April 11, 2006
In lacrosse, we know acronyms like EMO (extra man offense) and LSM (long stick midfielder) and FOGO (face off, get off) and GB (ground ball). But it has been 25 years since the term "HBCU" could be considered applicable to the sport.
By now, the story of the "Ten Bears" - a group of African-American players who forged a lacrosse team at
That remains the case today.
There were 311 people accounted for Sunday at Howard's Greene Stadium, however, who are pretty adamant about changing that. There, supporters looked on as Howard defeated
With the investigation of an alleged rape involving members of the Duke University men's lacrosse team stirring racial sentiments in Durham, N.C. (the alleged victim is a black student at North Carolina Central, an historically black university), the timeliness and significance of the event was not lost on its participants.
"It's so timely. What happened at Duke is very unfortunate, but with a lot of things in
With diversity and some controversy as a backdrop, a rather remarkable display of lacrosse showmanship ensued Sunday.
It was 4-4 at the half. Howard jutted ahead, 8-6, in the fourth quarter. With less than two minutes remaining,
Bison 9, Bears 8.
Andrew Watts led Howard with four goals for the Bison, while Benjamin had four goals and two assists for the Bears.
"He got hit high and low, and flipped," Howard head coach Duane Milton said of
"It was, like, the funniest and the most astonishing thing I have ever seen," said Howard player-president Brent Robinson.
Among other highlights Sunday:
· At halftime, Blax Lax, Inc., and Winners Lacrosse - two affiliates of the US Lacrosse BRIDGE (Building Relationships to Initiate Diversity, Growth and Enrichment) Initiative - added their own flavor of showmanship in an exhibition game. "The fans, they got a kick out of that one," said Donnie Brown, founder of Blax Lax, which helps fund the
· Miles Harrison, co-author of Ten Bears, was on hand to give away signed posters, courtesy of his son, former Johns Hopkins and current MLL and Team
· Howard's team officials afterward invited players from the Morgan State team to join them Saturday for an exhibition game against the Iroquois Nationals in Syracuse, N.Y., which Carter said he is "95 percent certain" he will do.
There are still those shunning the idea of an all-black lacrosse team, Robinson said, citing comments made by members of an opposing club team earlier this season that he called "uncouth."
"My men didn't return any favors in verbal language, only on the field," he said, always very measured in his words.
Three days ago, however, Robinson received an e-mail from an opposing team member's parent that was supportive of Howard's efforts.
"This is something that the lacrosse community wants," Robinson said.
Neither Howard nor
Howard, a charter member of the NCLL when it was founded in 1991, lost its lacrosse club after the 1996 season.
Carter said he has been approached by
"You've got to put bodies on the field," Carter said.
There were bodies there Sunday - flipping and scoring and checking and everything else. The bodies in the stands were certainly appreciative. And there are bodies in the surrounding inner-city schools. With Dunbar High adding a program this year, Brown and Milton said, every high school in
Brown's middle school team, comprised of sixth through eighth graders at the charter
Finally, it appears to Brown, the movement toward lacrosse diversity - in the Baltimore-D.C. area, at least - is starting to come full circle.
"They played like it was the national championship. They went alllll out," said Brown, a former
The message Sunday was that the end is near.
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