Editor’s note: LAS often showcases highlight tapes of HS kids who have some talent and we try to promote players in areas where the game is still growing or in its infancy. We cover the big guys and the establishment as well, but we focus on growth and new areas. There are enough people doing the status quo! For this post, we’ve got an interview with a HS player with interesting roots and a bright future. Let’s check it out!
We’re talking with international HS talent, Tod Phataraprasit. We caught up with Tod to learn more about him, to hear more about the pressures of playing for his school, and also playing for his country. The Thai senior is an attackman for Suffield Academy, a prep school in Suffield, Connecticut. Although not traditionally known as a big lacrosse feeder school, Suffield has previously won it’s league championship, and sent a handful of it’s alums to the Division I and Division 3 (For example: Jake Deane who led UMass to the NCAA finals).
Tod is originally from Thailand, and currently a member of Thailand National lacrosse team. Tod assisted Team Thailand to its initial 10-8 victory over the Hong Kong national team in their debut game last July. Tod started playing lacrosse at Eaglebrook, a small middle school in Deerfield, Massachusetts (some of it’s alum includes Peter Striebel (Princeton ’07) younger brother of MLL player, and U.S. national team player Matt Striebel). Tod then carried his love for the game of lacrosse to Suffield Academy, following the footpath of fellow alums, and national team teammates such as Payu Nerngchamnong (A), and Peem Chatikawanij (G).
“When I first met Tod, I didn’t know much about him. He was a really quiet, and modest guy trying out for the team.” said the President of Thailand Lacrosse Association, Payu Nerngchamnong. “We weren’t sure how he would fair compare to the other 4 attackmen on the team, since alot of them had significantly more playing experience than Tod. However, he continued to improve, and shined during our practices. As Tod gained his confidence, so did his game on the field. He became a valuable asset to our team during the game against Hong Kong, as his determination and fitness was put to the test during the 80 minutes of lacrosse. Tod is not a flashy type of attackman, but he is consistent, and very disciplined to the task at hand. You won’t see him making any mental errors, like throwing a bad pass or giving up a turn over. If he doesn’t have the opportunity to go to the goal, he will certainly create one for his teammate. Tod will be a great attackman, and a strong asset to our team comes Denver 2014,” Nerngchamnong continued.
We also asked David Pillsbury, the head coach of Suffield Varsity Lacrosse team, about Tod. David had this to say about the young attackman: “Each year Tod has grown as a player, but more so this year. Playing for his national team instilled a great sense of pride and confidence in him.” Coach Pillsbury added, “Though we have not started our lacrosse season at Suffield, I was able to see a more confident athlete on the soccer field this fall. I look forward to coaching Tod in the spring and can’t wait to see some tricks and skills he picked up from playing at such a high level this summer. “
Where do you want to go to college, and why? What do you plan to major in?
There are several, but I want to be realistic about my chances, since playing in college had become very competitive in recent years, and not just at the top level. I am looking at schools in the Boston area, but I am not sure where yet. I would like to major in Business Management, and Entrepreneurial Studies or Finance. I’ve looked at Emmanuel College among others, and they have recently started their lacrosse program. I think it would be a really interesting experience to be a part of helping develop the new program, as I did with Thailand Lacrosse from the very beginning. I’m still leaving my options open, balancing my decision between education and lacrosse.
What steps are you currently taking to get into those colleges?
Education is my top priority, so I’ve been working hard in classes to get admirable grades. I’ve played, and trained with the national team over the summer. I played soccer in the fall, and during the off season I go to the gym to get ready for the upcoming spring season. I will also be taking part in an indoor lacrosse league during the winter semester so I don’t lose my touch. I will be heading back to Thailand during the winter break to continue my training, and practices with the national team.
Have you been getting noticed by coaches?
Not really, I never thought I’d have the ability to play in college but my coaches have been very supportive, and told me that I should really consider it. I have been in contact with several coaches so far, and hopefully it all goes well! It’s always been difficult for international players to get noticed by college coaches, since we normally have to go home for the summer. And we do not have a lot of chances to go to recruiting camps, or be a part of a summer tournament teams.
How has your HS lax experience been? And what is it like playing at the International level vs. HS level?
My experience has been great, I have improved significantly over the years, and gained a lot of knowledge for the game. Lacrosse never stopped growing on me since day one, and I’ve developed a true passion for the game. Playing at the high school level sure is different from playing at the international level, especially since I haven’t even play at the college level yet. Everything is different, the rules, and in all aspect actually.
For example; we normally take a bus to our away game in High school, but at the international level we have to FLY everywhere. Representing your school, and your country are equally as important but very much different. Obviously, playing for my school is an honor, but the feeling I got from having my country’s name and the flag on my uniform is just simply amazing. I’m looking forward to play for Thailand in our team’s first international tournament, for the ASPAC Championship in New Zealand this upcoming July.
What’s your ultimate lacrosse aspiration?
I hope to represent my country at the FIL World Game in 2014 in Denver. I definitely want to help Payu spread the sport in Thailand first, and set a good example for the next generation of Thai lacrosse players, so that Thailand can become another lacrosse nation, and make lacrosse a truly global sport… Which I hope will make the rest of the world, and the IOC, finally recognize lacrosse as a sport that should be in the Olympics.