COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- The Warrior 40 brings together 40 of the best high school lacrosse players in the country for two days of competition and camaraderie, but what many people see is the competition that happens on the field.
Here are some news and notes from behind the scenes.
What’s In a Name
If ESPNHS were to do an All-Name team there is no doubt St. Mark’s (Dallas) defender Bear Goldstein would make the list.
But he might have to make the list twice since Bear is not Goldstein’s birth name, but a nickname.
The rising senior’s given name is Sierra Moon. According to Goldstein’s father Robert, it took a few days for them to give their newborn an official name so they took to calling him their little bear and the nickname stuck.
“Even his report cards come home with Bear on them,” Robert said. “Nobody calls him Sierra.”
Sierra is named after the mountain range and keeps with the family theme. Bear’s older sister is Everest Star.
As part of the athletes' Day 1 activities they worked with Special Olympic athletes to show them how to play lacrosse.
Athletes from both camps were jovial as players showed the Olympians how to scoop, throw and shoot.
“It was awesome. I’ve worked with Notre Dame School, which is a school for special needs in Dallas and I love coming out and teaching the kids how to do this stuff,” Dallas Jesuit goalie Daniel Morris said. “When I see them smile it puts a smile on my face.”
A first for the Warrior 40 was the selection of five players that participated in the event last year.
Wilkins Dismuke from Rock Canyon (Lone Tree, Colo.), Nick Fields from Bullis (Potomac, Md.), Danny Fowler from Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.), Justin Guterding from Garden City (N.Y.) and Mac Pons from Boys’ Latin (Baltimore) are the first two-time selections in Warrior 40 history.
“I feel a little more like I belong this year,” Fowler said. “Last year I was the young kid coming up and I was still getting recruited. This year I can loosen up a little bit and just have fun.”
Being in the group of returnees, the players have been thrust into the role of advisor to the first-year athletes.
“A lot of the guys are asking me questions like ‘what’s next,’” Guterding said. “I just tell them to follow the schedule.”
Rep Your Country
This year marks the first year the Warrior 40 became a multi-national event with the selection of two Canadian players to the roster: Jeremy Bosher from Norkam Senior (Kamloops, British Columbia) and Austin Shanks from Ontario.
Shanks is already committed to Michigan.
Both players realize the opportunity to represent their country and be counted among some of the best high school lacrosse players in North America.
“From where Canada was and where it is now we’re a lot more noticed now,” Shanks said. “Before we didn’t get many looks. Now coaches and scouts weigh it even with the U.S. now. It’s cool how far Canada’s come.”
“We’re not only representing ourselves, but part of Canada,” Bosher added. “It’s a huge honor. I know there’s a ton of guys back home that could be here.”
Shanks is made sure his country was represented during the game by using tape with the Canadian Maple Leaf on his stick.