U19 players are making an impact at the 2016 European Lacrosse Championships!
Traveling is fun. Traveling for lacrosse is bonkers. I love it. It’s really been a brilliant few years, and the most exciting thing about it all is how little I’ve actually done. The bulk of events, tournaments, leagues, and international championships that exist out there that I HAVEN’T been able to go to far outweighs the list of events I have been fortunate enough to attend. I can only imagine how many more places I could have visited had I started out on the international lacrosse scene at a younger age.
Lead Photo Credit: Oskar Polak – Sniper Pix
Having said that, it’s important to note that no one can do EVERYTHING. There’s so much going on, with only so many days in the year. Not to mention the financial side of things, much less that whole ‘having a life’ thing… it’s impossible to do it all.
I’ve come across a couple young gentlemen here in Budapest who are trying to prove the aforementioned statement incorrect. With the world U19 championships in British Columbia taking place only a few weeks ago, many young players from some of the more premier international programs took their talents to North America to an area which quite frankly isn’t close to anything geographically.
U19 Players Take On European Championships
To get to the U19 World Championships, no matter where you were coming from in Europe, you had to fly halfway around the world. The financial burden and the time taken out of busy young lives was immense, not to mention the countless weekends of tryouts and practices that led up to the event. I have not even mentioned all the running, lifting, shooting, and stick development routines that these young men had to put in to make the cut.
After such a monstrous endeavor, it would be fair to say that it’s time to get back to work, or school, or back-to-whatever your daily life is supposed to consist of normally. But for those dedicated few, this IS what life consists of, and it’s no real surprise that I’ve found a handful of U19 guys that were in Coquitlam.
Now, just two short weeks later, they’re lacing up the cleats at the European Lacrosse Championships just outside of Budapest, Hungary.
After my trip to Prague this past year playing for the Clydesiders, I went through my Scottish contacts and wound up playing and helping out with the Scottish developmental squad at the British National Championships in Manchester, England. I had an excellent time, and I was fortunate enough to meet a lot of the guys involved with the Scottish programs both senior and junior.
Josh Richardson, Calmen Tihansky, and Dougie Tewnion were the three Scottish players who were able to attend the U19 games in BC as well as the European Championships this week in Budapest. That’s quite the summer.
In addition to the Scottish boys, Lucas Tophoven (Germany) was also fortunate enough to represent his country in both tournaments t00.
The Israeli representation was especially strong, not only with Josh Bernstein and Zach Ornstein on the field, but with head coach Seth Mahler and assistant Dan Leventhal making the intercontinental journeys as well. With the case of the guys who made a return trip to Israel in the short time between tournaments, that’s three continents in roughly two weeks, and ALL for lacrosse!
Personally, I didn’t catch the travel bug until I was twenty-three and graduated from college. These young men have seized the day already and are taking advantage of these truly amazing opportunities to not only represent their countries, but to play the game they love. The bar for ‘best summer ever’ is realistically set pretty high for these boys, but if this is any sort of precedent, well then I’d be one to guess that this new generation of players will be doing extensive travels in the future as well. Once the travel bug bites, it’s hard to stop scratching the itch!
Being here in Budapest is absolutely brilliant for oh so many reasons. One of my favorite reasons is just the absolute fanaticism you need to have in your head to make the actual trek over here. The same mentality exists in the mental cases who head to Prague every year from across the world, or the dedicated few who will make the trek to the Worlds every four years no matter the location. The common denominator here is lacrosse, and the fact that we will drop everything to go run and chase our game from sea to shining sea, and well beyond.
Budapest wasn’t a place I ever thought I’d visit. I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t be here, but why would I? And now I’m here. For lacrosse. Now 24 teams of athletes are also here. For lacrosse.
This is neat. I really like this.
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