MARCY, N.Y. – This summer, SUNYIT senior men's lacrosse player Jon Eguren (Vittoria, Spain / Cicero-North Syracuse) will be trading in the royal blue and gray of his Wildcat jersey for the red and gold of his native country. Eguren, who enter his third and final season as a Wildcat this spring, was selected in December to play for the Spain National Team at this summer's World Championships.
Eguren registered 9 goals and 3 assists for the Wildcats last season, 5th best on the team and 2nd among attack men. The humble Eguren thinks his position helped him land a role on the Spanish team: "It worked out that they had a lot of midfielders but not many attack-men," said Eguren in a recent phone interview.
Eguren, who was born in Vittoria, Spain but moved to Mexico at the age of three and ultimately ended up just 40 miles down I-90 at Cicero-North Syracuse High School, said he found out about the tryout on the Internet. From there it was as simple as sending an email and booking a flight. Eguren said the decision to travel to Madrid for the 3-day tryout was an easy one given his roots in Spain, where he still has family.
"I figured, 'if I make the team, awesome, if not, I'll still have a great time.'"
During the tryout, which took place this past December 6th through the 8th, Eguren was able to see family members he hadn't seen since he was a baby. Eguren, who is bilingual, was also able to put his language skills to good use.
"Probably 95% of the players were from Spain and spoke only Spanish, but there were two English-speaking players that didn't speak any Spanish, so I was helping them out during the tryout."
Eguren said that the game was played similarly to what he's used to in the states. If anything he said some of the players were more used to playing "8 on 8" versus 10 on 10, due simply to the scarcity of lacrosse players in most of Europe.
Eguren will be heading to Denver, CO for the World Championships on July 10th through the 19th. He will arrive 10 days prior to the tournament to acclimate to the Denver altitude and practice with his team. The SUNYIT senior made it clear, however, where his priorities are:
"The first thing is getting in the NEAC Championships [for SUNYIT], that what I'm focusing on."