Austin Saupe – Why I Play

I started playing sports when I was very young. I also started playing multiple sports at the same time when I was little with swimming, baseball, soccer, and hockey. Then, as the years went by I started to narrow down the list of the sports I played to baseball and soccer.

As I got into my middle school years it was only baseball until my best friend came up to me and told about lacrosse, a sport that he had been playing for years but I had no idea about. Day after day he kept trying to convince me until one day when we were in his backyard and he handed me a stick. I instantly got hooked. We would continue to wake up early in the morning to go play in his backyard until the sun went down.

I later continued to move up the ranks of competitive club teams and finally learned the specialty of the sport. Coach Burt and Clark taught me that lacrosse is the creator’s game and that whenever we play, it is for Him. This thought resonated in my mind. Every time I step on the field, I remind myself that I wouldn’t be able to play if it weren’t for Him. Coach Clark taught me how lacrosse is a Native American game and they play to honor the creator. Because of these two coaches, I was eventually able to be coached by Don Knobloch. He was my first tough-love coach. He was constantly yelling, but he was one of the most impactful coaches I have ever had. Although he was always in my face, he showed me the passion of the game and how you must be mentally and physically strong to play lacrosse.

After these experiences, through God’s provision and a generous donor, I got the amazing opportunity to attend Valor. Every time I put on my jersey I remember how I am blessed and how God gave me this great opportunity to go to an amazing school.

Through a very tough freshman and sophomore year, my faith was tested many times and is still being tested to this day. My sophomore year, my dad made a life-changing decision to move to the Virgin Islands and live out his dream of being a sailor. This was a very tough time for me because although my parents were divorced at the time, and I was used to him not always being around, this really meant that I was the head of my house. This forced me to grow as a man and mature much more than many other guys would at my age.

I am thankful that I have the best mom I could have and have her support me through all of my struggles. Although my dad may be in the middle of the ocean, I know that he fully supports me and loves me through anything. Because of this support from my family, I am able to work as hard as I can to be the best man I can be on and off the fields. From all of my hard work, I am able to achieve my dream of playing college lacrosse and will be continuing that dream at Rochester Institute of Technology. This is why I play lacrosse.