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Adams family makes big impact on North lacrosse programs

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Diane Adams and her son Ronnie play a role in the North Gwinnett High School lacrosse program. Diane is the head coach of the girls lacrosse team while Ronnie Adams is a star among the boys team.

Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Diane Adams and her son Ronnie play a role in the North Gwinnett High School lacrosse program. Diane is the head coach of the girls lacrosse team while Ronnie Adams is a star among the boys team.

SUWANEE -- Over the past few years, lacrosse has become an Adams family affair at North Gwinnett.

With Diane Adams leading the Bulldogs' girls program as head coach and her son Ronnie having become the boys team's top scorer, it's a rare night that one or the other doesn't have an impact on the lacrosse field at North.

But while their paths cross often in the Adams household, they take mostly independent routes when it comes to the lacrosse field, even though they both became interested in the sport around the same time.

"He didn't (start) because of me, and I didn't do it because of him," said Diane Adams, who coach edNorth's girls in its final season as a club program before making the jump to varsity status last year. "I don't know that he'd really listen to what I said (anyway), since I'm not the ... boys coach. But I'm still his biggest cheerleader, I can promise you that."

There has been plenty for both Adamses and their respective teams to cheer about so far this season.

Ronnie, now a senior, has been a catalyst for the Bulldogs' 6-0 start (4-0 in Area 4-AAAAA) with 11 goals and seven assists, while Diane has guided the North girls to nearly match their win total of last season with their current 6-4 record (4-1 in area) following Wednesday night's 9-7 win at Brookwood.

They've both come a long way since being convinced by friends and colleagues to get involved in lacrosse two years ago.

But it's not necessarily surprising they've both experienced success quickly in the sport, since athletics have been a big part of both their lives in the past.

Ronnie had participated in basketball, baseball, football, wrestling, swimming and tennis at one time or another before being convinced to join them at throw-around session for North's club team during his sophomore year.

"One of my best friends (Tyler Bramlett) was on the team, and he told me to come out and see if I liked it," Ronnie Adams said. "I guess it was (love at first sight)."

Diane, meanwhile, had coached junior varsity tennis at North for two years before being approached by a former North boys player Bryan Polanski, whose sister Jillian now plays for the Bulldogs' junior varsity team, about getting involved the girls team, which needed someone at the school to get involved.

"Bryan kept begging me, 'Just come on out. It's really fun. You'll really like it. You'll be hooked,' and all that," Diane Adams said. "I kept putting him off because ... I was happy with tennis. Then, one of the players -- a girl that I taught named Kayla Rider -- was like, 'Just come out and see what practice is like.' So I made no commitment. I came out and watched how practice was run, and I met the (community) coach Aubrey (Mancino), and she was awesome. So, I knew the girls, and they were so excited to have me out at practice. And pretty much, the rest is history."

Both Ronnie and Diane Adams have been quick studies at picking up the nuances of lacrosse.

Diane picked up whatever knowledge she could from Mancino, and the Bulldogs seem to have responded, posting a respectable 9-9 record and making the Class AAAAA state playoffs in their first varsity season a year ago before this year's solid start.

Ronnie has also picked up the game quickly, leading the boys team in scoring with 53 points on 31 goals and 22 assists as a junior last year, and being named to the Gwinnett Daily Post's preseason Super Six. He also is being recruited by several college programs, including Shorter, Young Harris, Oglethorpe and Grand Canyon University.

But his skills didn't come without a lot of hard work.

"I've always been involved in athletics, so I guess I just picked up lacrosse (quickly)," Ronnie Adams said. "I would practice after practice and before practice for hours. I'd always carry the (lacrosse) stick around the house."