Walker asked Justin and his friend Matt Tighe to compile a list of the athletes in town, regardless of what sport they excelled in and sent personalized letters to each of the 35 boys on the list inviting them to take part in the birth of a new local sports program.
In the Fall of 1990, 23 boys participated in a free clinic where they learned the fundamentals of the game. At the end of the clinic, Walker popped the commitment question.
The following spring, every one of those 23 boys travelled to Barnstable to play a team that had been around for over a decade for their first-ever game.
"They had already been playing 10 or 15 years, we were a team that had never played before," Walker said. "And we smoked them. I think the score was ten to three, and we were off and running."
Four years later that group fielded the first-ever Duxbury High varsity lacrosse team, which made it to the playoffs in its inaugural season. The high school program's accomplishments encouraged more local kids to take up the game, creating the cycle of success that still exists today.
Now the DYL brings in about 250 kids each year, starting as young as kindergarten and first grade. And the program's staff, many of whom played in college, impart their knowledge to the next generation.
Despite the program owing its existence to his initiative, Walker, who left the DYL eight years ago, is quick to cede credit for its success.
"I can't take credit for the fact that there's a lot of athletes in this town, and it wouldn't have worked in a lot of towns," Walker said. "We tried to put together a group of highly skilled athletes to give them a chance of success. When we were successful right off the bat, everything grew exponentially from there."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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