By Gene Galin
Pittsboro, NC – The Northwood lacrosse team had an exceptional season under the guidance of coach Randy Cox. With high expectations and a united team spirit, they achieved remarkable success, culminating in a spot in the final game of the 3A/2A/1A lacrosse championship.
I had a chance to sit down with coach Randy Cox and discuss the team’s journey, the progress made by individual players, and the pivotal moments that defined their season. We also discussed the highlights of the season and the significant role played by the coaches and the supportive parents
Coach Cox, who has been with the team for six years, expressed his pride in the players and the support they received from both their parents and the community. The team’s success was a result of their united spirit, dedication, and the culture they cultivated over the years.
You can view the video conversation on YouTube HERE.
The Northwood lacrosse team had set ambitious goals at the beginning of the season. Their objectives included winning a conference championship, a regional championship, and ultimately competing for a state championship. Throughout the season, the team demonstrated great determination and unity, which contributed to their impressive 18-4 record. The players’ strong bond and unwavering support for one another were evident on and off the field, creating a positive team culture that elevated their performance.
Building a Winning Culture
Coach Cox has been instrumental in developing a winning culture within the Northwood lacrosse program since taking over as head coach six years ago. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive mindset, overcoming adversity, and minimizing drama within the team. Continuous messaging and timely communication have played a significant role in shaping the team’s culture, ensuring that players support and uplift each other, even in challenging situations. This season, the players’ camaraderie and unity were exceptional, leading to a cohesive and successful team.
Coach Cox believes in instilling resilience in his players. He encourages them to overcome adversity, avoid negativity, and maintain a positive mindset. The team faced challenges during the regular season, with losses to Orange High School and Chapel Hill High School. However, Coach Cox motivated the players to view the playoffs as a fresh start, reminding them that they had the potential to compete at the highest level.
Crucial Games and Comebacks
One of the defining moments of the season was a come-from-behind victory in the playoffs, where the team rallied together and secured a win in the face of adversity. In the playoff game against Croatan they scored four goals in just two minutes to secure a come-from-behind win. This game showcased the players’ resilience and highlighted their unwavering commitment to each other. It left a lasting impact on both the players and their parents, forging lifelong memories.
Executing Game Plans and Preparing for Success
As the team progressed through the playoffs, each game became an opportunity for growth and preparation for the next challenge. Coach Cox’s coaching strategy involves preparing for each game with an eye on the future. He not only focuses on the immediate opponent but also ensures that the team executes plays and strategies that will benefit them in subsequent matches.
Coach Cox focused on refining their lacrosse skills, adjusting strategies, and effectively communicating game plans. The players embraced their roles and executed the team’s game plans with precision, leading to victories over formidable opponents. The team’s success against Havelock allowed them to refine their lacrosse skills and prepare for the critical game against Orange.
Parental Support and Involvement
The parents of the Northwood lacrosse team played a crucial role in fostering a supportive and encouraging environment. They fully embraced the team’s journey and provided unwavering support, both emotionally and physically. The strong partnership between the parents, coaching staff, and players contributed to the team’s success and helped create a positive team culture.
A Legacy of Achievement
Although the team fell short in the state championship game, their accomplishments throughout the season were monumental. The players will forever be remembered with a banner in the Northwood gym, celebrating their achievements. Additionally, numerous individual accolades were earned, including All-Conference, All-Region, All-State, and All-American honors, reflecting the team’s exceptional talent and dedication.
Lessons for Life
Coach Cox instilled valuable life lessons in his players throughout the season. He emphasized the importance of giving 100% effort, overcoming adversity, and focusing on personal growth. The experiences gained on the lacrosse field will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the players’ future endeavors, fostering resilience, teamwork, and a never-give-up attitude.
The Northwood lacrosse team’s season was marked by extraordinary achievements and a unified team culture. Coach Randy Cox and his dedicated coaches and players demonstrated the power of a positive mindset, unwavering support, and continuous improvement. As the season came to a close, the team left a profound legacy and an inspiration for future generations of Northwood lacrosse players.
Watch and listen to Northwood lacrosse coach Randy Cox wrap up the season on YouTube
[00:04] Northwood lacrosse team had a special season
– Team had high expectations and ended up 18-4
– Team culture and support for each other was exceptional
[05:44] A come-from-behind victory in the playoffs was a special moment for the team and parents.
– The game was played in difficult weather conditions and had a delay of an hour and a half.
– The victory was especially meaningful as it was the coach’s 25th wedding anniversary and his son was playing as a freshman.
[11:02]Team takes ownership and rallies to win games
– Players took ownership during halftime break and rallied in fourth quarter
– Team played together, controlled momentum, and executed game plan to win against Havelock and Orange
[16:05] Team wins East Regional Champs in unprecedented victory
– Execution and control of momentum were key factors in the win
– Effective two-way communication between coach and players helped make necessary adjustments
[20:39] Northwood School’s football team reached the state championship game
– Preparation included meetings with North Carolina High School Athletic Association and media interviews
– Players received guidance on playing on turf and were reminded to do everything right against top competition
[25:51] Give 100% effort and have no regrets
– Making mistakes is a learning opportunity
– Emphasize giving your all and having no regrets
[31:12] Take care of your bodies and focus on mindset during playoffs
– Players need to hydrate, eat right, and rest well
– Controlling mindset and focusing on one game at a time is crucial
[36:31] Successful lacrosse season due to strong parent involvement and team culture
– Parents took ownership of tasks and communicated effectively
– Team had strong sportsmanship and emphasized collective success