Editor’s Note: David Steves provided updates on a first year NCAA D3 team, Houghton College, for ‘CAC to the CAC this past Spring, but David didn’t stop there! He went out to Denver for the World Lacrosse Championships this July with the FCA Service Team, and helped prep international teams for their official games during a week of training camp.
It was great to meet David in person, and I really enjoyed spending time with the entire FCA crew. Steves sent in the below firsthand report on what it was like to help Grow The International Game, and I think you’ll enjoy his perspective!
David Steves, FCA Lacrosse – WLC Experience
The World Games brought lacrosse players from around the world together for some great lacrosse, and being able to take part in such an amazing international moment was incredible. At the beginning of the World Games (July 3rd – 6th) the FCA, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, sent a group of guys to be a service squad for all the teams participating in the games. Being a service squad meant doing anything for the others teams like bringing them water and ice to having full scrimmages with them.
Not only was FCA with the teams on the fields, but we were also the only team to not be affiliated with a country that was allowed to stay in the dorms/on campus with the other international teams. That was a unique and amazing experience as well!
From July 3rd to July 12th FCA practiced/scrimmaged with Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Uganda, Mexico, Switzerland, England, Sweden, and Norway. Even though each team had varying levels of skill, but there was one thing that they all had in common… a love for lacrosse. Playing against each team made that perfectly clear, especially Team Uganda.
There are two specific memories that will stick with me forever. The first was playing/spending time with the aforementioned Team Uganda. These guys are paving the way for lacrosse in Africa and making history. Not only was it significant for me because of that fact, but these guys are also amazing people who love the game, and are grateful for everything. Most, if not all, of their players had never been given a brand new piece of lacrosse equipment (sticks, helmets, cleats etc.), so when we, FCA, scrimmaged them, they were wearing brand new Warrior gear and the gratitude and joy in their demeanor was unbelievable. I feel like a broken record saying this but the guys on Team Uganda are a great group of guys who love lacrosse and show it in everything they do.
Uganda Lacrosse – First Win
The second memory that will stay with me perpetually would be the Opening Ceremony. Even though I was there 3-4 days prior to the OC, the weight of the event hadn’t quiet settled on me until we got to the Stadium. Seeing all 38 teams in the Stadium with people everywhere made everything real. Living, eating and practicing with the teams prior to the opening ceremony was real and awesome in itself, but it didn’t have the same feel as the opening ceremony.
Being at the opening ceremony felt like the Olympics with all the different countries, all the people and all of the excitement. Being there made you realize that you were in the midst of history. Although you most likely won’t see my face or name in some “Lacrosse History Book” I will always be able to tell lacrosse players/admirers for the rest of my life about the experiences I had at the World Championships.
If there was anything difficult about my time spent at the World Games it probably had to be leaving Denver to come home. Being around so many people from around the world who loved lacrosse was like no other experience in my life. Being a part of the World Championships is something I will never forget. The memories I now have, and the friendships I was blessed to make, have definitely had a positive impact on me. If I were to give any lacrosse player or lacrosse lover a piece of advice it would be to take any opportunity you can that combines lacrosse with people from around the world. You’ll be able to learn about different cultures as well as share something special, the love of the game.
**I would like to dedicate this article to Mike Pratt who was a great influence in my life and lacrosse. I wish you could have been there but I know you were watching it all.**