March 20, 2017 – As part of our Biola Lacrosse Connections newsletter, we feature a player from the current team, and ask them “Why did you choose to join the Biola lacrosse team?” March’s featured player is Austin Chapman. Austin is a graduate student at Talbot School of Theology and is playing in his final season of MCLA eligibility. Here’s why Austin chose to play lacrosse at Biola:
Lacrosse at Biola has been one of the most unique experiences of my life. I’ve been playing lacrosse since I was 11 years old, and seeing as I am now at the old age of 24, lacrosse has always played a major role in my life. But what I found in Biola lacrosse that separated it from other teams that I have been on, was the genuine passion towards glorifying God while still pursuing personal excellence.
Lacrosse has been one of the biggest motivators in my life. I played for all four years of high school, participating in two of those years as a captain, I played on multiple travel teams and club teams, dedicating all of my free time to this sport. When I was deciding on colleges I based it off of which school was recruiting me the hardest and which school would best nourish my passion for learning equally with my love for lacrosse. But I never introduced a faith to lacrosse. I came to faith just before college and didn’t fully understand how to compliment my faith with lacrosse. But one thing was clear, I wanted to play lacrosse for my own glory. I wanted everybody to think I was great. Lacrosse is what defined me. So I decided to go to the University of Arizona. They had a good lacrosse team and, more importantly, they are a school that praises athletic programs. So I chose to put on red and blue and became a Wildcat.
After my first two years of college and experiencing all the ups and downs that inevitably came with college participation, I found myself feeling unhappy. My teammates were good guys, but they lived a lifestyle that was not to my liking. They drank a ton, partied, treated women in not the most healthy way. They lived life as if the world revolved around them. For all of these reasons I always felt distant from the team, alienated, and it made me start to resent lacrosse. I wasn’t enjoying it at all. God was making it abundantly clear that there was a void in my life that I was trying to fill with lacrosse. But only God could fill that void. So I quit. Quit lacrosse cold turkey and dedicated more time in finding joy in Jesus above all else. And it felt incredible. I never intended to play lacrosse again.
Entering my junior year of college my older brother began attending Talbot School of Theology. I came to visit him and saw that they had a lacrosse team. I emailed Coach Klett and asked if I could come see a practice. And what I will never forget was my experience of that practice. Young adults enjoying God through lacrosse. Students dedicated to the idea that lacrosse is the most fun when it is played for God and by His power. We prayed before and after practice, something I had never done before. It was a lacrosse culture shock! I felt bonded to the players after only one practice. I waited two long years before I eventually got accepted to Talbot and decided to play lacrosse again. I found a community that cultivated an environment of God first, the team second, and me third. The joy I first felt when fully realizing the potential of praising God through lacrosse was one I won’t ever forget. I chose to play lacrosse at Biola because it consists of students centered around Christ, desiring to grow first in their knowledge of God, and second in their talents and abilities. I am incredibly thankful for what this program has done for me. I am thankful for Coach Klett and my teammates. God is too good.
CLICK HERE to learn how you can support Austin and his teammates.