When Garrett Hoelscher was in his last years of college at Emory University in Georgia, he felt that something was missing. It took months for this sports enthusiast to fully understand it was physical activity that he craved. “I had terrific friends, good grades, and a beautiful girlfriend,” Garrett Hoelscher says about his college life. But he missed the competitive rigor and challenge of sports that he had in his teens.
Garrett Hoelscher played Lacrosse in high school. Fast-forward to his senior year in college, and the realization that this is what he was missing finally set in. According to Garrett Hoelscher, he decided early that year that he was going to try out for the school’s Lacrosse team. It’s worth noting that Emory is known for its athletic programs, which are consistently ranked among the best. This made the task even more daunting, since Garrett Hoelscher hadn’t picked up a stick in three years.
Walking onto the practice field, a nervous Garrett Hoelscher embarrassed himself with his dire lack of coordination. However, the head coach saw a spark of determination in this strong-willed student and placed him on the team. Garrett Hoelscher was thankful for the opportunity to prove himself and thus spent every available minute alone, throwing and catching against a campus wall, just to hone his skills. Luckily, he regained his abilities after two months of intense practice.
By the end of the season Garrett Hoelscher was almost unrecognizable as the young man with the abysmal stick skills who had walked onto the team those months prior. The coach assigned his promising player to the Special Face Off Team, which had the sole responsibility of ensuring that the opposition rapidly lost control of the ball. He helped lead the team to victory, as his team won the Division II South Eastern Lacrosse Conference of the Men’s Collegiate Association that year. Furthermore, when his team advanced to the MCLA playoffs in Denver, Garrett Hoelscher was honored to start each and every playoff game.
While it may seem unusual to some, Garrett Hoelscher found enrichment in this Native American stickball game that year that nothing else could have provided. He was able to balance a full class load, a social life and a relationship while proving to himself that determination and a willingness to work for what he wanted could pay off. It did, and Garrett Hoelscher has accomplished numerous other post-graduation goals thanks to the confidence this last year in school and this centuries old pastime provided him.