John Falko has always wanted to see a lacrosse team at , so when the club sport started six years ago, he leapt at the chance to volunteer.
The team’s season is done for the year, but it was a good one, said Falko, who is now the head coach for the boys’ team. The team had a 11-5 record and won their first playoff game against Stow-Munroe Falls—that was the first playoff game the team has won in its six-year history, Falko said. Their season ended on Saturday with a loss against Jackson High School.
But the season isn’t completely over for Falko. His daughter, Ellen, plays on the girls lacrosse team, and that team is headed to a regional final on Friday.
The season officially begins at the end of February, but the students start conditioning in January.
“This is a very physically demanding sport,” he said.
And coaches start planning for the season in the summer. Falko estimated that he put in about 160 hours of volunteer work this past season. All of the team’s coaches are volunteers, and the students pay for all of their own equipment.
Falko first became interested in lacrosse in high school, even though Brecksville-Broadview Heights didn’t have a team. He played a bit for Ohio Wesleyan University in college. It’s a fast-paced game with a long history, he said.
“Once you get hooked, you’ve got the bug forever because it’s such an exciting sport,” Falko said.
On giving back:
Falko has always given back to the community, often by getting involved in activities his children, Ellen, Kate and Jack, were interested in. That included sports, such as softball and baseball, and the Cuyahoga Valley Native Sons and Native Daughters group, which focuses on building relationships between fathers and their children.
Falko grew up in Brecksville and came back after college. He married his wife Debbie, who was one of his best friends in high school, and they raise their children in town. He likes that the city has a small-town feel and that it embraces its rich history. It’s family oriented, he said.
“I just can’t say enough good things about the city,” Falko said.
Editor's note: This story originally had the wrong record for the team's season. It has been corrected.