Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Lacrosse Northeast Regional Coordinator Solomon Bliss brings an extensive lacrosse resume to the position. A Syracuse University lacrosse alum, Solomon captained the Orangemen in his final two years and was also a two-time All-American. He is a ten year veteran of Major League Lacrosse — playing for the Rochester Rattlers from 2003-2008, and the Hamilton Nationals from 2009-2013; and is also a veteran of the NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks. Since July 2015, Coach Bliss has served as FCA’s Regional Camp and Team Coordinator organizing FCA camps, clinics, and travel teams; as well as spearheading efforts to recruit more kids to attend summer camps across the Northeast.
Coach Bliss recently took the time to answer some questions for Capital District Lax regarding FCA’s expansion into the ADK region.
Many of our readers have seen, or played against FCA teams at tournaments over the years, but tell us a little about your organization for those who aren’t familiar with it.
SB: FCA is a much larger organization than a lot of people realize. FCA was founded in 1954 and is all over the US and is an International Organization. The sports that FCA is involved in range from lacrosse, soccer, football, to motor-cross, cheerleading and surfing.
The Northeast FCA lacrosse program specifically brings in players from all over the region to compete together in the Fall and Summer. In FCA we believe that coaches come in contact and influence more kids in one year than most adults do in a lifetime. So we really are focused on having solid coaches that not only have a wealth of lacrosse knowledge and strong faith but also are great role models for our players.
The majority of or players come from the Rochester area but we want to be an impact to student athletes on a more consistent basis. We love to support, encourage, and stay in touch with the kids and families as much as possible. So we are excited to bring our program into other cities in the region so players can be a part of a local FCA team.
Are there faith related requirements and expectations for players involved with your organization?
SB: There are no requirements but I would say the expectations are there. We believe that athletes are natural leaders and we believe developing good positive leaders with a strong character is important. Most athletes will tell you that sports played a huge role in who they are and what they have become; we tie in the life lessons of sport with the Word of God and it just takes it to another level.
We definitely talk about the Christian walk and how much God loves us; the expectation is that the players are open and understanding to the discussions we have within the team. The discussions we have (we call them Huddles) are set up as informative team builders. The players really get to know each other and their coaches in a different way. We build relationships with our players and go way past the X’s and O’s of a sport.
What brought FCA to Queensbury?
SB: Adam Orr has been involved with FCA in the Northeast Region for a number of years. He has been waiting for the right time to bring FCA to his area. We wanted to make sure it was something that he was ready for and wanted to do.
What age groups do you expect to field teams at in Queensbury in 2016?
SB: This summer we will be starting with 4th and 5th grade boys. We hope to expand in the future but we are focused on a quality program with kids that are fired up to be a part of FCA.
Who will be the coordinator and coaches of the FCA Queensbury/ADK program?
SB: I will be the coordinator and Adam Orr (Queensbury HS Head coach) will be the lead coach.
Does FCA utilize organization wide training programs and practice plans, or do the coordinators/coaches of each site develop their own?
SB: We have a Training Camp that we get all of our teams to that kicks off the summer. It is an excellent way to bring all of the coaches and players together that the kids really enjoy. They stay overnight and we spend a lot of time implementing our schemes and plans for the summer.
Throughout the summer we support our coaches with practice planning and program wide offensive and defensive schemes. Many of our players have been with us for a number of years so we like to build a program wide model for the skills and schemes we implement.
Have you identified any events/tournaments yet which the FCA ADK team is likely to play in?
SB: We are planning on kicking off the summer with a 3 day training camp for the Adirondack team and we will have at least 6 team practices throughout the summer. We have 3 tournaments that we plan on attending this summer as well.
What can a player expect from his experience with FCA?
SB: The motto that we say all of the time and that really sums up what we are about is “the job of the players is to love each other and the job of the coach is to love the players.” We truly feel that the coach can have such an influence on an athlete, we want it to be a positive one.
Our 4 core values are: Teamwork, Excellence, Integrity, and Serving. So everything we do is driven by those values. We also believe that we can teach high level lacrosse while being encouraging to the players and allowing them to develop in a fun way.
Click on the picture below for more information on FCA Northeast Lacrosse.
Click on the picture below for information on FCA ADK Coach Adam Orr.