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The Lombardi of lacrosse

Baltimore has lost its ambassador of lacrosse.

Last week's passing of Bob Scott, the legendary Johns Hopkins lacrosse coach, elicited the appropriate tributes and anecdotes from his former players and the entire Johns Hopkins lacrosse community. As The Baltimore Sun noted, Bob Scott grew into a national ambassador for lacrosse ("Bob Scott: 'A true ambassador for lacrosse,'" Sept. 16). All young Marylanders who grew up with lacrosse sticks in their hands revered him as much as his Hopkins players. We also salute him and some of us have our own anecdotes.

As a young sophomore attackman at the University of Pennsylvania, I had an experience with Bob Scott which reflected his great love and respect for the game and all who played it. The number one ranked and undefeated Johns Hopkins lacrosse team had come up to Philadelphia and steamrolled my Penn team by a score of 14-3. As a former Severn School player who had not been good enough to be even recruited by Hopkins, I had hoped that my Penn team might have made a better showing. After the game, I was in a crowded Penn training room, lying on a table and being treated for a collar bone injury. Suddenly, there was a hush in the room. Bob Scott walked in and asked, "Where is Dickie Bennett?" I had never met Coach Scott or spoken with him. He walked over to me and gently touched my shoulder and told me I played well. As he left the room, he told the Penn trainers, "You take care of this Maryland boy." I never forgot his kindness.

The years passed, and I married Jane Logan, the niece of Bill Logan who still holds the single game Hopkins scoring record of nine goals. Uncle Bill outlived most of his friends and there was a small gathering at an Annapolis church for his funeral. The Logan family noticed a man sitting by himself in the back row of the church. Bob Scott had come to the service and told the family "someone from Hopkins lacrosse had to be here today to pay respects to the great Bill Logan." My wife's family never forgot his kindness.

Mr. Scott was to lacrosse what Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers and Knute Rockne of Notre Dame were to football. He transcended the sport and truly did become its ambassador. Everyone who has ever played the great game of lacrosse can share in the pride of the legendary Bob Scott.

Richard D. Bennett, Baltimore

The writer is a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

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