Peachtree City Lacrosse Community,
It is with a heavy heart that I let everyone know that our lacrosse community has lost a close friend, mentor and coach. Robin Sommers passed away unexpectedly yesterday, Saturday January 4th. For those of us who knew and coached or played with Coach Sommers, this loss will be hard to come to grips with. For those in the PTCLAX family who did not know of Coach Sommers, here is his lacrosse story. 3 years ago we held tryouts for our girls summer travel teams. There was a huge turnout and this meant that some girls would not make either team and have no where to play. Robin saw this and immediately put together some practice times for these girls to get together and keep living their lacrosse dreams. That first summer, he took a handful of girls and got them playing in some local tournaments. The kids and coaches enjoyed it so much that the decision was made to carry the team through the fall, which included a very successful trip to Charlotte. From there Southside United just took off! As part of the Peachtree City Lacrosse program, Robin and Southside United continued to run highly competitive teams year round, only stopping long enough for the girls to play for their high school teams. During most of this time, Robin was also the Varsity Community Coach at Whitewater High School, so it is not much of a stretch to say that Robin was highly instrumental in the development of girls lacrosse on the south side. His desire was to give any girl who wanted to play an opportunity and a place to compete. This was evident in the reach of Southside United, drawing girls from all over Fayette County as well as Atlanta, Duluth, Coweta and Henry County. Robin and Southside United became regulars at tournaments around the Southeast and gained a reputation for putting a competitive team on the field. Over the past few summers, the girls competed in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as local tournaments in Georgia.
Robin and his enthusiasm will be greatly missed by those of us who had the opportunity to work along side him and watch him coach. He embodied the volunteer spirit that is so essential to an organization like Peachtree City Lacrosse, it was all about the kids and giving them a chance to compete. Never once did Robin tell us no when we asked him to help out, this includes taking a fall Middle School team and working with them last year. So it is left to us to pick up where Coach Sommers left off and we will carry on what he started. Please keep his family, wife Jacqueline, son Jordan and daughter Breanna, a Peachtree City Warrior and Southside United Alumni, as they deal with the loss of their husband, father, coach and mentor. I will post any further updates as the family finalizes plans to lay Robin to rest. In the immediate future, the family has asked that your refrain from reaching out to them for a few days as they deal with this loss as a family. I am always available if you have questions, as are Coach Uy and Coach James. Please say a prayer for them and remember to be thankful that we were given the chance to get to know Robin as a coach and a friend.
To my fellow players, coaches and parents:
Coach Robin Sommers died January 4, 2014 and I am writing to you to express thoughts I know he would want the girls to have when dealing with this sudden news. Above all, his concern was for the girls of any and every Southside lacrosse program. Three years ago, Robin had a vision to create a program that encompassed the belief that every player had a potential to be cultivated. He wanted players that were hungry for knowledge and a desire to improve themselves. The Southside and Warrior Lacrosse programs became a conglomerate of quirky individuals that only had one thing in common: the fastest game on two feet. My actual family extended to dedicated parents and coaches (sometimes both) and even today, I am blessed to call the girls my sisters and the adults my extended parents. Coach Kris went as far as to follow me home from Meade field covertly the first time I was allowed to drive home alone in the Candyman Van with Robin’s permission. I am sure each and every girl has many stories just like mine. Our family atmosphere defies any high power elite team where they barely know the players’ names.
Rather than dwell on this sudden and miserable event, I know Robin would ask you to take the program and have the players and continue like every day. Ask yourselves: What’s the next tournament, when’s the next practice, and how can we continuously create an environment for young females to compete like women. To the players: some I consider you a best friend and others I will come to know you in time. Coach Robin would want you to use your skills in lacrosse to propel you to higher education. My father told me almost every day to take advantage of my passion for lacrosse and translate that into a college degree. I hope that every girl who comes through this program receives the exposure and training she needs to become a colligate athlete, if she desires this. In addition to that, if I can be of any service to a player making collegiate lacrosse plans or college plans in general, please do not hesitate to contact me.
My family and I have been amazed by the overwhelming and much needed support we have received. This situation is a testament to the bonds this program has within it. My only hope is that this continues and perpetuates. There will be another day when a different family needs us and we will be there for her. For now, we invite you to my house 2310 Highway 85 Fayetteville, GA 30215 on Wednesday January 8th, 2014 at 6pm. This is intended to be a casual celebration to spend time with others who were brought together by Robin’s vision, no black clothing, I think Robin would love to see purple. We will hold a graveside memorial in my father’s hometown Elizabethton, Tennessee. To clear any confusion, the cause of death is still uncertain, but details will become available after the autopsy.
I will finish with one last thought. The most important lesson Robin taught me in eighteen years was that success is not a single goal or a destination to be reached, but a way of thinking and thus a way of life.
Breanna Sommers Southside United Women’s Lacrosse
Copyright © 2014 Georgia Chapter US Lacrosse. All Rights Reserved.