Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Rebirth of Redmond Lacrosse

Coach Rob was nominated as one of the eight nominees for "Washington State USLacrosse coach of the year." This was his third nomination in the past three years. "I am deeply honored and humbled given everything we have collectively accomplished this year as a team."

The Redmond High School Lacrosse program was founded in 2008. In the first few years of existence the team had some success and a few very strong seasons playing in the division two Washington high school boys lacrosse association (WHSBLA). After six seasons as a Division two team, the number of players in the program had dwindled to a level that forced the team to revoke their varsity status and field only a junior varsity team in 2014. While Redmond was rebuilding, the sport of lacrosse was growing rapidly throughout the State and by 2015 there were over 80 teams that represented their high schools in the WHSBLA. 

Redmond lacrosse returned to varsity status in 2015 and over the next two seasons fielded a thin division two roster. At times, the team required players to play without substitutes, and while they had fun and played heroically, the team struggled in the wins category and achieved a 2-31 overall record and were ranked 79th out of 81 teams in the State by one independent online lacrosse site.

In 2017, Redmond lacrosse began a transformation. Rob Eidson, a former assistant coach at Bellevue High School, was hired and asked to help rebuild the program. Coach Eidson recruited and hired a new coaching staff, developed a year round rhythm for competing, focused on growing the youth program from kindergarten, through elementary and middle school, and established and communicated a new vision for an aspire to culture. 

The “Gold Standard” culture that was communicated at all levels of the program focuses on building the program through Teamwork, Dedication and Managing the Details. As an example of how these cultural pillars weave throughout the program, at Redmond there are no MVP awards, or best offensive and defensive players, etc. Instead, for example, the high school players receive awards for Teamwork, for being the most Dedicated, or for improvement through managing the details and playing fundamentally sound. One player also receives the Gold Standard award, which essentially is the coaches award.

Now, after three seasons, the Redmond Mustangs program has come a long way. In 2019, the K2 program has nearly 20 participants and growing, the 34 team was undefeated (8-0) in their league play, the 78 team was undefeated (7-0) in its league play, the high school junior varsity team (yes, RHS has two teams now) finished their season 7-1 and the Varsity Team won the division two KingCo regular season with an 11-3 overall record. At the end of the season, the Mustangs were ranked as one of the top 25-30 teams in the State out of 90. The team has come a long way from 79th in 2016.

The High School Varsity team secured their first division one playoff birth in school history. In addition to going to the playoffs, the team defeated Bothell high school in early May, achieving the first division one KingCo victory in program history as well. Six players from the Mustangs were just named to the All Division 2 KingCo All-Star team, and the Mustangs were informed that they have earned the right to be elevated to division one in 2020. Next season, the Mustangs will compete against the strongest schedule in the State and compete for one of five 4A division one playoff spots. 

2019 has been a special year for the Mustangs, and what makes it even more remarkable is that the young team only graduates one senior this year, so hopefully will be primed for the challenge as 2020 approaches.   

"The team has come a long way and through the journey they had this year, they've built a tremendous amount of confidence and developed into the lacrosse team I always believed they could become. If the team continues to believe in themselves, half as much as I do, they will be successful." said Coach Eidson.

 -- Redmond Lacrosse Club
 -- Photos by Adam Lu  (click to enlarge)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I had the privilege of watching a Mustang's game last year as I was traveling from the East coast on business. The team lost 18-1. Incredibly proud to read this blog and hear about all of the wonderful things happening with this program. Their leader is a class act and ardent patriot. Winners win boys. Swing away. And remember the Gold standard next year and in life. It will serve you well.