Conversations by Candlelight: The End of an Era

By SAM MATHAI

Every week, senior Sam Mathai sits down with a new CC athlete, coach, or trainer and gets intimate about athletics.

The multi-colored leaves will soon stop falling, and the 70-degree weather will soon be replaced by snowy days, meaning one thing and one thing only: fall season is done for the men’s lacrosse team. This time can be harrowing for members of the team. Three whole months without having to willingly let our friends beat us with titanium rods? It can be hard. Sure, we now have time to fish and ski and perhaps even finish our homework, but there is a void there where lacrosse used to be.

Photo courtesy of Nate Sweet

I sat down with Nate Sweet, a senior member of the men’s lacrosse team who describes himself as “objectively funny,” to hash all this out. When asked to describe himself again, he said, “Well, alpha silverback gorilla isn’t the right phrase but…” I let that particular thought lie where it was. No one needs to try to unpack that.

Nate is a tall, relatively-okay-looking kid. With skin the shade of freshly pressed printer paper, he has some redeeming qualities. Single and ready to mingle (603-828-8975), he is guilty of both talking too much and not saying anything of substance. He has never won a fight in his life but apparently has never needed to. I wouldn’t go as far as to say he is universally liked, but that might be because a lot of people don’t know he exists. He is known to go for gold and to settle for bronze. Close friends describe him as being “made of all spare parts,” and “subjectively the worst.”

Of all people, he seemed to be taking fall lacrosse ending the hardest. I asked him how this newfound freedom would affect his life. His only reply: “I’m going to take a lot of naps.” Frightening. Another soul lost to a lifestyle of sleeping enough and having enough time in the day to achieve goals without sacrificing mental stability.

But how would this affect his school life? How will the loss of the ‘athlete’ in his student-athlete moniker impact his life? According to him, he is going to take this time to work that 2.3 up to a 2.5. He is, despite what they say about him, ambitious.

He is also going to take some time to branch out while we aren’t playing. “I might say hi to a couple kids that aren’t in my grade on the team,” he explained. He laid out an intricate plan to not only say hello to the friends he has had for four years now, but maybe a couple juniors and, if he is feeling frisky, perhaps even a first-year. I don’t know how he will be able to expand his circle so wide, but he seems determined. By his own words, he is more driven than a pack mule.

Of course, he will be honing his skills in the offseason. For lacrosse players, after their time in college, there is not much opportunity for a future career. For those unwilling to let go of the glory days, there is Major League Lacrosse. A glorified beer league, the MLL flies players out on weekends to play in front of paltry crowds for paltry sums of money. It is the redheaded stepchild of professional sports. I wouldn’t recommend this for most people, but honestly it sounds like a perfect fit for Nate.

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