BOWLING GREEN - Over the 30 years since Bowling Green State University decided to eliminate the men's lacrosse program in part to meet Title IX requirements, former Falcons lacrosse players have gathered a handful of times to reminisce, as well as vent, about the once-flourishing program.
The latest roundup took place over the weekend, culminating with members attending the Falcons football game against Central Michigan.
Matthew Kenny, a 1976 BG graduate, was among the group of nearly 50 former lacrosse players who attended the BG lacrosse reunion weekend. And while the gathering rekindled plenty of good memories of their time spent at BG, Kenny and the rest still live with an emptiness about the university axing their sport, which once was recognized as a national power.
"It breaks our hearts," Kenny said. "We talked about it quite a bit over these last couple of days, about how successful the program was, and it was because of Title IX that they eliminated the program. There was a lot of real sadness and [people] were angry at times. People are really soured by the fact they chose lacrosse as the sport they were going to drop. It's very sad.
"We're hoping that at some point we can get the program back at Bowling Green."
Jim Plaunt returned to Bowling Green for the reunion. He was a member of the Falcons inaugural varsity team in 1966. He eventually replaced legendary coach Mickey Cochrane as the Falcons head coach and held the position when the university decided to fold the program.
He looked forward to spending time with some of his former players. Yet, he remains bothered about how the lacrosse program was done away with.
Frankly, Plaunt arrived in Bowling Green for the reunion with mixed feelings.
"This is very bittersweet for me," admitted Plaunt, a 1966 BG graduate. "It was a program that I felt had great tradition. I think it was a program that if they had the foresight to carry it on it would have been self-supporting by now. If you look at all these guys they're all professional guys who are doing well. They would have supported this program forever."
The Falcons were a la
crosse power, which
included back-to-back trips to the NCAA tournament in 1972 and 1973 under Cochrane.
"We played Notre Dame. We played Ohio State. We played the big schools and we beat them all," Kenny said. "Big schools, little schools, it didn't matter."
A round of golf at the Toledo Country Club was among the weekend activities. They also held a reception the night before the Falcons football game. The announcement of their attendance at the afternoon game at Doyt Perry Stadium drew applause from the crowd.
Overall, the consensus was they enjoyed the weekend gathering.
"What was neat was they came here to see each other," Plaunt said. "It was kind of a magical time.
"It was probably a personal highlight for me."
Kenny shared similar sentiments.
"Time heals all wounds and we're all back here," he said.
FALCONS RECOGNIZED: BG juniors Lauren Prochaska and Tracy Pontius were named among Full Court Press' Mid-Major Top 25 preseason list.
Prochaska was listed among the third team and Pontius earned honorable mention status from the national basketball publication. They were the only two players from the Mid-American Conference to make the list.
Prochaska is the reigning MAC player of the year after averaging a team-leading 17.3 points and 6.5 rebounds last season. Much of her scoring came from long range, netting 75 3-pointers while making 40 percent of her shots from behind the 3-point arc.
Pontius, an All-MAC first team selection last season, averaged 14.8 points and a team-best 4.1 assists last season. She sank a team-leading 77 3-pointers while making 43 percent of her 3-point attempts.
Prochaska and Pontius are two of 10 returning letterwinners for BG coach Curt Miller.
The Falcons will make their debut on Nov. 4 when they play host to the University of Findlay in an exhibition game.
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