• Vandal Lacrosse

Fall Season Update from Coach Raichl


Dear Vandal Lacrosse Family,
With the Fall semester upon us, the pandemic continues to create uncertainty about the future of many things, including the 2020-21 lacrosse season. With no decision yet from the MCLA or PNCLL about the status of lacrosse for Fall or Spring seasons, Coach Blake and I are staying positive and hopeful, and have made a plan, keeping in mind current COVID protocols and players’ health and safety. For Fall, we opted for no team out-of-town travel for our typical tournament play. We will consider scrimmages with WSU, but that decision will be based on a team discussion and guidance from U of I Club Sports. Twice weekly practices will be held, but in small groups to allow for social distancing, and will focus on conditioning and honing basic skills while still being fun.
Though coach-led practices are planned, with no travel and possibly no competitive matches, the Board agreed that players will not be charged the typical dues for Fall season. We are currently setting up an online player gear store for purchasing team helmets, gloves, and soft gear – more info to come when that is completed. And as we learn more about Spring season, we’ll send further updates about dues, etc.
For you parents, with the uncertainty of the future status of school itself, I understand how lacrosse may not be at the top of your list of priorities. But I, along with our Board of Directors, am dedicated to keep Vandal Lacrosse alive and kicking until ‘normal’ returns!
Speaking of our club’s Board, July ended the two-season terms of several Board members and I want to thank and recognize them for their time commitment and amazing efforts: Kelly Berard as Chairperson, Dave Wagers as Treasurer, FeLecia Boudy as Secretary, and Michelle Berard as Director. Your input and support over the past two years has been invaluable to me and the players – THANK YOU SO MUCH!
The end of their service leaves open positions that need to be filled. Happily, Kerri Switzer, mom of incoming freshman Austin Horlebein, has volunteered to take on the Secretary position, and Alissa Hillbert, mom of returning sophomore Beau Hillbert, has added Vandal Lacrosse Director to her existing high school lacrosse duties – thank you both and welcome! I look forward to collaborating with and getting to know you.
Currently the positions of Chairperson and Treasurer, along with up to three Director positions are still begging to be filled. Kelly Berard is willing to be co-Chair during her last Vandal season to assist someone transitioning to Chairperson, and Dave Wagers will help support someone with the transition to Treasurer. Their continued commitment is very much appreciated!
With the terrific freshman players from last season and those incoming this season, I know there are parents of sophomore or freshman who would be terrific Board members and offer valuable support to the club and the coaches. And I can promise that your involvement will make you addicted to Vandal Lacrosse! Please consider serving on our Board. I, or any outgoing Board member, would be more than happy to answer questions about the open positions.
During this crazy time with so many unknowns, we will proceed to plan for the lacrosse season with anticipation and optimism, and my hope is that everyone stays safe and healthy.
Go Vandals!

- Colton Raichl, Head Coach

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