To Hall of Fame Inductee Beth Stone, Lacrosse is 'Poetry in Motion'

Beth Stone (center) poses with members of the Haudenosaunee women's national team at the World Lacrosse Women's Championship this summer.

On Saturday evening at the Grand Lodge in Cockeysville, Md., Beth Stone will be inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a truly great contributor.

For over 30 years, Stone has served in leadership roles on the national, regional and local levels to support women’s lacrosse. She is a past president of the USWLA High School Coaches Council and a longtime member of the USA Lacrosse High School All-America Committee.

She is also a past president of the Midwest Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association and a former chair for girls’ lacrosse in New York’s Empire State Games. She has been a member of the executive board for USA Lacrosse’s Western NY Chapter for over 20 years and has developed coaches and players clinics in the region for many years.

On the international level, Stone served as the women’s competition chair for the FIL World Championships in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. She has been previously inducted into three halls of fame, and in recognition of her significant contributions, USA Lacrosse created the Beth Stone Award in 2007 to recognize the top high school senior at the annual National Tournament for girls.

Ahead of her induction into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Stone sat down with USA Lacrosse’s Paul Ohanian via Zoom to discuss her life in lacrosse. Below is an excerpt of their conversation.

If you’d like to attend the induction ceremony, tickets can be purchased here.

Paul Ohanian: What was it that hooked you about this game? Your lifetime connection to the sport has remained, so what was it about this sport that just hooked you?

Beth Stone: The beauty of the game of lacrosse is not only the wonderful game itself, but the incredible people that are involved in the sport. And it’s the wonderful people that keep you involved. My friends that I’ve made through lacrosse are lifetime friends. They’re all people that want to give back. Carolyn Wesley said right from the start that lacrosse people, lacrosse players, always give back to the sport that has given them so much.

Paul Ohanian: What has all of this lacrosse experience meant to your life? Not just the friends and connections, which you have already mentioned, but is there an intrinsic joy?

Beth Stone: I really grew to love the game itself, watching it, particularly in the old days with wooden sticks. It’s such a beautiful game of, I always called it poetry in motion, because when you saw good players playing the game, it was just beautiful. And I really grew to love it. And I love the people that were involved in it. It’s the people that have really kept me involved in the game. It’s the only game that I’ve coached where you’re the best in the world, and they’re sitting there telling you all their game secrets. In other sports, it’s like, ‘Oh, no, I gotta keep this as a secret.’ It’s not a secret. It’s a beautiful game to share. And that’s what it’s always been. And I guess that’s why I’ve stayed involved so long is because it’s just been so much fun. And it’s brought a lot of joy to our lives. I wanted my children to be able to have a great experience in the game and love it. And it’s wonderful that they’re still involved at something that we all can share. And it’s just a special game. It has a special meaning. It’s been a joy to coach, and the players that I’ve coached at Nichols School have just been wonderful. It’s something that we just all will share for the for the rest of our lives.

Paul Ohanian: With the coaching side of it, do you see the game different when you’re sitting on the sidelines?

Beth Stone: I really enjoy teaching the skills of the game. I really enjoy taking the skills that they have from other sports, and I’m a huge proponent of playing multiple sports. I agree totally with Dom Starsia when he says that you can never replicate what you learn on the field, in a weight room. There’s just no question. And I love dual-sport athletes, and I work really hard to create opportunities for kids to play multiple sports. And that’s what really makes it fun. Because in lacrosse, I can get the best soccer players, the best field hockey players, the best basketball players, all those kids together. But I also love the girl who has never tried it before and wants to try it and get out there and play the game. So, a lot of times, you have to use all those skills that they have from other sports to make them the best athletes that they can be. Lacrosse is beautiful because they can develop their skills in their backyard. They can go find a wall and they can play. … It’s really, really special sport in that you can change your game so quickly if you really want to.


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