by Eddie Carpenter
On April 9, Humboldt Men’s Lacrosse Team competed against UCSC Banana Slugs in their final game of a winless season. The Humboldt Hogs fought against significant gusts of wind at the Redwood Bowl under a cloudless sky.
Freshman Gino Grier expressed an insurmountable passion for the sport itself.
“This sport is beautiful,” Grier said. “There’s barely enough time to think! It’s like driving too fast, really. If you think, you’re behind someone… It’s gotta be animalistic in a way. You see everyone out here? They’re happy not because we lost, but they’re happy with a loss. That’s my team right there, and I’m proud as hell of that!”
As a long-stick midfielder, Grier loves lacrosse because it keeps him balanced. The Hogs have played the whole year with the minimum number of players necessary to compete. Seth Velasco, the senior team captain, gave it his all on the field on Saturday.
“This is my last game. I would’ve liked… a win, but I mean, I just enjoy playing lacrosse,” Velasco said. “Ever since I started playing it in high school, I enjoyed it. It was my favorite game to play. I enjoy being a part of this team. We only had three guys starting this season off, so recruiting a bunch of guys getting them to join the sport. It was fun. I wouldn’t want to play with another team.”
During halftime, the Humboldt Hogs take mustard shots for muscle cramps. Currently, there’s no scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of using mustard to help treat or prevent muscle cramps. Needless to say, the Hogs are hungry to rebuild after two seasons lost to COVID-19. Before the season opener, the team hadn’t had a home game in 753 days due to the pandemic.
Zack Gamble is Humboldt’s other senior team captain. Gamble expressed how his team overcame a lot of adversity this season.
“Seth, Riley, and I worked really hard to bring the team back from nothing,” Gamble said. “And we’ve got a solid squad of guys here now. And these guys just have no quit in them. I mean it’s just been an honor playing on this team. Despite having no subs [and] no help— half of the time, we don’t really have enough guys at practice. We were able to put a season together and really show people what Humboldt Lacrosse is about.”
Humboldt Men’s Lacrosse is all about heart and soul. The team has a new coach under a new school name and they are preparing for their 40th anniversary. The Hogs have shown that the sport was about putting up a good fight when the odds were stacked against them.
Senior defenseman Riley Switzler expressed the need for his squad to work like clockwork.
“I would like to see everyone come together as a team more,” Switzler said. “I’d like to see more team camaraderie. Everybody being friends with each other and being there for each other on and off the field… We could put up more of a fight against these bigger schools.”