…Continuation of “Rediscovering The Love Of The Game.”
Seeing something of a divine serendipity in the events described in my previous post above, I attended the meeting that would profoundly affect my life. The meeting was for the small but committed Brevard Lacrosse Association (BLA), that at the time was a small league based in the beach side community of Satellite Beach, FL just over the causeway from my newly home town of Viera. It was January, 2008 and my wife was pregnant with our first child.
The league was looking to expand beyond the beach and the dad that I had met in my neighborhood that was responsible for bringing me to the meeting, was charged with the expansion into mainland communities of Rockledge, Viera, and Melbourne. We were to be called the Vipers.
So there we were, 3 divisions of lacrosse teams, U11, U13, and U15 boys only, with one other team to play, the Satellite Beach Riptide. We played one another week in and week out, but the parents and players were so excited by the fresh, fast paced, new sport of lacrosse, that they did not care. Without a child in the league, I was originally tasked with coaching the U11 division that was most lacking in coaching personnel, but with only one other coach in the league with playing experience, I floated around all of the divisions to aid in instruction. It was a blast!
With a buzz in the air about lacrosse and kids and parents already seeking more varied and competitive play, the decision was made (despite my dissent) to disband BLA and start independent clubs that would play each other in an established Orlando based league. At this point, a community called Merritt Island was also about to start their own lacrosse program, so the thought was that by disbanding and going independent, that other communities would follow suit and lacrosse would organically grow from there. That is not how things played out, but for the purposes of this story, all you need to know is that the powers that be suggested that with the most extensive lacrosse background in the Viera community among active coaches, that I would the best candidate to serve as the first president of the Viera-Suntree Lacrosse Club, home of Vipers Lacrosse.
8 years later, I remain the first and only president of the club, now with an 8 year old son and a 6 year old daughter playing lacrosse. To my point about how much that meeting would change my life, that original club has grown from 6 boys to 300 boys and girls playing lacrosse from K-8th grade projected to be playing Vipers Lacrosse this spring. We now have both developmental rec teams and elite travel teams.
Within Vipers I personally coach U7 girls, U9 boys, U15 elite travel. I also host regular camps and clinics for area high school programs and coach and elite high school fall and summer tournament team called the Space Coast Stingrays.
Oh yes, much has happened since that first BLA meeting and it seems I am still only just getting started!
Dr. Roger Welton was a 4 year starter for Montclair State University and was selected as a First Team All Knickerbocker Conference Midfielder in 1995, 1996. He is the founder of the Viera-Suntree Lacrosse Club and Space Coast Elite Lacrosse Club in Brevard County, Florida.