Portsmouth lacrosse athletes take the plunge

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PORTSMOUTH — Scott Singer and Patrick Holmes, the new coaches for the Portsmouth High School boys' lacrosse program, got a chilly reception from the team on Monday.

Keeping with a three-year-old ritual, members of the team took the plunge into the frigid waters of the Sakonnet River from Sandy Point Beach early that evening. It was over in less than a minute.

"It's a fund-raiser for the program," explained Mr. Singer as he toweled off afterward. "Each kid was responsible for raising $100, and we'll just use it for different supplies that we'll need throughout the season and some clothing — sweatpants and sweatshirts — and stuff like that," he said. "It's their little tradition."

Team members met up at a Sigourney Road home, then walked down to the beach for the plunge before retreating back.

"We have a teammate's house up here," said Mr. Singer. "We have a fire set up, so we'll hang and have some pizza and do a little team bonding."

And yes, the water was cold.

"It hits you like a pile of bricks," he said.

Added Mr. Holmes: "I don't plan on going back in for another three months."

The coaches feel good about the team's chances this year.

"We're moving in the right direction. We have a lot to work on, but we have high hopes for the season," said Mr. Singer.

Upcoming home games are against Mt. Hope at Glen Farm at 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 5; and against Barrington at Portsmouth High School at 7 p.m. Friday, April 12.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.