My name is Wylie Sherman and I had the opportunity to play as a member of Team Israel at the European Box Invitational (E-BOX) 2023 and as a member of Goldstar Tel Aviv in the Ales Hrebesky Memorial (AHM) tournament, both held in Radotin suburb of Prague, Czech Republic. This was such an amazing experience, because of the lacrosse but it also allowed me to travel and explore. Prague is one of the most beautiful cities with such a rich history. It was amazing to walk around with my teammates exploring and learning about the city.
E-BOX featured teams from around the world, competing in a series of full international 60-minute exhibition games. My only previous box experience was playing a modified version in my high school gym before school, so this was my first experience playing real box lacrosse. One of the biggest challenges I faced at E-BOX was adapting to the box lacrosse style of play. As a player who was more familiar with traditional field lacrosse, the enclosed and physical nature of box lacrosse was a significant adjustment. I had to quickly learn new strategies and techniques for playing in a smaller, enclosed space, while also adjusting to the faster pace of the game. I was amazed at the level of competition as well as the Radotin facility. We played Ireland, Czech Republic, and Canada at E-BOX. It was amazing to see the different styles of play and how even though we were all from very different places we were all here to play lacrosse and we got to connect over it. Playing in E-BOX was a great way to warm up and prepare for the AHM. It allowed me to get comfortable with the box lacrosse style of play and for us as a whole to build chemistry as a team.
My teammates Matt Flapan and Ian Kadish were a huge help to me as I learned different movements and plays as this was my first box experience. Coach Culp and Coach Dennenberg were also extremely helpful in teaching me the rules and how to see the floor. Coach Culp’s years of experience playing box internationally as well as in the NLL proved to be extremely important to my growth as the week went on, constantly checking in and coaching me every step of the way. I could feel my comfort and knowledge growing as I got more minutes under my belt.
The AHM tournament was another incredible experience. The tournament featured some of the best box lacrosse teams from around the world. The level of competition was intense, and every game was a battle. My most memorable experience from this tournament was actually the day before it started. We had a practice on Yom HaZikaron and our captain Jake Silberlicht gave a speech to the team explaining the day, what it means, and as a soldier what it means to him. He brought to light that the facility we were now standing and playing lacrosse in: it was once used as a headquarters for the Nazi party during WWII. Us playing on this turf now while wearing the Star of David on our shoulders and chest makes this experience so much more than just a lacrosse game.
It was amazing to see how the community is so involved with lacrosse. On our last day of competition, there were thousands of people filling the stands and standing on the boards. The atmosphere was something that I never expected in a small town in the Czech Republic. It was amazing to see that the sport I have loved and played for most of my life was just as important to others worldwide.
E-BOX and the AHM tournament were both amazing experiences, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in them. I will always remember the memories of experiencing it for the first time and I look forward to coming back and playing again.