HIGH POINT, N.C. — The High Point University men’s lacrosse team has wasted little time making an impact on the local community. With their first official season a year away, the Panthers have become the latest HPU team to get involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont.
The team has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters since last fall, with two groups from the team going to Fairview Elementary School and Johnson Street Elementary School once a week during the lunch hour. Several members of the team meet with their little brothers during other times.
“This project has really give our guys the ability to have a positive influence and be great role models to these children,” said HPU assistant coach Patrick Tracy. “Members of our team have been given a lot of opportunities in their lives and this is a great chance for them to pass on opportunities to others and be a part of something bigger. From the kids’ perspective, they really look forward to members of our team coming each week, giving them someone to look up to and rely on.”
Members of the team often help their little brothers and sisters with homework or just play games and have fun. Sometimes HPU’s student-athletes bring lacrosse sticks and teach their little brothers about the game.
“It really brings a sense of responsibility to our guys,” said Bucky Smith, a junior midfielder who transferred to HPU from Navy. “The majority of our team is made up of freshmen so it’s easy for them to get caught up in the college experience. So when the guys work with their little brothers, it really brings a different perspective. Working with Big Brothers Big Sisters is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. When we walk in, the kids’ eyes light up and we can really see the impact we’re making on their lives.”
The Panthers recently invited their little brothers out to High Point’s exhibition game against the Virginia Tech club team at Vert Stadium and the little brothers had a great experience.
“Coach Tracy has done an unbelievable job setting our team up with community service projects and this is the one that touches our local area the most,” said HPU head coach John Torpey. “It was great to have all the little brothers out at our exhibition game against Virginia Tech. They really brought great energy to the crowd and we’re looking forward to having them come to more games in the future.”