A 12-6 loss to Salisbury in a Capital Athletic Conference tournament semifinal on April 26 closed out the 2014 campaign for Frostburg State. It also signaled the end for the program’s first recruiting class.

Seventeen seniors graduated as the first group that committed to coach Tommy Pearce and the Bobcats, which fielded a varsity squad in 2011. That class absorbed records of 6-11 and 2-15 in its first two years before enjoying marks of 11-6 in 2013 and 13-5 in 2014.

Pearce acknowledged that Senior Day, when the team walloped CAC rival St. Mary’s, 17-10, on April 19, was not easy for him.

“It was emotional,” he said. “When I left Gettysburg and came out here to start the program, it was a little bit of a leap of faith, and for those guys to kind of buy into what I was trying to do here, to commit to it, to decide to come to a school to play lacrosse that didn’t have a lacrosse team before, they really bought into it. I’m really proud of what they have achieved and where they’ve left the program. We’ve had a lot of success recruiting now. There are a lot guys coming to play lacrosse and go to school at Frostburg, and a lot of that is because of those guys and what they’ve been able to do and how they have portrayed us.”

In addition to persevering through lopsided losses and unproductive showings in their first two seasons, the seniors did not have the benefit of learning from elders who had already blazed a trail in collegiate lacrosse. Instead, they were the leaders expected to set an example for the classes following them.

“In the first couple years when those guys got on campus, there was no junior or senior telling them what they were supposed to do in the offseason or when to shoot and when to do wall ball and how to come into the season ready,” Pearce said. “So as the first two seasons didn’t go great for us, they kind of figured it out and as they figured it out and we brought in young guys, they were showing them what we have to do in order to be competitive.”

Added Pearce: “I think that class was the one that bought into this from day one and has gotten us to where we are. They have left a great legacy.”