The University of Tampa has an amazing lacrosse facility. I took my family to our first-ever college lacrosse game, back in February of this year, and we were lucky enough to experience these impressive facilities in person. UT is known for having some of the best Division II athletic facilities in the country. This is a grand feather in their cap, along with boasting an excellent academic program, and gorgeous historic architecture courtesy of railroad magnate Henry Plant.
To say that we had an amazing time wouldn’t be doing it justice. The game was exciting and kept our eyes riveted to the field. However, the highlight of our trip had nothing to do with the game itself.
As we were walking out of the stadium, we heard someone calling out behind us. We turned and saw Number 31 shouting to our boys from the sidelines. My wife and I led the boys over and the player gave each of our boys a game ball. The boys were absolutely mesmerized! He started talking to our boys about the game, and several other players came over to join the conversation. Player Number 15 spent about ten minutes explaining strategies to them. He gave them advice on how to become the best goalie and attack-man possible. He also took the time to stress the importance of good grades, which my wife and I appreciated, especially considering how enamored they both were with everything the player was saying.
Later in the week, my wife and I told our friends about this experience, and they all wanted to bring their own kids to a game. We ended up organizing a rather large group, and brought about thirty kids to cheer on the Spartans for Senior Day.
After the game, the players asked the kids if they wanted to come out onto the field. They ended up showing the kids some moves, posing for photos, giving them lots of encouragement, and all-around demonstrating in a first-class manner how to be a student athlete and represent one’s school well. This is a group of young men that acted as an example to these kids without anyone asking them to do so, and with no cameras in sight. They did it simply because they wanted to do it. They did it because this is a group that knows how to do the right thing. They act as leaders in their community.
The University of Tampa should be proud to have such fine young men representing them, and the UT coaches and recruiters should be proud of a job well done. They sought out the best and trained them in the ways of sportsmanship and community. I know the parents of these athletes would be extremely proud of their kindness towards a bunch of children they had never met.
Anyone looking for a fun and memorable day out with their family next spring should head over to catch some of their games. The UT lacrosse program is one of Tampa’s gems, and it is very close to several of Tampa’s wonderful attractions; including The Riverwalk, Armature Works and Water Works Park. Come enjoy a UT Lacrosse game and then do yourself a favor by enjoying these new destinations as well.
Rick Narkiewicz, 43, is a Senior Managing Director at Newmark Knight Frank and is regarded as one of the top advisors of industrial real estate in the southeast United States.