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Dragon Alum Earns Spot on German National Lacrosse Team

Nov 17, 2015 09:00AM ● Published by Audrey Sellers

Article contributed by Jim Van den Dyssel

Austin Easterly started playing lacrosse in fourth grade when current Dragon Varsity players Jeremy Bach and Greg Hill invited him to join their third/fourth grade team. Coaches Steve Thompson and Joe Schupler were the first to instill the love of the game that he still carries with him today.

Easterly played with Southlake Carroll Lacrosse Association (SCLA) for four seasons, coached by Thompson, Schupler, and later by Neal DiBello. He also received private shooting instruction from Paul DiBello. During his final season here, he joined Varsity Head Coach Bart Sullivan’s inaugural Dragon Select team and had the opportunity to play in a tournament in Maryland.

When Bell Helicopter told his father to expect a corporate relocation to Stuttgart, Germany, Easterly’s biggest concern was whether he’d be able to continue playing lacrosse. “One of the first things we did, even before arriving in Germany in 2013, was seek out lacrosse opportunities,” Easterly’s mother, Susan, says. “Fortunately, we found a local club, ABV Lacrosse.”

Easterly has not only continued to play; he has excelled. He was quickly named Team Captain and began mentoring teammates. He finished the 2014 season ranked as the runner up in total points in the entire league with 104 total points, including a league-leading 84 goals and seven game-winning goals. ABV Lacrosse finished third in the U16 German National Championship with a 9-4 victory, and Easterly led the way with five goals, including the game winner.

Over the past 13 months, DLaxV, Germany’s national governing body for lacrosse, has held tryout camps throughout the country in order to select its U19 German National Team. Easterly attended camps in Munich, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Kassel and Hamburg and was recently named to their 23-man National Team.

The U19 German National Team will play a series of international games before ultimately playing in the World Championships next summer in British Columbia.

Once a Dragon, Always a Dragon

Before attending the United States Naval Academy Lacrosse Camp this past summer, Easterly had the opportunity to reunite with Coach Sullivan and his former Dragon teammates when he was invited to play with the Dragon Varsity team at the North American High School Lacrosse Cup in Purchase, New York.

Easterly’s father Arnie shares: “We credit SCLA Dragon lacrosse with his current success. The leadership skills, sportsmanship, and basics, imparted by his SCLA coaches, and the camaraderie and love for the game felt with his fellow SCLA players gave him the foundation to excel here in Germany. It should be no surprise that he continues to wear the Dragon logo on his helmet today.

“The fundamentals he learned in Dragon Lacrosse were instrumental to his success here,” Arnie continues. “The biggest adjustment is travelling to find competition. We laugh that we used to think a drive to University Park or Plano was a trip. Now we travel all over Germany and travel to tournaments to play teams from England, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, The Czech Republic and Israel. It’s been a real blessing, and a lot of fun, for Austin and for our family.” 

See Why Lacrosse is the Fastest-Growing Sport in the United States

Lacrosse is currently the fastest-growing sport at the youth, high school and even the collegiate level. Spring 2016 registration for SCLA is open now for all ages (high school and youth) and for boys and girls. Visit SouthlakeLacrosse.org for more information. 

Click here to learn more about the growth of lacrosse. 

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