By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletic Communications
Later this month, St. Bonaventure men's lacrosse rising sophomore John Fox will don the Brown and White once more when he and the rest of the team return to campus for fall practices.
This summer, though, Fox had the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue.
Fox earned a spot with Team USA for the U-20 Indoor Lacrosse World Junior Championships in Mississauga, Ontario. While there, he helped the United States to a bronze medal in the tournament with two goals, 12 assists and 14 total points.
The opportunity came at the end of a busy summer playing box lacrosse for the Wolcott, Conn., native. He learned of the chance to play at World Juniors while playing in Whitby, Ontario, with the West Durham Ironheads. During his time in Ontario, Fox played alongside Bonnies teammate Sean Westley and lived for the summer with the Westley family.
"The opportunity would not have been possible for me if it wasn't for the Ironheads and the Westley family," Fox said.
Playing with West Durham first opened the door and, following strong summer play, Fox went to a pair of training camps and then two exhibition games with the American team. Following those performances, he received an email giving him the great news – he had made the cut for the final 23-man Team USA roster.
"I remember the adrenaline I got when I read through the email and realized I was going to have a chance to represent my country," he said. "I was humbled and proud."
The realization of just how big the honor was came when Fox wore the Team USA colors for the first time in a game Aug. 6. Playing against Poland, he handed out four assists in the game.
"Being able to pull that jersey over my head was really a dream come true. It felt like everything was in slow motion," he said of that first game. "It was a surreal feeling."
In an overtime contest vs. Iroquois, Fox tied for the USA team lead with a whopping 10 points after scoring twice and delivering eight assists.
Ultimately, the Americans earned the bronze after holding off Israel in an overtime thriller, 13-12, in the tournament finale Aug. 11.
"To win a medal in the USA colors was phenomenal. Doing that in overtime was probably the most exciting lacrosse game I've ever been a part of," he said.
Now, Fox hopes to use the experience in World Juniors and carry that over into a strong sophomore season. In his rookie year, he played in all 13 games for the Bonnies as one of 33 freshmen on the first-year Division I program.
"Playing in this tournament and the experience I had this summer will help me tremendously," he emphasized. "It has elevated my game tremendously and really helped me grow as an individual and as an athlete.
"I owe a huge thank you to the Ironheads organization and coach Pat Gregorie for taking a chance on me," he added. "Coach Mearns for convincing me to play even though I'd be sacrificing my summer, and the Westley family most of all for welcoming me into their family as well as my family for the sacrifices they made. I can't wait to get back on campus and get back to work."
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