I've played or reported on lacrosse for much of my life, and some things have stuck with me.
Here are just a few things that I — and other lovers of the game — look forward to each week:
We love wall ball, hammering skills until hands blister.
Wind sprints that make lungs burn.
Reading scouting reports on the bulletin board.
We love the silent bus ride before battle.
Team meals with family.
Franklin Field, The Dome, Homewood Field, Klockner Stadium.
Slipping the jersey over shoulder pads.
The emotional pre-game speech.
Walking out of the tunnel two-by-two in line.
The Notre Dame bagpipes.
The smell of sausages and popcorn on a warm Saturday.
The energy and music in the air during warm-ups.
How fast you feel on the day when it all counts.
The pep bands at UVA, Princeton, Cornell and Johns Hopkins.
The Maryland flag. The rabid Loyola student body. Garber's Gorilla's at UMass.
Rivalry games — Army-Navy, Maryland- Hopkins and Duke-North Carolina.
Mascots, like Otto the Orange.
The War on the Shore.
Seeing the next generation at games with their sticks.
We love honoring the sport's Native American origin.
And that all shapes and sizes can play the game, with lacrosse goals sprouting up in Arkansas, Louisiana and Wisconsin. The collegiate growth at Michigan, Marquette, Richmond and Furman.
The tradition of No. 21 worn by George Boiardi at Cornell.
The legacy of No. 22 at Syracuse.
Butterflies in the stomach.
The sound of the whistle at the opening face-off.
Speed, power and skill.
We love turning the corner and taking the extra step to greatness.
1-2-3-4 We Want More!
The Terrapin Mosh pit.
Ball boys on the end line.
An old-school midfielder who runs shifts at both ends.
We love the way the crowd comes to its feet anticipating a fast break.
The give-and-go, pinch-and-pop, pick-and-roll, multiple pass goals.
Unspoken communication between teammates on the same page.
The unselfish assist.
The chess match between offense and defense.
We love coaches who make the winning halftime adjustment.
A big hit, delivered cleanly.
An ankle-breaking move.
Painting a corner with liquid smoke.
We love chest bumps, fist pumps and high fives.
And the momentum-changing save.
We love parity and weekly upsets.
The flowery transformation of campus in April.
Sun dresses and sun glasses.
Championship week, the conference tournament finals for the AQ.
We love seeing the NCAA brackets on selection Sunday.
The intensity of a playoff ground ball.
A team catching fire and making a run.
Tailgating during Memorial Day weekend.
Skycam over the field.
We love the national anthem on Memorial Day.
The loudest crowd ever, here to watch.
The tension of overtime.
Celebratory piles and Gatorade baths.
The show of sportsmanship, shaking hands after the game.
We love victory laps, hoisting the trophy and cutting down the net.
We love that you get what you earn.
We love the game.
Quint Kessenich writes every Friday during the lacrosse season for The Baltimore Sun.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun