Remembering Doug Maynard, New Hampshire Lacrosse Pioneer

By Howie Roever

This past August, Doug Maynard scored his last lacrosse goal. One of perhaps several thousand in his lifetime of lacrosse, it was scored while playing attack for the Cloudsplitters club team in the Ultra Grand Masters Division (55 and older) at the Summit Lacrosse Tournament in Lake Placid, New York, a tournament that Doug played in annually dating back to 1991. Of course, no one knew it at the time it was his final goal, or it would have been roundly celebrated in proper lacrosse fashion. Doug Maynard died last Friday; he was 65 years old.

Doug is something of a lacrosse pioneer in New Hampshire. Raised in Wilton, Connecticut, he attended the Taft School, where he played high school lacrosse. Upon graduating Taft, he attended Wesleyan University. In 1970, he was named first-team college All-American as a midfielder. By 1976, Doug made his way to New Hampshire, where he bought land in the town of Dunbarton and built his home from timber harvested on the property.

When relocating to New Hampshire, Doug brought with him his true love the game of lacrosse. Back in the 1970s, lacrosse was a little known sport in the state, and club games were non-existent. This didn't deter Doug, and he traveled far and wide to get in a lacrosse game. He would even head north of the border to Canada to play some of the 'box' version of the game he loved.

As the years went by, lacrosse became more common place in New Hampshire. Doug played on club teams on the seacoast and later, in the mid 1980s, as one of the original Concord Budmen. I met Doug in 1986. After moving to New Hampshire, I stumbled upon a Budmen practice at Memorial Field. At that moment, my softball career ended, as I was drawn back onto the lacrosse field. I remember Doug was 38 at the time and, pointing him out to my wife after one game, I said, "Can you believe that guy is still playing at 38?!" Who knew that 27 years later Doug would still be playing and scoring goals and dishing assists?

Lacrosse took Doug across the country and around the globe. He would grab his stick and strap on his helmet in places like Vail, Colorado; Lake Placid, New York; Weston, Florida, and numerous other destinations up and down the East Coast. Over the years, he also traveled to Ontario and London to play in Federation of International Lacrosse-sponsored tournaments. There is no place Doug wouldn't go to play in a game of lacrosse.

His wife Lorrie knew this better than anyone. An unconfirmed rumor has it that before they were married in 1990, Doug told Lorrie that lacrosse was his first love and therefore would take precedence over their new union. (The truth is that Doug worshiped the ground Lorrie walked on.) Lorrie faithfully watched Doug play ever since. He possessed rare skill on the field and an infectious personality off of it, and along the way made countless friends. Long after a game had finished, Doug could be found sharing a few cold ones with teammates and foes alike, recounting highlights and lowlights of the game. Finding Doug at these post-game communes was never difficult. He had a one of a-kind laugh, which could best be described as a loud cackling sound, and it could be heard from a hundred yards when Doug got going.

Naturally, someone with Doug's knowledge of lacrosse was well suited to coach. He served as the head coach at New Hampshire College in the late 1970s and early 1980s and later would coach Bishop Brady High School to its only state title in 1998. Doug helped lay the foundation for organized lacrosse in Hopkinton and has been the head coach at Hopkinton High School since 2006, leading them to a state title in 2011. Most recently, Hopkinton was undefeated before losing in the Division III title game last spring. Fittingly, Doug was honored as D3 Coach of the Year.

During a recent conversation with Doug, he told me that although he never thought it could happen, he now liked coaching as much or more than he liked playing. He obviously excelled at both. I used to always joke around with him that I couldn't quit playing until he did because I'd be shamed. Others who played lacrosse with Doug and who knew him well joked that Doug would die on the lacrosse field. That was not the fate awaiting Doug, but one thing is for sure, Doug's heart and soul can still be found there, on the field.

Howie Roever
November 5, 2013
Concord, NH

2013-11-07



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