Click the play button above to learn about Bob and Owen Seebold, one of the father-son duos that is a part of this year’s Syracuse lacrosse team.
Audio Transcript: SeeboldFatherSonLacrosse
By J.D. Raucci SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — There are 56 players on the 2018 Syracuse University, SU, lacrosse roster and they come from all over the United States and Canada. They all have their own styles of play. They all have different backgrounds. For many of them, the thing that holds them together is the feeling of family that has become a staple of the SU lacrosse program. For some of the 56, that family atmosphere is a bit more literal.
Six players and three coaches on the Orange’s current roster have family members that have either played for the SU lacrosse team in the past or currently wear the orange and white. And that family tradition is not something new.
“We always joke about when Coach [Roy Simmons Jr.] would tell you when you left the university that we always had to promise him our first-born son,” said Todd Curry, West Genesee graduate and three-time All-American at Syracuse in the 1980s.
Curry’s son, Brendan, now plays for the Orange under head coach John Desko, who was an assistant on the teams Todd played on in the 1980s. After coaching for that long, he has seen a lot of family turnover in his time with the program.
“I’ve been coaching long enough where a lot of guys that have played for us have kids of age and are coming back to Syracuse,” Desko said. “It’s been pretty healthy and it’s just created a family atmosphere.”
Owen Seebold and Connor Nelson join Curry in the freshman class. Seebold’s dad, Bob, was a senior on the Orange’s first national championship team in 1983. Nelson’s dad, Tim, was a sophomore on that team and a three-time All-American in his own right.
“It’s funny how somehow they’ll have one characteristic or a couple characteristics of their fathers,” Desko said. “It just serves as a reminder that the parent has played at Syracuse and it makes it fun. Sometimes you can see it in their faces, the resemblance, so it’s pretty neat.”
As with any family, the fathers send their sons back to the SU program because there’s a certain level of trust that they is not the same anywhere else.
“To me, to entrust your son to a program in which you know the coaching staff is a weight off your shoulders, to know he’s being well taken care of both on the field and off,” Todd Curry said.
Now that the dads have set the precedent for winning national titles and being named to All-American teams, the sons say they hope to replicate their dad’s success.
“One of the biggest aspects of Syracuse lacrosse is family,” Owen Seebold said. “Syracuse lacrosse is like the top of the sport. When you think of the word Syracuse and lacrosse, you think of excellence and I mean that’s just what I’ve always wanted to achieve in lacrosse. I thought it would give me the best opportunity to become a better player and win a national championship.”
Other players on the team who have family connections in the SU program include cousins Tyson and Brendan Bomberry. Ryan Simmons’ dad, Roy Simmons III, is the director of operations for the team, while his grandfather, Roy Simmons Jr., and great-grandfather, Roy Simmons Sr., both played and coached at Syracuse. Desko’s brothers and sons all played for the program while assistant coach Kevin Donahue’s son, Dylan, is considered one of the best players in the recent history of the program.