Dear Southwestern Women’s Lacrosse Class of 2017 (AKA the FIRST class),
Almost five years ago Matthew and I made the decision to move from Greensboro, NC, to Georgetown, TX, for Matthew to start the Southwestern Women’s Lacrosse Program. I was excited to return to Texas and Matthew was excited for the challenge of starting a new program, but he knew the journey would not be easy. From the first day he got the job we both were fully committed to the endeavor. Two days after he accepted the offer, we were both in Southwestern t-shirts recruiting in New York at National Tournament. We new if this was going to work, we both had to be on board.
Once we got to Texas, local recruiting started. Since Matthew didn’t have an assistant coach, I went with him and helped recruit at all tournament and games. Our first recruiting tournament in Texas was in McKinney. It was freezing cold and we divided fields so we could see the most players as possible. I still remember texting Matthew and telling him there was an unbelievable athletic player who seemed to be very new to lacrosse, but was fierce (who knew one year later, Makayla would be playing in the first game for the Pirates). I also remember a shy player coming up to say hi… it turned out that shy player was Anne Brown! Through the entire first year Matthew and I both were anxious as he assembled the first class for the program. Each time he heard one of you were coming, we celebrated. We celebrated you were willing to take a chance on a new program.
It was just luck that Keaton would arrive a few weeks after each of you moved to campus. I still remember bringing him by your practice on Halloween so you could come and say hi. He was at the first scrimmage and has not missed one home game or scrimmage since then. As the team developed and grew, so did Keaton. He does not know life without this first class. He has grown to love each of you and think you all are his best friends.
As I think of tomorrow being the last time I get to see each of you play in person, my eyes fill with tears. What remarkable women you are! Keaton has no clue how lucky he is to have spent his first three and half years with you. He has seen amazing examples of strong and determined women. He has traveled with you and seen how you each study. He watches and learns how character matters in sports. Each of you have made him feel important and I thank you for that.
Being married to the coach gives me the honor of getting to know each of you. While I am so sad about you each graduating, I am excited to see where the world takes you.
Thank you for letting me be part of this journey,