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Building a Legacy for Herriman Lacrosse

This season, a new team has added its name to the Utah Lacrosse Association lineup. Organizing a team from the ground up is a difficult task in any sport, but for Coach Darrell Robinson the first season of the Herriman High School girl’s lacrosse team is a passion.

This season, a new team has added its name to the Utah Lacrosse Association lineup. Organizing a team from the ground up is a difficult task in any sport, but for Coach Darrell Robinson the first season of the Herriman High School Girl’s lacrosse team is a passion.
Coach Robinson’s love for the sport began years ago when his oldest son began playing lacrosse. Robinson followed his sons’ games all through high school and he is proud that his son now plays for Utah Valley University. The lacrosse roots spread wide in the Robinson family. After his son went off to college, one of Robinson’s daughters started playing, and that is when his involvement was really set in motion. He initially coached for the Bingham Miner’s Junior Varsity girls team, and he helped start their youth program. After Bingham, he started working with the Utah Lacrosse Association as member of the board on the girl’s division of the ULA. He was elected Vice President of the ULA in 2009 and ULA President in January 2011.
After my interview with Coach Robinson, during a lacrosse clinic for his players, he shared what it is like to build a new team in the girl’s division.
Utah Lacrosse News:  How has the ULA evolved over the last 5 years?
Darrell Robinson: Lots of growth. In the last five years we have probably doubled our boys youth program. The girls program has come up behind, a little slower growth but certainly maturing quite a bit. We continuously get new High School programs. This year we have two new girl teams and seven new boy teams.
ULN: How did you become the new Head Coach of the Herriman Girl’s lacrosse team?
DR: As a board member we look at local needs and we discovered that they had interested people that wanted to start. Herriman will be the first High School ever in the state of Utah that in an inaugural year of school actually had a boys and girls program. We found several groups of girls throughout the school that wanted to start a team, so I came over as an interested party from the ULA to help them put that together and we were able to get all the groups together and we worked in the fall time. Bottom line, there was no one else that could coach so I decided that I would not leave these girls alone. I would coach them until I can find somebody that would be able to provide a stable history for the program. We want to feel confident in making this program a legacy.
ULN: What are the fundamental steps of getting a new team off the ground?
DR: The very first thing is organization of a parent board, getting the boy’s and girl’s board presidents was really valuable for the program in order to start an organization that is going to succeed. Also being able to provide a good structure for the girls, to get them out to practice, we have been really creative in giving our players opportunities to go to clinics and getting equipment from the ULA. We were also able to go to the Junior High and we ran their gym classes for one day and in that day we recruited 160 boys and girls from 7th to 9th grade who want to play lacrosse. So building a good relation with the school is absolutely important in the lacrosse community if we want to take the sport just a little bit higher.
ULN: What creates good team work in a new team?
DR: Positive coaching has been very valuable in providing a core for the legacy that we want to build at Herriman — to be able to be positive and still push the girls and build relationships. One of the things we did as a group was watch the movie Forever Strong. That’s the kind of program that we’re going to build, a program built upon positive reinforcement where the coach really cared but still pushed them. One of the fundamental things that I do is make sure I have captains, because when I identify my expert players they can help the team grow by building relationships with all their team mates. And finally, the team will trust each other and trust me and the direction I’m taking the program.
ULN: Have you received any feedback from the Herriman community, such as parents, students, school officials, etc?
DR: We’ve had really good luck in building partners in the community. Not everyone is going to immediately accept our sport; we have to go build those bridges ourselves. I was able to establish relationships with the Vice Principal of the school, as well as with the Granite School District.
ULN: What are the goals as a team for the first season?
DR: On the first day of practice I told my players that I have four objectives for the team. Number one is we want to have fun. I’ve noticed around the lacrosse community there are some teams that never win, but they have a blast while playing. I always make sure that whenever we have practice my players leave thinking they had a lot of fun. Number two is learning the game of lacrosse; there are a lot of people that do not understand the game very well so our goal is to teach our players the fundamentals of the game. In order for our girls to letter within the sport, they have to watch NCAA games and High School championship games from around the country, and they have to take a written test about the rules. We have tough criteria for girls who want to excel and letter, so understanding the game is very important. Number three for us is winning; we have our sight set on the state championship for division two and to be a division one team next year. Number four is to build a lasting legacy, like Highland rugby, years from now we want people to look at our program and recognize that we have talented players and a great program.
ULN: Any other thoughts?
DR: I think we’re in good shape in Utah; our league has made some significant growth. We are trying to reach the entire lacrosse community to help us build support and I think it’s going to be a great season for all the High School teams as well as the college teams.

Herriman Girls Team at a Velocity Camp. Photo Courtesy Darrel Robinson

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3 comments
  1. Isn't Herriman in the Jordan School District, not the Granite School District? It'd be a shame to make friends with guys in the wrong district!!

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