Spring is upon us! That means more hours of daylight, sunny skies (hopefully), and most importantly spring sports!! We sat down with Bay’s new Boys Lacrosse Head Coach, Griffin Costello, to get to know him a little better and find out what he has in store for this season.
When did you get involved with lacrosse?
I started playing lacrosse in the 3rd grade. I grew up in the Bay Area and played for all of
my schools, including Redwood High School where I went to the CIF championship. I also played at Sonoma State for all 4 years. After college, I coached for Redwood High School where they went undefeated, as well as for Branson and Stuart Hall.
Lacrosse runs in my family. My father played lacrosse in high school and college, and my brother, sister and I all played on USA West All-Star teams growing up. My father was instrumental as one of five people to get lacrosse adopted by the state of California and he started a dozen teams. Lacrosse is something my family loves and it’s something that has taken me around the world. It has taught me a lot of great life lessons that I couldn’t get anywhere else other than on the field and that’s why sports are important to me.
What is it about the sport of lacrosse, in particular, that you love so much?
It’s fast-paced, it takes finesse and skill. It combines the physicality of hockey, the speed of soccer and the technique of basketball. It’s like no other sport out there. It’s also North America’s first original sport. Played by some Native American communities, [what we call lacrosse] was called “Little Brother of War” and used it to solve tribal conflicts. Games went on for days and fields were miles long. It was played for the gods, there were no egos involved. It’s pretty special to North America.
How is Bay’s team looking so far?
We are a younger team with more 9th- and 10th-graders than 11th- and 12th-graders, but we have some incredible talent and a few new players to the sport. This is exciting because we get to teach them good habits and how to be the best players they can be. We are full strength with 23 student-athletes, and have a goal to get to 28 players which is league max.
For a long time, lacrosse has been the fastest growing sport in the US and in California especially. Traditionally the East Coast is more lacrosse-oriented but over the last 5-10 years, we have seen division 1 players come out of the Bay Area and San Diego. We are in a hotbed of good teams and schools with strong programs, and we look forward to competing with them.
What is the temperament of the team?
They’re hungry! We have players that are ready to work! I am a believer of making the smart play and understanding why you are where you are on the field. With Bay’s high academic rigor, seeing them play smart is what I am looking forward to this season. That is what I personally believe in and was my playing style. It’s the right play, the smart play – that’s the play that is going to win. We are looking for the players that are going to play well together. The ones that are willing to try something new and give it their all. And they have shown me that so far.
What is your coach philosophy and what are your goals for the team this year?
Goals for the team this year… I’d like to go over 50% [of wins]. I think with a lot of hard work we are capable of it.
My coaching philosophy… work hard, play smart, play fair, play honest. Leave your ego at home. Pass the ball, pass it fast.
I want students to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge we are providing as a coaching staff and learn. I want them to improve every single day. You are not going to be able to build a rocket overnight. You have to take baby steps and learn and build off of everything you learned yesterday. Also, as a team, we will work harder together. So we will do our training and everything together — there are no seniors on the team or freshmen on the team, just lacrosse players on the team.