“RUN THROUGH THE LINE!”

It’s a phrase that has been uttered by coaches for decades. The phrase emphasizes the importance of finishing the drill to the very end, not coasting for the very last steps, but pushing it through the end of the drill.

For head coach Ben DeLuca and his staff, “Run Through The Line” has become much more than just a phrase used at practice. It’s become a mantra for the culture that he hopes will embody the University of Delaware men’s lacrosse team.

“Our goal as coaches isn’t just to win games and help our student-athletes develop athletically and academically, we want to prepare our young men for the rest of their lives,” DeLuca said. “In life, what separates the most successful people is going the extra mile to get the job done, which goes back to the ‘run through the line’ phrase.”

DeLuca and his staff took over the reins of the Blue Hens last May, knowing the tradition and history of success that has happened at Delaware in the past.

“We saw this as a tremendous opportunity to build something special. With Chrissi’s  (Rawak) leadership and vision for the athletic department, coupled with a great academic institution, the location in the middle of a hotbed for lacrosse in the country and a terrific conference in the CAA, the potential here is outstanding,” DeLuca said.

That potential is backed by a tradition that includes four trips to the NCAA postseason in the past 13 years, including a run to the Final Four in 2007.

In order for that potential to be achieved, DeLuca and his staff want to see the ‘run through the line’ attitude emphasized in all facets of the program.

“It’s not just about pushing yourself through the line when we’re doing running, it’s about doing extra work academically, watching extra film, doing extra conditioning. It’s not just getting the job done, but going the extra mile to get the job done,” DeLuca said.

The ‘run through the line’ is not just for the student-athletes, but also a mantra that the coaches are holding themselves to.

“Our words mean nothing if we don’t back them up with our own actions as a staff,” DeLuca said. “We’ve committed to pushing ourselves through that line as well. It’s about being accountable for our guys and showing them that we’re willing to do the same thing that we are asking them to do. That’s how we grow as a program.”

Accountability is something that the Blue Hens have taken to heart and hope to build upon as the 2018 season is right around the corner.

“For us to be the best teammates we can be, we need to push each other, even when it’s uncomfortable,” senior Will Hirschmann said. “In order to achieve what we want to achieve, we can’t be just worried about ourselves. This is a collective unit and as a unit we have to do things we haven’t done before. Working as individuals isn’t going to get the job done.”

The first line to the run through for the Blue Hens comes this Saturday when the Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary’s visit Delaware Stadium.

“It’s easy to do the extra work when things are going well or we’re not in the heat of the season, what shows true grit and determination is going the extra mile after stumbling due to adversity, because that’s how life works,” DeLuca said. “We will face challenges and difficult times in life. We want to prepare our guys for being able to deal with those times, thrive in those times, and to learn and build habits that will make them successful later in life.”