When Lacrosse Suddenly Doesn't Matter | Lax Goalie Rat

When Lacrosse Suddenly Doesn’t Matter


It’s times like these when suddenly lacrosse isn’t so important anymore.

For those of you who don’t know, I was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California and it’s where I continue to make my home today.

The last few days have been completely surreal as I’ve watched friends and loved ones literally lose everything.

As I write this, my community in Sonoma County and adjoining Napa County have been rocked by the unrelenting wild fires that are ravaging the nearby homes and landscape. Some 190,000 acres have been destroyed claiming 3,000 homes and 23 lives in its wake. And it is not over…

My family, my parents, my two sisters’ families are all safe, thankfully. We’ve evacuated our homes and are waiting for updates.

The fire departments are putting in a heroic effort working around the clock in the attempt to control this massive blaze and I have nothing but respect and admiration for their work.

A sincere, special and wholehearted thank you to all the first responders who have been working tirelessly to protect us. Your strength and skills are nothing short of heroic. Much love and gratitude goes to you all.

The air is thick with smoke and it’s raining down ash. It’s times like these when all of a sudden lacrosse isn’t important anymore.

Instead of lacrosse photos and daily shenanigans, my Facebook feed is filled with the statuses of high school friends and acquaintances who’ve lost their homes. Other acquaintances who’ve moved away from Santa Rosa pleading for information that just isn’t available. GoFundMe pages springing up left and right to help those who’ve lost everything recuperate at least a little.

Instead of video clips of goalies making sweet saves, lacrosse stars making awesome plays, or lax rats ripping the corner from an impossibly low angle, my feed shows videos of destruction. Tears well up in my eyes as I recognize areas or iconic Santa Rosa landmarks that are now gone.

I can’t even imagine the feeling of losing your childhood home like many friends have. Of having just minutes to evacuate your house, leaving with only your pets, loved ones, and the clothes on your back.

While they are all saddened by the loss of irreplaceable family photos, heirlooms, and belongings, those that I’ve spoken with are keeping things in perspective. They have life.

A lot of people have lost so much more. My heart goes out to those who’ve lost loved ones. Whether in this tragedy or any other.

As disaster hits home and places all over the world, it’s so encouraging to see communities come together and support each other. It has definitely raised all of our spirits. Santa Rosa (and Sonoma County) is as strong and resilient as it is beautiful.

It’s times like these when all of a sudden lacrosse isn’t so important anymore.

I’ll admit I read about the hurricanes in Florida, Houston and Puerto Rico and they seemed so far away. Now I appreciate what those people have gone through at a deeper level and my heart goes out to them.

When the time comes for everyone to return to our beloved Sonoma County, there will be much work to do for many years to come. If anything good has come from this tragedy, it is the kindness, compassion, and support that the people have shown. Love to all my friends and family here. We will not be defeated!

Our family will be ok. The entire extended family is staying with my sister out at the coast and it’s great to have everyone around. Everything that matters in my whole world is right here.

It’s times like these when all of a sudden lacrosse isn’t important anymore. So please make sure you really understand what is important to you.

Please be safe.

10/30/2017 Edit: Thanks for the outpour of support from my readers. I really appreciate everyone’s messages. The amazing fire department got the blaze under control and sparred our neighborhood. We’re back at home now and things just smell like a camp fire.

Until next time! Coach Damon

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8 thoughts on “When Lacrosse Suddenly Doesn’t Matter

  1. Our hearts go out to you, and to everyone affected by these horrible fires. Be safe, be strong, and know that you are in the hearts of so many.


    Emily Simpson

  2. I’m glad to hear that you and your family are ok.Keep your heads up and stay as strong as you are. Up here in upstate New York we have been super lucky. I send you the best and can’t wait for the good news of the rebuilding.

    1. Thanks Jason I appreciate that. My family was fortunate in that noone lost their home. Just smells really smoky. But friends weren’t so lucky, they will need to rebuild.

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