Spartans are sticking to it

Published 3:46 pm Thursday, November 25, 2010

Suffolk Spartan Tim Thomas attacks the First Colonial goal during Suffolk’s inaugural season this past spring. The Spartans formed with kids from King’s Fork, Lakeland, Nansemond River and Isle of Wight Academy as the first lacrosse club for Suffolk players within Hampton Roads Lacrosse, a league of club teams, mainly from public schools where lacrosse isn’t a varsity sport.

The Suffolk Spartans struggled in many regards through their first lacrosse season together.

With nearly the whole team being rookies as far as playing organized lacrosse, or the sport in any way before last spring, an 0-10 record was understandable against experienced clubs in Hampton Roads Lacrosse, a league of clubs ranging from the Outer Banks to Williamsburg for players from schools where lacrosse isn’t a varsity sport.

The Spartans have a year’s worth of action to build on and two young, energetic coaches who have been leading them through the offseason as they get ready for the spring.

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Recent Virginia Wesleyan alums and lacrosse players Jed Lynch and Stu White have taken up the on-field responsibilities for the Spartans, who draws players from Nansemond River, King’s Fork, Lakeland and Isle of Wight Academy in their inaugural year.

“We have a core group of players from last year who obviously enjoyed it, and they’re coming out all the time,” Lynch said.

The Spartans have been working out at their home field, Monogram Field in northern Suffolk, each Sunday afternoon.

There have been a few new recruits, mostly friends of players interested in giving lacrosse a try.

“A few stay and a few come out a time or two and decide they don’t want to stay with it,” Lynch said. “I try to be honest right away. I give them an idea of how much running is needed in the game, and that’s been a deterrence for some.”

Lynch came to lacrosse relatively late, being introduced to it in a middle school league in Salem.

“I fell in love with it, and it can be sort of an addiction once you start playing,” he said. “There are so many elements from other sports that translate into what makes lacrosse great. There’s hockey, soccer, basketball and other sports where those skills cross over.”

White played defense for the Marlins and graduated in 2009. Lynch was an attacker/midfielder and graduated this past spring.

“We’ve been putting in lots of work with stick skills,” Lynch said. Getting individual fundamentals right, such as catching, throwing and scooping ground balls, has been the focus through the workouts.

There’s still time to join the Spartans before the season gets going. Even a complete rookie to the sport is invited, apparently as long as he’s willing to run.

Lynch can be reached at (540) 529-9621 and White can be called at (410) 322-7496. Anyone interested can also contact

Official preseason practices will start in February and the Hampton Roads Lacrosse season starts in March.