Everyone Knows They Won States, But No One Talks About The Prom

May 18th, 2023

Essay 7
Everyone Knows They Won States, But No One Talks About The Prom
Dedicated to Coach Korrow.. who gets it…

Last night the Dulaney Women’s lacrosse team took Sherwood, the #1 seed, down to win the Maryland State Quarter finals. 13-9. As we were seated 8th this was an unexpected upset… for Sherwood.

Today the team will gather with God forsaken smelly cleats and worn jerseys. They will be tired and happy and grumpy. The moon is not full so perhaps only ¼ of them will be ripe with the attitude of their goddess given cycle. They are a bit tired of each other. Clicks are clicking and seniors are senioring. The coach is faced with a big hurdle in order to ready for the semifinals on Saturday. The hurdle is not a new one. It just so happens to line up like this every year. The hurdle is Prom. Dulaney Prom is Friday night.

The Girls are mostly ready. The nail appointments are set, the corsages ordered. Curvy, sensuous, coveted dresses hang soulless on the back of closet doors and hair and makeup have already been practiced. Everyone knows where they are going for pre and where they going after and who has the booze and where it is stashed. Some things never change. The parents want to know where they are sleeping. “Where are you sleeping.. Where are you sleeping.. who is driving, who is driving?” Like hens we click these questions out to keep track of the changing plans. Over and over, we promise and text that that we will pick them up at any time, no question asked.

Unlike in the proms back in the 80’s, no one worries if they have a date or gets upset about being asked. Basically, in the last 10 years or so the girls have taken over. They arrange everything to a tee. The guys are happy to be off the hook and go where they are told, dressed still as giant penguins there is no need for them to find the perfect pebble. The nest is stocked already with Amazon boxes ready for college. The girls have lost patience with old courting rituals. Besides they are headed to D1 schools, have scholarships and thank God still have the right to birth control.

So how will Maya’s Coach Korrow convince her seniors to have a great Prom night but go a little easy. How does a coach, who knows deep in her bones what winning brings, what championships bring, what prom means, get them out of their prom dresses and back into their playing kilts all less than 24 hours.

My son Jack has been dating this amazing woman for over 4 years now. Zoe has it all. She is smart, kind, funny, clever, giving, beautiful and sensible. She can cook, golf, run, lift, do your taxes and pick out the perfect present. This May she will walk and receive her Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. She already has a job lined up at Under Armor and to top that off, it is remote. Yes I am bragging.. I just love her. We all do. She went to Dulaney High School like all my kids but out of all of them she has the bragging rights. She went to states four times. Twice for field hockey and twice for Lacrosse.

When Zoe was a Freshman, Dulaney took it all and made it to the semifinals. As per usual the prom ready girls, hoping not to chip their nails, were faced with either throwing the game by drinking till the sun came up or winning the game to carry a trophy to the trophy box along with timeless glory. Dulaney won and won and won and took it all.

To this day no one talks about their prom dresses, but everyone remembers the year they won states.

And so we are faced this weekend with the same thing. How will the coach do it? How will she flick the switch in the female brain that can turn lionesses from nurturing unpredictable goddesses into little ruthless Kali’s who pour their rath onto the field and devour any one’s chance of winning as they take it all and carry it off the field on the shoulders of underclassman who many never measure up this way again.

How will Coach Korrow do it?

At the end of the game yesterday I watched as the coach leaned down to check and hug a player. I don’t’ know why the player was upset. They won! But girls feel and feel it all and often all at once. What I do know is that the coach noticed, addressed it, softened her glory and bent a knee. Her kindness and attentiveness makes her the favored coach for over 19 years who mostly gets her girls playing under the big lights and the big stadiums by the end of the season. I don’t’ know what Korrow will say in the huddle today to get them ready. What I do know though is that these women, with left over mascara running instead of black warrior face paint, will change from cleat to heel to cleat again, walk taller and stronger for it and decide for themselves how, in this one moment, they will walk off the field.

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