I was trying to get my usual weekly story for The Town Common and went into Tuesday (April 21st) with almost nothing. A seemingly set up interview on Thursday (April 16th) vanished on Friday, Monday, and Tuesday morning.
What to do? Could have thrown in the towel but God opened a door on Tuesday.
I heard about a boys’ lacrosse game happening on Tuesday morning between Newburyport and Triton at Newburyport. I knew that the Triton coach was a woman from seeing a game last year. I thought that I could find out in an interview about that arrangement and also discuss the game.
Some things sound good but can things be pulled together on such short notice.
I hustled over to Newburyport – a mile from here – and met the coach (Donna Andersen) on the field ½ hour before game time. She agreed to an interview back at Triton after the game.
I stood on the sidelines and used my big Canon. It was quite foggy with rain likely before day’s end.
Both teams had won only one game and the play was rough. Newburyport put some very solid hits on Triton kids. Getting a penalty didn’t seem to lessen their willingness to hit hard. Triton led throughout and won 15-9. Three of Triton’s goals came when they had the man advantage.
Newburyport had one very impressive player (#9 Andrew Sokol). Only a sophomore, he had a shot that was quick and accurate. The longer the game went on the more Triton shadowed him. #43 of Triton (Bert Cumins) was the shadow.
I went home after the game to warm up and then went to Triton. I arrived just as the team was getting off the bus. I had a nice chat with Donna Andersen inside the building. I believe that the players were calling her, “Coach A.”
She teaches phys ed at Triton and also coaches field hockey. She excelled at both field hockey and lacrosse at UNH.
She became coach seven years ago when the lacrosse program started at Triton. Elizabeth McAndrews (AD at Triton then – at Amesbury now) needed someone to coach boys’ lacrosse and no one had stepped up to do it. Elizabeth knew that Donna could handle mixed phys ed classes and had a lacrosse background. Donna was surprised to be asked to take the job but accepted after a weekend’s consideration.
She likened the boys’ intensity playing lacrosse to the intensity of Division 1 women’s lacrosse.
She said that she thought that the boys were comfortable with her as their coach. She said that unfamiliar officials tend to think that JV coach Avery Woodworth is the head coach and she might be the trainer.
She told me that she doesn’t know of any women coaching high school level or above boys’ lacrosse. She thought it was surprising.
( A regular story on Triton coach Donna Andersen will appear in The Town Common on April 29, 2009 )