PATRICK MCAULEY ‘19 STAFF WRITER • Three years ago, the Wabash College Athletics Department made a decision that would change the course of sports here at on campus. In 2014, Wabash began recruiting players that would formulate the school’s first Division III lacrosse team, the fastest-growing sport in America at the time. By spring of 2015, Wabash lacrosse would take the field for their first season.
Expectations were high from the start. Historically, Wabash is known for its rigor in the classroom and demand for competition on the sports field. With such a young lacrosse program, the college began recruiting players that would bring that level of academic and athletic enthusiasm to set a stage for the many years to come. Like any young program, this developmental process took time.
The general basis of the team’s culture and attitude struggled
from the beginning. Initially, the team had 14 players on their first roster. Furthermore, they were transitioning from a club team to an NCAA program. The change was smooth so that guys could adjust peacefully. The time commitment increased on and off the field for guys wanting to play for Wabash. All in all, NCAA programs gain better competition and can play more games within a season. The program grew from this experience.
The guys on the team took matters into their own hands.
Upperclassmen began recruiting players they know from local
high schools. This has added to the overall quality players of the lacrosse team. Last year, freshmen such as Maxwell Atkins ‘20 and Jacob Taylor ‘20 came in to play and ended up seeing huge amounts of success. Head Coach Todd Richardson believes he learned a lot from recruiting these past couple years. “I know the types of guys we should be recruiting and the guys that will do well,” Richardson said. “All the players that are getting a majority of the playing time have started to understand.”
This season, the squad is increasing their levels of intensity and overall participation. They are utilizing the many different aspects of the Wabash Athletics program: the weight room, the practice walls at Knowling Fieldhouse, and mostly each other. The older players on the team including Adrian Tejeda ‘18, Steven Stark ‘19, Collin Brennan ‘19, and Tucker Dixon ‘19 attest to how buying into the program has created a deep passion for Wabash. “My favorite part about competing for Wabash College is being a part of something greater than myself,” Stark said. “Having the unique opportunity to build a program has been challenging but very rewarding.” The Wabash lacrosse team begins their season field this Saturday at 1 p.m. against Trine University here in Crawfordsville. Go out and support the Little Giants!