It’s that adversity and the tenacity each player showed through the season that Conrad credits with making the National Championship win that much sweeter. “In that moment, it’s just pure, unadulterated happiness.” And knowing how they played, as a team, pushing past their struggles and overcoming every obstacle they encountered, left them feeling like “nothing can stop you. Nothing can get in your way.”
And though Conrad graduated soon after that remarkable win, he still feels connected to the whole team. “We’re all going to the first game [of the 2020 season], everyone who’s out. I stay in touch with them as much as I can. I’ll always be friends with them.”
Reflecting on how lacrosse had impacted his life, Conrad notes that playing a team sport was integral to helping him build social skills and become the person he is today. “Developing the ability to 100% trust someone…I genuinely cannot describe how integral that is to the person I am.” Thinking about what the future holds, he notes “it’s the way I’m going to raise my kids…making sure they have that. Those relationships make you the person that you are down the road.”
Conrad acknowledges that the team didn’t achieve what they did without a strong network of support. “Our parents and our fans had more of an impact than anyone will ever know. Having the tailgate at every game, having people who would talk you through a loss, support you, be there for you no matter what. It gives you so much confidence.”
But how do you capture that moment in time and keep it with you, always?
AXIA Time worked with a small group of parents to help them create something special for the whole team and everyone connected to it: a custom championship watch that would forever commemorate that special time, with a design and of a quality that would be worthy of their great achievements throughout the 2019 season.
For Ryan Conrad, “my watch is an incredible way to have a reminder of that time, on an everyday basis. You can’t bring around your ring. You can’t bring your mini trophy with you wherever you go. So, having something that’s as simple as a watch is an incredible subtle reminder to have on your wrist.”
Kelly Kraus, mom to attacker Michael Kraus who was a junior at the time, added, “the watches are gorgeous, and the guys will cherish them forever.”
And that’s exactly what founder John Kanaras set out to create when he started AXIA Time.