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Notre Dame Lacrosse Serves Chicago Community

Oct 11, 2012, 11:17 PM EDT

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During this past weekend, while the Notre Dame football team defeated Miami at Soldier Field, the Irish lacrosse team participated in two scrimmages against Bellarmine and Detroit in the Playing for Peace Catholic Lacrosse Showcase. The team also hosted a youth clinic and performed service work at Hales Franciscan High School and St. Malachy.

“It was a great setting. It was unusual for us, but I thought it was terrific. We bused in kids from St. Malachy’s Parish and it was fun for them to see lacrosse played at this level. We also got to do service at both schools, which made a great day for our guys,” said head coach Kevin Corrigan.

The lacrosse team prides itself on giving back to its fans and surrounding community. The places that the program targets in its service are areas where most of the residents are underprivileged.

“Service is such an important part of so many things. It is in keeping with the mission of Notre Dame. Our players aren’t able to do service through the dorms. We need to make sure we are fulfilling the part of the mission of helping others,” said Corrigan.

“Our players have the great privilege of being DI athletes at ND, and they recognize that with privilege comes responsibility. They need to help the growth of the game of lacrosse and also communities that aren’t as fortunate as we are.”

The team helped with anything the schools needed to get done, including a lot of physical work to improve the school’s facilities.

“We did everything from painting rooms to cleaning windows and bookcases. It was a lot of maintenance that they just can’t keep up with due to being understaffed. We built a shed at St. Malachy’s to store the school’s athletic equipment in. Their equipment had been stored in the attic, so they had to run up flights of stairs to get it,” said the long-time Irish head coach.

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The free clinic, which the Fighting Irish hosted before completing the service, was a way to teach young players the beginning stages of becoming a high level lacrosse player.

“The clinic went well. We tried to teach the kids the basics. Just to be able to critique a few things and set an example is the best way for kids to pick up the game. They get to watch us do the fundamentals the correct way and they try to emulate that,” said senior captain Sean Rogers.

The players reacted extremely well to the service initiative, using it as a time of learning and improving upon team unity.

“Service is a time of bonding. It isn’t always the prettiest or most entertaining thing to do, but the work is important and needs to get done. To get to do that with teammates definitely brings everyone closer together,” the attack-man, Rogers said.

The lacrosse players have an enriching experience getting off campus to do the service work, and it opens their eyes as to what daily life is like outside of Notre Dame.

“It was really cool. Over my five years here, we have had the opportunity to do some great service work. Last year we went to Carmel, Indiana, and this year Crown Point and Chicago. It was great to get a change of scenery and get to see some new faces,” he added.

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The two captains of the team, Rogers and midfielder Quinn Cully, got to know the true meaning of hard work as they spent a great deal of time improving Hales Franciscan’s field. “Quinn [Cully] and I scrubbed the lacrosse lines off of the field. We went up and down the field with a sponge and water just scrubbing on our knees. That was pretty fun and interesting,” said Rogers.

Even though the main reason of the visit was to participate in the service work, the team was able to play in two scrimmages to assess what it needs to work on in practice. With the fall season currently underway, the Irish are figuring out what kind of talent they have, especially in terms of their younger student-athletes. Two games against Bellarmine and Detroit were perfect match-ups to give the Irish freshmen game experience.

“We did some good things and we did some things that we need to work on. We got to see some of our young guys on the field for the first time. The games gave us insight into where we are and what we need to do to be ready in February. We don’t really prepare for these games but they help prepare us for February 16th and our opener at Duke. It was a great day and a step forward,” said Corrigan.

Notre Dame next faces Navy on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Arlotta Stadium. The “fall ball” event takes place at 11:00 am before the Stanford game.

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