Lacrosse at Andrews: Interview with Francisco Gonzales
You played lacrosse in high school, right? Tell me more about that.
I started playing lacrosse during my sophomore year of high school where they immediately placed me on the varsity team. I ended up playing for two years after that. My first year playing varsity was a really huge leap for me though. Most people start at a junior varsity level when they try out for sports teams as underclassmen, but our school’s lacrosse program was barely developing. Since I was a member of the lacrosse club prior to the start up of the actual school team, the coach handpicked the original members and put them on the varsity team.
I’ve known you for a while, but you never really told me how you became interested in the sport.
I saw one of my friends playing lacrosse on the backfield one day. He was throwing the ball around and my eyes were immediately drawn to the stick, the ball and the gear and it got me really interested. After my initial interest, we ended up playing a few games and from then on, I was hooked.
What were some of the ups and downs of playing in varsity?
One of the best things, for me, was being able to play face-off in the midfield position. As a one-on-one position, it was almost like a test of strength; it’s this position’s job to fight for the ball and gain possession of it. Playing defense, however, wasn’t my favorite thing in the world. A lot of the other players were much bigger than me and frankly, my shorter stature and size, made it more challenging to keep up with the taller and bigger players.
Did you ever feel like you could go further with this?
There was a time when that seemed like a possibility, yeah. During my junior year, coaches from a few universities would come to our games and practices. I was offered full ride scholarships to Division Three and Division Two schools, but I didn’t really see myself playing for anything less than a Division One team. When that didn’t work out, I opted to go to Andrews University.
What made you realize that lacrosse was your sport?
For most other sports, there generally seems to be a certain physical requirement. For basketball you have to be tall; for football you have to be fast and/or strong; for soccer you have to be agile. In lacrosse, size didn’t matter. You could be tall, short, the strongest, or the fastest player, and none of that would matter. Everything hinged on the dynamics of the team and your stick skills, and that helped me discover a lot about myself and cemented lacrosse as the sport for me.
Do you ever think lacrosse could become a thing here on campus?I think it would be extremely cool to see it gain a large presence here at Andrews. Lacrosse is such a cool and unique sport; it’s fast-paced, but I believe people can pick it up quickly. If anyone wants to play, it’s a largely non-discriminatory sport. Both girls and guys can play, all body types can play, and most ages can play, too. Honestly, if there’s a big enough interest, I would be willing to help start a group and see where it goes from there.