Northwood lacrosse: A season of growth and achievement

By Gene Galin

Pittsboro, NC – In the world of high school sports, where victories are celebrated and defeats are learned from, the Northwood Chargers lacrosse team stands out not just for its prowess on the field, but for the character it instills in its players. Under the guidance of coach Randy Cox, the Chargers have navigated through a season marked by challenges and triumphs, demonstrating resilience, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence. As the playoffs loom on the horizon, Coach Cox reflects on the journey so far and the lessons that extend far beyond the lacrosse field.

A Season of Growth and Resilience

With a blend of seasoned veterans and young talents, the Chargers embarked on a journey marked by uncertainty. Last season’s successes provided a foundation, but with key players departing, this year was a test of character and adaptability. Coach Cox recalls, “We lost some of those key players, and so this year was somewhat of a rebuilding year. We have a lot of young players, and we ask a lot of them.”

Despite the odds, the Chargers showcased their resilience, finishing with an impressive 11-5 conference record and an 11-8 overall record against non-conference opponents. Coach Cox emphasizes the significance of this achievement, considering the challenges they faced. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment for the boys to have done that. We ended up third, tied for third in the conference.”

Northwood Chargers lacrosse team runs onto the field. (photo by Gene Galin)

Leadership and Team Ownership

Central to the Chargers’ success is Coach Cox’s philosophy of shared responsibility and ownership. “It’s not my team. I just happen to have the privilege to be your head coach,” he emphasizes. This ethos permeates through the team, fostering a culture of accountability and support.

During critical moments, such as timeouts, Coach Cox encourages active participation from his players, reinforcing the concept of collective decision-making. “I needed to make sure that they understood. We always say to the boys on the sideline to echo the call,” he explains. This collaborative approach not only enhances communication but also empowers players to take ownership of their roles on and off the field.

Building Character Beyond the Game

For Coach Cox, coaching extends beyond the Xs and Os of lacrosse. It’s about shaping young individuals into resilient, empathetic, and disciplined adults. As the senior class prepares to graduate, he reflects on their contributions to the team’s legacy. “They have helped make us who we are today. It was the collective whole that really gave us an opportunity to accomplish what we did last year.”

Beyond wins and losses, Coach Cox values the relationships forged and the life lessons imparted through the sport. “We say at UNC, it’s not a four-year commitment, it’s a 40-year commitment,” he remarks, highlighting the enduring impact of lacrosse on players’ lives.

Northwood lacrosse seniors with coaches. (photo by Gene Galin)

Looking Ahead: A Legacy of Excellence

As the Chargers gear up for the playoffs, Coach Cox remains focused on the journey ahead. With a young roster and formidable opponents on the horizon, the path to victory is paved with challenges. In the words of Coach Cox, “The playoffs are the playoffs. We need to be great at the basics, believe in ourselves, and play 48 minutes of lacrosse.”

Watch on YouTube – Northwood lacrosse coach Randy Cox talks about the Chargers’ season – 5.1.24

00:13 Northwood High School had a successful season despite rebuilding and limited players.

  • Coach Randy Cox discussed overcoming obstacles and rebuilding with young players.
  • The team achieved an 11-5 conference record and 11-8 overall record, ending tied for third in the conference.

01:49 Northwood lacrosse team preparing for playoffs

  • Coach Randy Cox talking about the upcoming game against Voyager after receiving a bye in the first round
  • Emphasizing the importance of self-belief and determination for success in playoffs

03:15 Coach Randy Cox emphasizes the importance of fundamentals and teamwork in the Chargers’ lacrosse game.

  • He stresses the need for excellence in basics, controlling the ball, and playing solid defense.
  • His coaching philosophy involves reinforcing teamwork and support among the players on the field.

04:17 Emphasizing ownership and teamwork during coaching.

  • Encouraging players to take ownership of the team and the game.
  • Emphasizing the importance of teamwork and clear communication during key game situations.

05:29 Importance of teamwork and support in high school lacrosse

  • Coach emphasizes the significance of team cohesion and mutual belief for success
  • Reflects on the contribution of graduating seniors in shaping the program and achieving past successes

06:54 Senior leadership and rebuilding for the next year

  • The seniors bring experience and leadership to guide the freshmen and sophomores.
  • Next year will be a rebuilding year with sophomores, freshmen, and the challenge of a new high school.

08:26 Emphasis on community and parental support for lacrosse team

  • Coach Randy Cox values community and parental support for the team’s success
  • Lacrosse team culture focuses on building character and life skills for players

09:40 Playing lacrosse is a lifelong commitment that forms a supportive family.

  • The commitment extends beyond the game, providing support with employment and general life assistance.
  • Coaches in Chatham County schools contribute to life lessons and sometimes serve as surrogate parents.