My favorite thing about working on old wooden lacrosse sticks is the history they carry. Each cross comes with their own well aged story. As I rip the rotten hide out from the fragile wooden frame, I remember a time before cell phones, Instagram, and the internet.
Every stick I refurbish comes from a time when the game was unpopular, no one made money off of it, and the love of the game was all that there was. Sometimes the current owner has no knowledge of the cross’s past, but sometimes we get a full account. This stick belongs to Francis “Frank” Garahan. The first coach of UMass Woman’s Lacrosse.
I will let Frank tell you the story of this Cranberry Victoria.
“US schools imported the sticks from England through a company called Cranbary, from Marblehead, MA The stick brand was called a Viktoria. This company is a key field hockey supplier today The stick you have is a Cranbary and I would guess it to be 30-40 years old. Note the precision carpentry on the handle and upper frame. The extra drill hole is a Victoria exclusive.”
“I played with wood in high school and into my sophomore year in college before going to plastic and would care for and repair and my teammate’s wood, gut and leather sticks.”
(Gut wall prep)
“I would go to the Mohawk Reservation and purchase 30-35 sticks for our team each year in the early 70’s.”
( lacing the gut )
“I graduated from UMass in 1975 and was asked to be the first coach of UMass Women’s Lacrosse. I did so for 3 years and everyone had to play with a wooden stick. We went to the first final four event in 1978 and lost in the semi’s [Semi-finals].”
“I retired and re-connected with the team. Each year, the coach gives a leadership award in my name and I provide a wooden 24” trophy stick for the award.”
“The stick that you have will become the prop to begin the story that the coach will tell about the history, culture and traditions of the program to prospective new recruits. It will be placed in the same area with all the team trophies and awards of years past.”
We invite you to send your story to us at Info@woodlacrossesticks.com. We want to hear more stories like this one.