There comes a time when you are playing a sport that you realize that your teammates are not just people wearing the same uniform, they are your family. You struggle together and you win together. You argue, fail, succeed, learn, and grow together. You have their backs through thick and thin, and you forge bonds that will never be broken. Ten years ago, the Milford Lacrosse Program tragically lost a member of their family with the passing of Chase Rothermel. On the day he was laid to rest, Chase’s teammates served as honor guards, escorting Chase’s helmet to and from the Church Service. As Chase’s loved ones exited the Church and walked to his grave at the cemetery, they did so under raised lacrosse sticks, held high by all his teammates.
Since then, the #2 has never been worn as a jersey, but it has become an integral part of the Milford Lacrosse Program. The players have a sticker on their helmet with CMR 2 written on it, as well as have a number two on the left shoulder of their shooter shirts. “It’s important to keep the #2 as a part of the program because it shows that we have not forgotten the past. Every time we step on the field we try to carry ourselves in ways that honor the number and what it represents,” said Head Coach Blake Faulkner. As for what the #2 represents, Faulkner said that it means something different to people depending on how they know and remember Chase. For Faulkner it represents, “A kind, hard-working player that embodies what a student-athlete should be.”
One of Rothermel’s coaches was Don Christie, who has been with the Milford Lacrosse Program since its inception. “Chase’s work ethic was unmatched by anyone on his team. He was determined to be the best lacrosse player he could be. Unfortunately, Chase died before he could reach his full potential. Kids need to know that tomorrow is never guaranteed, so you need to take advantage of every single moment. Be the best that you can possibly be. Never waste a moment to improve yourself and to help someone else. Chase did all those things,” Christie said. When Christie sees the #2 he is reminded that Chase’s spirit will live on forever. “I believe he is with the Milford High Lacrosse Team at every practice and game to this day,” he said.
Milford Assistant Coach Ryan Deeney was a teammate and friend of Rothermel’s, and he remembers him as, “Not only a good person and friend outside of sports, but also a great teammate on the field.” When asked about what the #2 means to him, Deeney thought back on that season and how it impacted the Milford Lacrosse Family. “The #2 was Chase’s number for lacrosse before he passed. To those that were teammates with Chase, it was more than just his number. After Chase passed away, just days into the 2007 season, Chases’s number could be seen adorned on the team helmets with stickers, T-shirts that we wore underneath our game jerseys, it was written on the tape on player’s sticks, and on cleats and equipment. Anything that could make the team feel like Chase was still on the field with us. I know that for those who were teammates with Chase, the number 2 was a symbol for us to compete, give everything we had, and leave it out on field for our brother that could no longer do it with us. The reason I believe #2 should stay a part of the Milford Lacrosse program is that we are one big family. It is important that players know they are contributing to something bigger then themselves. There is a past, present, and promising future for Milford lacrosse, and it is important that our players now and in the future can understand the big picture and to leave their mark on the program while paying homage to those that came before.”
The #2 is a reminder for Milford Lacrosse Players to strive to be the best that you can be. Be a good person, friend, and teammate. Give all that you can, not just for yourself, but for your team around you. Work hard, and meet your true potential. Never waste a moment on that field, because time is not guaranteed. Chase Rothermel is with the Milford Lacrosse Team always, because the example that he set will never be forgotten.
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