Lax can mean being less strict or lacking in rigor. LAX refers also to lacrosse, a sport that is entirely the opposite.
For ten years now, students on the Royals' women's and men's lacrosse teams have been training and competing rigorously.
"I don't think people realize the commitment that it takes to be a college student athlete at the D2 level and at Queens," said Coach Jim Fritz. "It is all-year-round, mostly 20 hours a week of practice, lifting, film, scout reports, games, etc." Oh, and those training sessions? They're at 6:00 a.m., before a full day of classes.
Caitlin O'Rourke '11 says playing lacrosse taught her "the value of hard work and what it means to work so diligently for what you want."
At the same time, the current Queens admissions counselor said lacrosse introduced her to people who challenged her to do more than she ever thought she could and benefitted her in ways she "could never have imagined."
The lacrosse program itself has expanded in ways unimaginable ten years ago. The program has "grown tremendously," Fritz said. "There was a certain amount of trepidation about adding lacrosse here when we started. But, as we matured as a program, I feel the players have really done a great job becoming an integral part of campus."
Randy Jones '08 played four years while studying communications, then volunteered with the program for a year before assistant coaching for two more. He fondly remembers playing his first seasons at Memorial Stadium. "We were right in the city for every home game," he said. "No matter the outcome of the game, I know those players envied our program and saw its potential right away."
The team was young when Jones started out, so there was "a lot of learning on the job, you could say." But the team was committed to helping "make a footprint for the program in the lacrosse world."
Speaking of jobs, Jones credited lacrosse with professional benefits too. "Most of my job opportunities have come from those who I met along my journey while playing and coaching lacrosse," said Jones, a vendor business manager for a data storage company in Baltimore.
Lacrosse also prepared O'Rourke to be a team player at work. "Lacrosse has taught me how to work with others on my team, be on time, work hard, and love what I do."
Brittany Phillips '12, a sports communication major who now works in Charlotte for a marketing firm (and coaches for two lacrosse clubs), sums up the impact best: "I will never be able to give back to lacrosse what it has given to me."
Stephan Leblanc '09, who continues to play lacrosse professionally in Toronto, Canada today, echoes that sentiment: "Lacrosse has provided me with everything I have in life. Without the game I would be lost."