Local boys to compete in World Lacrosse Festival
By Gregory Arnold, Contributing Writer
Region – For three local boys, lacrosse is more than a sport to play, it’s a passion. Twins Noah and Nick Larsen of Northborough and Matthew Gilliatt of Grafton have been playing lacrosse for more than half their lives. When they enter seventh grade this fall they’ll be able to say they’ve played the game at the highest level in the world. The three boys will travel to Denver, Col. for the World Lacrosse Festival which will be held in conjunction with the World Lacrosse Championship (WLC) June 10-19.
The boys, who are all 12-years old, will be competing as members of the Mass. Bay Colonials (U13) lacrosse team.
For Noah and Nick, lacrosse is life. Practicing isn’t just practice, it’s also having fun. Whether they’re tossing around the ball in the backyard with each other or with their dad, the boys said they never view lacrosse as work.
When asked what makes lacrosse so enjoyable to him, Nick said, “It’s a fast-paced sport that’s never boring. It’s a mixture of sports, and it’s always fun to be doing something new.”
That’s a sentiment that his brother Noah said he agreed with whole-heartedly.
Of course, sports are always more fun when you’re winning. For Nick and Noah that’s been the case for most of their lives. An important moment was this past June, when their team, the Northborough-Southborough U13 Select Team, won the Division 1 state championship. Both agreed it was a moment they would remember for quite some time.
“We all came together to work as a team to win,” said Noah. That success carried over to the opportunity to become a part of the Mass. Bay Colonials team.
Matthew has larger goals when it comes to lacrosse. He’s already thinking “big picture,” with the ultimate goal of eventually playing professionally. However, he said he would be happy to receive a college scholarship and play at that level. His lofty goals haven’t gotten in the way of remembering, he said, that “it’s always important to respect the game, which is one of the mottos of Grafton lacrosse.” He credits much of his progression as a player to his coaches.
“Lots of practice helped me learn the game. Going to clinics and one on one drills with coaches really helped me become a better player,” he said.
But traveling to Denver is not just an opportunity to showcase their skills, the boys said. They’ll also be able to visit the original Chipotle restaurant, something that the Larsen boys are looking forward to almost as much as the actual competition.
The WLC takes place every four years at various international locations. The tournament was last held in the United States 16 years ago. The Mass. Bay Colonials is the only team from New England to compete in this event at this level.
The team was chosen out of over 170 athletes from over 125 town programs in the Mass. Bay Youth Lacrosse League. Each athlete needed a nomination from their town coach to attend the tryout. Players were also judged on character, sportsmanship, integrity, and respect for the game and other players, coaches and officials.
For more information on the WLC, visit www.worldlacrosse2014.com.
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