As competitive high school and club lacrosse teams have begun to spring up along the west coast more often than fair-trade coffee houses, lacrosse is no longer a novelty in sunny Southern California, thanks to West Coast lax pioneers like Foothill High School coach, Jon Fox. And many of those who were instrumental to the development of Fox’s nationally recognized Foothill program came home to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a bang . . . a bump, a few slashes and several goals in Foothill’s annual Black and Gold Festival celebrating the past, present and future of Foothill lacrosse.
The day started with a scrimmage between the Tustin Tigers Girls (3rd-5th grade) and coach Fox interviewing players before each draw asking what their favorite holiday gifts were and how many goals they were planning to score in 2019.
Following the ladies, the Tustin Tigers boys donned their helmets and gloves for their scrimmage, and while no one is sure if black or gold scored more goals (did that last one count for 3?), everyone came away with a winning attitude and a smile on their face.
The “big kids” suited up next and Foothill freshmen and juniors took on their sophomore and senior teammates. Juniors Andrew Cumming and Troy Hofer tried hard to lead the newbies with several goals apiece, but in the end, seniors Riley Ahern and Brayden Webb, along with sophomores Easton Babb, Josh Anderson and Joey Garcia, showed the young ‘un’s that experience brings expertise.
The headlining act followed next as over 40 alumni from Foothill’s 20 year history took the field to compete against a reunited Foothill team. One of the fan favorites was 1999 team member (and current FHS defensive coach) Rick Forehan who showed up with the next generation of Foothill laxers in tow. Also accessorizing with offspring, Colombian National Team member Dom Guevara with his two tots and All-American and newest FHS father Nic Pickell with his baby girl born just last month.
Although Foothill looked sharp in their matching jerseys and uniform helmets, the alumni helmets donned names like Denver, Holy Cross, Chapman, Fullerton, University of Washington, USC, ASU, Texas A&M, Cal Poly SLO, Boise State, Colgate, and Limestone which gave the high schoolers cause for alarm. Both teams came out fighting, evenly exchanging goals in the beginning, but whether it was a few more years experience or the drive to prove they haven’t lost it, the players of years past showed their successors that the legacy they left is legit.
At the end of the day, everyone was hungry for more lacrosse, so the the OC Crush Middle School team showed off their skills with a guest appearance from FHS alum and Concordia University assistant Coach, Dylan Miles, in goal.
While many choose to use New Year’s Eve to look to the future and make resolutions, the Foothill Family enjoyed the day reflecting and reveling in the past, so grateful to be part of the legacy of Foothill Lacrosse. Great to see everyone there; see you again 12/31/2019.