Written by Lucas Podvey, who was selected as captain following Israel’s World Junior Team training camp in Winnipeg, Canada.
Representing Israel at the World Junior Lacrosse Championship was an amazing experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Beyond the surreal experience of playing on national television (TSN) at the 16,345-seat Canada Life Center (the home of the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets), the tournament’s most impactful moments came from within our ????? (family).
I first became involved with Israel Lacrosse in December 2017 when I traveled to Netanya for the High School Winter Service Trip. The subsequent relationships with the native Israelis and my fellow Jewish lacrosse players over the past five years has become my motivation. After being named captain of the team, an indescribable honor, I wanted to ensure we properly represented all the players in Israel who are not afforded the privilege to play in an international event.
Whether it was one of my teammates’ first experience with the program, or another who I have known since 2017, we all came together to represent something bigger than ourselves. The relationships between the new and older members of Israel Lacrosse were reciprocal.
While I had played ‘New Jersey modified box’, this tournament was truly my first box lacrosse experience. The wealth of knowledge from the coaches and the more experienced players was pivotal to our team’s performance on the floor. They allowed us players who were newer to box to make mistakes, learn, and become equipped to compete at an elite level. I loved transforming my three-way midfield skills from the field game to playing transition and taking faceoffs on the floor. The speed of the game forced me to become comfortable with quicker decision making with less space, and I know this has improved my field game.
This growth again would have not been possible without the patience and sincerity of our coaches and experienced box players. Furthermore, this process created mutual trust that enabled us to grow closer off the floor. From the early morning Tim Hortons runs, to the smiles and laughs in the hotel and before practice, to a teammate getting engaged(!!), and to the important conversations about the significance of our role repping the Kahol (blue) and Lavan (white), these moments expanded the ????? in Winnipeg.
That cohesion in a very short period is what made being a captain most rewarding.
Only three months later, I cannot remember the score of our first game, but I remember the immeasurable experiences that continued to foster the relationships that makes Israel Lacrosse an extraordinary organization.