Mulch madness 2023

Ponte Vedra boys lacrosse fundraiser continues for 14th year


Lacrosse and mulch may seem like an interesting combination at first glance, but as one looks deeper into it there is a lot of tradition involved with the two, 14 years of it to be exact.

The Ponte Vedra High boys lacrosse team recently finished its 14th Annual Mulch Madness fundraiser April 1 and 2.

“It is a real tradition at PV, because when I was coming up I always saw the guys doing mulch madness and thought ‘that looks really cool and I want to be out there doing that one day,’” junior face-off specialist Lad Harper said. “It’s great for the program as a whole, and we’re really appreciative of everyone who comes out and buys mulch.”

The group delivered hundreds of bags of mulch as well as bales of pine straw to homes throughout the Ponte Vedra community that ordered the material through the fundraiser to help provide support for the program moving forward.

“You’re pretty much here moving mulch around for days but you’ve got your teammates around you,” senior goalie Brett Reed said. “It’s a lot of work, but when you have the right people around you it just goes, and I have a lot of fun with it every year.”

However, as a senior Reed has noticed more of a leadership role for Mulch Madness this time around.

“I have been helping lead the operations more as a senior, rather than when you’re a freshman and you’re just told what to do,” Reed chuckled. “It’s definitely more strategical.”

Someone who surely understands the scale of the project and that a lot goes into preparation and devising of the routes to make the deliveries as quick and seamless as possible is parent Laura Shoemaker, who has been involved with the fundraiser for five years.

“This is a well-oiled machine, and it already was when I started as a freshman parent,” Shoemaker said. “Every year we just try to make some tweaks and fine-tuning to make it even more efficient, and we always have new parents coming in.”

One of the unique things about the fundraiser is the different ways the players have developed to make the most of it over the years, including have a draft party where the seniors are in charge of choosing the teammates they wish to have on their delivery “teams.”

Other than getting the community more acquainted with the program and those on the teams, the team building that takes place is something head coach Chris Polanski has enjoyed most over the years.

“There’s a competition of who can carry more bags, and it really does turn into a really fun team building thing, and not just for kids, but for the parents too,” Polanski said.

“There’s families that have been here involved since way back in the day, and now are back doing it again for the second or third time with another son,” Polanski said.

So, although March may be over, for all the college basketball fans out there, the madness was still not quite done, at least for the players and parents of Sharks lacrosse.

Ponte Vedra boys lacrosse, mulch madness 2023