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Full steam ahead

By Derek Daehn, SJU Lacrosse Head Coach, 01/05/21, 3:00PM CST

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Our mindset: make 2021 the year of the Johnnies

Full Steam Ahead!

That is my mindset right now and I have little doubt the Johnnies will return in 2021.

Following recent meetings between both the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) and the Upper Midwest Lacrosse Conference (UMLC) leadership see value in returning to play. Everyone wants to put the best experience possible on the field for our student-athletes. There will be a new normal for our team with weekly testing, screening prior to leaving for games, and limited trips – all of which are worth it if it means the team can get back to work and step on the field.

The 2021 season marks uncertainty; when will we play, where will we play. There are questions of who the coaches will turn to late in a game for a goal or who will step up with a big defensive play. Only time will tell as we prepare for 2021. Currently, we have 15 games on the schedule – the who is close to being finalized – and I am still hoping to add one to three more games to the slate. Just like we have seen in college football this year, we know that some games will get postponed or canceled and we will pivot to make things work as best we can. 

All the coaches, players, and fans want is a chance to play.

Our seniors graduating in 2021 will leave the program better than they found it and deserve one last ride to cap off a tremendous four years. Our juniors will have to step up and fill the void left by last year's seniors and our underclassman will need to outperform expectations. Zoom meetings for film review or system installs is the new norm and we have adapted to our current climate. Players will need to be motivated to control their environment more than ever as one slip can set us back. 

It appears lacrosse in 2021 is trending in the right direction and only time will tell how many games we get to play. My hope is more than the six we got to play in 2020. If it is less than that, we will accept it and make the most of our time together on and off the field.

Full Steam Ahead!

Derek Daehn
Saint John's Lacrosse Head Coach