West Point, to Thee

Apr 17, 2020

West Point, to TheeBy Bennett Taylor, Men's Lacrosse

“The Lingering Flame”

I told them about a fire, about the simple combination of fuel with a spark. With numb feet and a slight quiver in my voice, I predicted the fiercest blaze would smolder over that frozen field on Michie Stadium in February.

Odds are I wasn’t supposed to give my senior speech to my teammates that day. Growing up in Tampa, local lacrosse players just did not play college lacrosse on the scale of those from Fort Lauderdale or Jacksonville, not even mentioning traditional hotbeds in Baltimore and Long Island.

But with a chance sighting and tremendous support from coaches and family all along the way, I found myself speaking to 60 of the greatest men I know on that brisk dark Friday night. But it mattered not where we had come from—all that mattered was what we had cultivated since our first days at the Academy, and the family that we had created with those in the locker room.

I would contend that the senior speech, in conjunction with carrying the American flag out on a gameday, marks the major milestone in the lifespan of an Army lacrosse player --a fulfillment of sorts.

It means you’ve made it through four rounds of fall ball, notorious for the heat and the hyper competition that our practices and lifts foster. It means you have evolved from a wide-eyed freshmen attempting to survive in practice (especially in my case) to a leader of those beneath you. Most importantly it means that you and your classmates only have a few months of competition left with each other and the Army Lacrosse Family. Read more.


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