“Bringing Back” Lacrosse to Emory & Henry

by Monica Hoel

When Emory & Henry announced in 2023 that the college was adding lacrosse to their athletics lineup, there were a handful of alumni who corrected the word “adding” to “bringing back.”

There were a handful of years back in the late 1970s and early 1980s when E&H had a men’s lacrosse club team. John Hutter (E&H ’79) remembers those early days as being a combination of miscommunication and great luck.

He had been looking to transfer to a new school and he dropped by Emory & Henry. He asked someone in the athletics office if E&H had lacrosse and that person told him “Yes.” When he actually transferred and showed up for school it was quite clear that was not the case. “Eleanor Hutton looked at me funny and said, ‘Is that the game you play with a ball and a butterfly net?’”

Clearly there had been some miscommunication.

But the great luck followed soon after.

John had been practicing his stick work at Kelly Library when Roy Strohl, Emory & Henry’s head librarian at the time, stuck his head out the window and asked him to “stop throwing a lacrosse ball against the wall.” John was thrilled that anyone knew what a lacrosse ball even was, and headed inside to meet the guy with a bowtie and lacrosse sticks on the wall.

The rest was legend.

Roy agreed to be a coach. John found out that there were a handful of guys on campus who had played lacrosse before – and still others who were interested in learning. They played teams like Roanoke, William & Mary, and Washington and Lee, and they enjoyed a nice number of fans who came out to watch.

Ever since the magic fizzled and the team disappeared, those guys who loved playing lacrosse at Emory & Henry have fervently hoped it might someday return – so the news of E&H lacrosse has been welcomed with excitement by these alumni.

In the fall of 2023, on Homecoming weekend, these lacrosse alumni will reunite to remember the old days and honor their former coach. Roy Strohl will be on campus to be part of the festivities and also to launch a trophy that will bear his name. Bill Naehle (E&H ’82) has found a statue depicting Native Americans playing lacrosse and it will be used to represent the Roy Strohl Award – or The Roy.

Find more details about the reunion on the E&H Alumni webpage, and enjoy a great conversation with John Hutter, Roy Strohl, and Jeff Stone (E&H ’79), a football player who found the joys of lacrosse, on the Duck Pond Wall Podcast.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2214-eamph-friends-on-center-stage"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/119,0,919,800/10834_Free_Spirit_photo.rev.1645106838.webp 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/119,0,919,800/10834_Free_Spirit_photo.rev.1645106838.jpg 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/119,0,919,800/10834_Free_Spirit_photo.rev.1645106838.jpg" alt="The cast of Love, Loss, and What She Wore performed at the Free Spirit Theatre in Knoxville. (Front left is Cheri Compton, E&H " width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/119,0,919,800/10834_Free_Spirit_photo.rev.1645106838.jpg 2x" data-max-w="800" data-max-h="800" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2214-eamph-friends-on-center-stage">E&H Friends on Center Stage</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Three of the stars in a recent Knoxville production of <em>Love, Loss and What I Wore</em> had more than a love of theatre in common: they also had a certain tiny college in Virginia as a mutual bond. <a href="/live/news/2214-eamph-friends-on-center-stage" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/3293-garrett-butler-helps-to-create-unforgettable-sports-eve"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/15137_garrett_butler.rev.1705420355.webp 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/15137_garrett_butler.rev.1705420355.jpg 2x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/15137_garrett_butler.rev.1705420355.jpg" alt="Man with beard smiling" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,800,800/15137_garrett_butler.rev.1705420355.jpg 2x" data-max-w="800" data-max-h="800" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/3293-garrett-butler-helps-to-create-unforgettable-sports-eve">Garrett Butler Helps to Create Unforgettable Sports Events in Mississippi</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Garrett Butler has found a unique way to grow his career while also serving his community.</p><a href="/live/news/3293-garrett-butler-helps-to-create-unforgettable-sports-eve" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1116-harold-craw-named-2020-distinguished-achievement"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/737,176,1280,720/7329_harold.rev.1578678696.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/737,176,1280,720/7329_harold.rev.1578678696.png 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/737,176,1280,720/7329_harold.rev.1578678696.png" alt="Harold Craw, E&H Class of 1999, General Manager for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="543" data-max-h="544" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1116-harold-craw-named-2020-distinguished-achievement">Harold Craw Named 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award Honoree</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Harold is the general manager of the <span><a href="https://www.milb.com/jacksonville" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp</a>.</span> <a href="/live/news/1116-harold-craw-named-2020-distinguished-achievement" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>