Lacrosse coach an inspiration to players


Ali Van Der Ziel, Reporter

Sitting on the edge of his seat, counting seconds, Jeff White waited with his brothers and dad to receive news. March 6, 2014, the Iroquois National Lacrosse team roster was released. “Jeff White – Goalie” read the post, giving Jeff the recognition he had worked toward his whole life.

“My family got me into the game of lacrosse,” Coach White said. “Growing up Native American, lacrosse was just a part of our culture. My whole family played lacrosse, so I grew up playing the sport. My dad taught me how to play, I will teach my kids how to play, they will teach their kids how to play and the tradition will continue.”

Viewed through many eyes, Coach White is an accomplished lacrosse player, who has achieved multiple goals in his life.

“One of the proudest moments of my career was winning the national lacrosse championship while I was playing in college at Le Moyne,” Coach White said. “Along with playing for my dad and playing with my brothers. My dad is one of my biggest supporters and he coached me from kindergarten to high school. Just getting to play for him alongside my brothers, made me proud.”

Another achievement that Coach White is proud of is playing for the Iroquois National Lacrosse team – the only Native American team authorized to play a sport internationally and is ranked third by the Federation of International Lacrosse.

“It was awesome when I heard the news,” Coach White said. “It’s something that, growing up being Native American, you work towards when you’re playing lacrosse. It’s an honor to represent my people and playing the game that my ancestors have invented. The team is very hard to make, so when I made it I was ecstatic. My whole family was there when I heard the news and they celebrated with me. It was just a great experience.”

For Coach White, being so connected with his family, the move from New York to Texas wasn’t easy, but it was worth it to coach this high school team.

“Coaching college lacrosse was a little bit too much, and I wanted a place where I could be relaxed and have fun,” Coach White said. “I wanted to work with younger kids along with high school kids to help develop the game throughout the country. It was a great opportunity and I knew I couldn’t pass it up.”

Not only do the returning high school players think he’s a great coach, but new players find him encouraging and patient when they are learning the game.

“Coach White has definitely been accepting that I’m new, and he works with me individually to help me learn,” junior Sebastian Rogers said. “Lacrosse is a really technical sport and its difficult to learn, and Coach understands that. He helps me in the places I need to be helped, and when I make mistakes he corrects me, just overall he’s a very good coach.”

Coach White is a coach that is not only concerned with his players high school careers, but beyond into their college careers and future.

“Coach White is always there for his players,” varsity captain Cameron Johnson said. “If you need to contact a college coach, all you have to do is send him a text. He will always talk to someone for you or about you and you know he’s putting in a good word. Not many coaches care that much, so I think the team is lucky to have a coach like Jeff.”

Coach White’s love for the game continues to grow and he believes that coaching will always be his passion.

“I think I will always want to help people, especially kids, learn this game,” Coach White said. “This is my goal, to help players develop new skills that benefit them in the future. This game is growing constantly throughout the country, and it is my job to help that process.”