After 11 years of competing in the physical sport, Idaho men’s club lacrosse captain A.J. Gravel will suit up for the final time Saturday.
Gravel is currently in his second season with the Vandals, and said he originally transferred to Idaho from Alamosa, Colorado, to play collegiate lacrosse.
â€œThe reason I decided to come here was actually because of the lacrosse team,â€ Gravel said. â€œI knew the guys on the team and I was heavily recruited because they knew that I was going to transfer. It definitely was a deciding factor for me coming on campus.â€
Gravel said he has not considered the fact that his collegiate career is ending, but said he will likely feel emotional after the teamâ€™s season finale Saturday.
â€œIâ€™m sure once itâ€™s over, itâ€™s going to hit me,â€ Gravel said. â€œIâ€™ve been focusing on whatâ€™s ahead and working hard at doing what we need to do to take care of business â€” everything else comes second. As soon as the final whistle blows, then itâ€™s going to come rushing and hit me.â€
The Vandals are 2-9 this season and have played with a roster consisting of just 15 members.
Gravel said his senior season has been different than previous years.
â€œIt has been challenging at times, but itâ€™s also been a lot of fun,â€ Gravel said. â€œWeâ€™re a very close team and traveling so often this year has also really been different.â€
Gravel said he was unsure of what to expect when he joined the program, but said he has embraced the teamâ€™s chemistry.
â€œI didnâ€™t know what to expect leading the team early in the season,â€ Gravel said. â€œBut it has surpassed my expectations as far as how well we progressed and close we are as a team. It has definitely been a good stepping stone year for the program that will help them for years to come.â€
Gravel said he will remember the entire journey he has had as a member of the Vandal lacrosse team.
â€œThe whole experience has been my favorite moment,â€ Gravel said. â€œThereâ€™s always going to be games and certain plays that stand out for me and hold a huge significance. But it has been one crazy ride and one awesome experience.â€
The Vandals face the Broncos at noon Saturday at Guy Wicks Field for the teamâ€™s final game of the season.
Luis Torres can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheLTFiles