The Swarthmore College men’s lacrosse team is well represented at the sport's premier event, as Garnet standouts Chris Thomson ‘15 and Darrel Hunter ’15 are both participating in the 2014 World Lacrosse Championships in Denver. Thomson and Hunter, co-captains of the College’s men’s lacrosse team, are representing Slovakia and Spain respectively at the Championships, which runs from July 10-19 and is currently in the midst of group play. Thomson is representing Slovakia, the birthplace of his grandfather, while Hunter is suiting up for Spain, his mother’s birthplace.
For Thomson, an economics and psychology major from Wilmington, Del., and Hunter, mathematics and biology major from Swarthmore, Pa., lacrosse has been a life-long passion. Both began playing the sport in third grade and have since developed into two of the Garnet’s most consistent players. During the 2014 season, Thomson netted 11 goals and dished out eight assists from the midfield while Hunter helped anchor the Garnet defense, causing 18 turnovers and collecting 32 ground balls.
Prior to the start of the tournament, Thomson and Hunter spoke about their excitement and the competitive challenge the tournament provides. “The World Championships will be a much more competitive atmosphere than any of the summer leagues and tournaments that I’ve ever play in,” says Hunter, whose Spain team is currently 1-2 in group play at the Championships. He also noted the newfound challenge of trying to play lacrosse in his non-native language. “I think this experience should help me improve my communication. Having to play lacrosse in Spanish will cause me to have to make a conscious effort to stay vocal both on and off the field.”
At Swarthmore, both Thomson and Hunter report having grown tremendously through their involvement with the lacrosse team. “Playing at Swarthmore has only made me enjoy the game even more,” says Thomson, whose Slovakia squad is also 1-2 through group play. “The game is much more complicated at the college level and I love being able to learn and play at this level.”
Looking beyond the World Championships, Thomson and Hunter are both looking forward to the 2015 lacrosse season, and even continuing to play lacrosse after graduation. While each acknowledge the difficulty of turning their passion into a full-time job, they both cite coaching as a viable option that would allow them to remain involved with the sport. Hunter also has an eye on a program in England that would allow him to attend graduate school while also coaching and playing for the local clubs’ top team. “No matter what happens after graduation, I will definitely find a way to keep a stick in my hand,” Hunter says. “There is also the 2016 European and 2018 World Lacrosse championships to look forward to.”