For Brookline High School rising junior Griffin van Horne, the 2010 Bay State Games were a celebration of the sport he adores: lacrosse.
"The Bay State Games are important because they bring tighter everyone in the area that love the same sport – lacrosse," reflected van Horne on the experience. "It connects a whole region of lacrosse players."
The 17-year-old and already six-foot-tall van Horne, who played defense on the Metro Boys Scholastic Lacrosse squad during the games, is serious about his love of lacrosse. He made it through an intense round of tryouts at Regis College in June to make the 22-member Metro team after playing a successful spring season with the Brookline High lacrosse team.
Joining van Horne on the Metro squad were players from Newton, Watertown, Belmont, Arlington, Quincy, Malden and Billerica. These players spent their spring seasons playing against each other, but had to unite as a team to compete in the tournament, which took place from July 8 through 11 at Wentworth Institute of Technology.
"It was really great to actually get to know [my rivals-turned-teammates]," said van Horne. "I made two friends who go to Newton North [Brookline High's rivals], and many friends from other towns like Watertown and private schools like Malden Catholic."
Van Horne thinks the shared experience of being on the Metro squad with rivals will help when he plays with Brookline High next spring. "Much more respect is created when your know the man behind the helmet," he said.
The Metro team went 1-3 in the tournament, and advanced to the bronze medal game against the West team. West went ahead 3-0 right away, but Metro was able to match them goal for goal the remainder of the game. Metro could not make up the deficit, and lost 7-5, finishing fourth in the six-team field. Despite just finishing out of the medals, van Horne called the bronze medal game his "personal highlight" from his first Bay State Games.
Moving forward, van Horne hopes his Bay State Games experience gives him a strong foundation for his future in the sport, as well as socially. "I met a lot of new friends, and I got a lot of positive tips related to playing the game. "