Norwalk & McMahon Honor Father of Norwalk Girls Lax
On Friday, April 11, 2014, the Brien McMahon and Norwalk High girls varsity lacrosse teams came together on the Norwalk Bears' home field for their inaugural Kuchta Cup battle. The cup celebrates Bob Kuchta, the father of girls lacrosse in the city of Norwalk, who died suddenly, unexpectedly, and too young last fall. The Kuchta Cup will be contested annually in perpetuity.
After coaching boys for years in Norwalk Junior Lacrosse, Bob shouldered the responsibility of adding NJrLax's girls program in the spring of 2001. As such, he was the true founder of girls lacrosse in Norwalk. Two years later, both McMahon and Norwalk High were able to establish varsity level teams, which began the cross town rivalry.
Bob also gave us a daughter, Emily, and a son, Ian, each of whom is among the best players of their gender ever produced by our youth and high school programs. Knowing Bob, it was not hard to figure out where they got their passion and commitment on the field.
Every volunteer organization like ours depends on individuals who labor without calling attention to themselves; as a result, they sometimes don't receive the recognition they deserve. Bob Kuchta was one of those, and he is sorely missed.
This link takes you to a terrific PBS documentary, The Medicine Game, which follows the older Thompson brothers of the Onondaga Nation through their youth, high school, and subsequent lacrosse careers. It describes their triumphs and also their tribulations, many of which derive from the difficulties and distractions of reservation life. In the background, you see their younger brothers, Lyle and Miles, growing up; both are now super stars of D-1 NCAA lacrosse at Albany.
If you haven't already seen it, the following link will take you to a terrific documentary video about the origins, history, growth, and future of both men's and women's lacrosse. It is well worth the fifty-five minutes it runs.
The documentary does, however, omit one fascinating detail. James Naismith, credited with inventing basketball while teaching at Springfield College, was a Canadian and a lacrosse player. So it's not that lacrosse is a lot like basketball ... it's that basketball is a lot like lacrosse.