” he said.
After Ross transferred to Oswego State his junior year, his relationship with his team, who he refers to as “the boys” has been nothing short of enthusiastic.
Ross said that he even knew some of the players before he arrived to Oswego State. He is even friends with some players from his hometown who he is convinced to come to the shores of Lake Ontario and play on the team.
Although Ross is not the president of the club, that position belongs to Pat O’Reilly, he is shown that anyone can become a leader for a club sports team and that the importance of friendship and sportsmanship is just as valuable as athletic skill or competition.