For the first time in 20 years the Culver City high school boy’s lacrosse team will be led by someone not named Chabola. Jerry and his son Casey were the name and face of a program that they were instrumental in building from the ground up. The new face Is long time assistant coach Adam Eskridge.
Eskridge is no stranger to city of Culver City, the Culver City school system and the high school athletic program. Growing up in the city and coaching and playing sports at the high school made Eskridge the right man for the job as the boys’ varsity lacrosse head coach.
Being a head coach at the high school is nothing new for Eskridge. He was the head boys’ varsity basketball coach from 2013-2017. “What I learned about being a head coach a few years ago is how to balance my time between scheduling, fund raising, work- ing with the parents and realizing this a year-round job,” said Eskridge this week while standing on the Culver City high school lacrosse field. “All of those things helped set me up to be ready to continue in a different sport but the same role.”
According to Eskridge lacrosse and basketball are similar in a lot of ways. “When I first started coaching lacrosse with Casey 14 years ago, I realized defense in lacrosse is very similar to defense in basketball. The way you play help defense, the way you slide, the way you close out, all the foot work is the same. I like teaching defense, but I also enjoy working with the offense.”
Eskridge also learned the similarities between offensive lacrosse and offensive basketball. “Screening players and we run a lot of pin down action to get guys shots in lacrosse. Offense and defense are similar in both sports, but the goal is different but to get the ball in the goal is the same philosophy.”
Fourteen years ago, Eskridge knew very little about lacrosse but when Casey came to talk to him about being on the coaching staff, he was ready to listen. “I have known Casey since he was in high school. He asked me to be on his coaching staff and I told him I have never seen a lacrosse game in my life, and he told me to come out and take a look at a game.”
The first year in the lacrosse program it was a learning experience for Eskridge but the second season he was named an assistant coach. “After that I fell in love with lacrosse,” said Eskridge. “It’s such a fast- paced game and it’s a physical game.”
The Culver City lacrosse program has grown into one of the top programs in Southern California and they play in one of the best-looking lacrosse stadiums in Southern California. From the youth programs to middle school and high school the program has climbed to an elite level.
“Right now, Jason Sindelar and I are just trying to continue what Jerry and Casey started and keep Culver City lacrosse in the spotlight,” said Eskridge. “Sindelar is working with the kids in the middle school and this summer we have been running free lacrosse camps for kids.”
According to Eskridge the future looks bright but next year will be very interesting because last season the team graduated 18 seniors. “We lost kids at every position, but we have kids that are ready to step up and take it a shot. They have a lot of talent, and they are working very hard.”
Eskridge is looking forward to his first game as a head coach and his whole family will be there to cheer for him. “My family is very excited. To be truthful it’s kind of a crazy dream.”