There comes a point in many athlete’s careers where they consider quitting. Be it the time constraint, lack of access to quality programs, their friends moving to other sports, or it's just straight up no longer fun.
For Erica Evans, her point came young. She started playing box lacrosse at age four in Peterborough, Ont., and soon after decided it wasn’t for her.
“Long story short, this little boy hit me from behind, and I got so mad. So I tried to take him out, and they said I couldn’t do that,” she laughed.
A few years later, she returned to the game after watching three of her cousins play for the Peterborough Lakers. After a few years on a girl's box team, she decided to give field lacrosse a try.
“I was maybe 12 or 13 when in 2007 the U-19 Worlds were here in Peterborough, I went to watch and decided to try it and hopefully make Team Canada.”
And so, she did. Now, you can find her lesson planning for her grade nines, as a science and Phys-Ed teacher in the Kawartha region. And this fall, Evans will take the field as the head coach of the Trent Excaliburs Women’s Lacrosse team, using her years of experience from Team Canada, Canisius College, and the University of Maryland to inspire and lead the next generation of female lacrosse players in her hometown.
Ahead of her third World Championship, Evans is looking forward to being reunited with the team after a tough few years.
“To have the opportunity to play again and be with my team, and the honour to wear Canada across your chest is amazing. Every time it gets better and better, especially now that I’m older and don’t have as many opportunities to play lacrosse.”
And even though she’s a few years out of school, Evans hasn’t slowed down at all. She’s still one of the fastest on the team, and pushes through transition zones when it’s needed.
“Obviously, I’m a competitor. Anytime I step on the field, I want to be the best I can be, and I want to make everybody around me the best as well.”
“I’m older, I’m a teacher now, and I’m in a leadership role on the team where I feel like I can hone those skills and bring them to our young team,” Evans said.
And she’s right—during practice, you can often find her taking an extra beat to ensure everyone understands a drill, and that they feel comfortable stepping into the spotlight.
“It’s crazy, I don’t like talking about myself but it’s nice to see all the hard work I’ve put in is setting an example for younger players. It’s an honour, to be an example for other people to strive for. I’ve looked up to Dana, and so many others like Katie Guy as well. The tenacity they bring, and I want to make sure that I’m doing that as well for the next generation to help grow lacrosse in Canada.”
And she’s certainly doing that. Where many Canadians remain in the U.S. to coach, Evans has chosen to come home and support the city that built her. Meanwhile, her players and students are cheering her on as she continues to build her legacy.
Erica Evans will take the field at the 2022 World Lacrosse Women’s World Championships, beginning June 29, 2022.
About Lacrosse Canada
Founded in 1867, Lacrosse Canada is the governing body responsible for all aspects of lacrosse in Canada. Our organization is comprised of 10 Member Associations representing nearly 85,000 individual participants, including coaches, officials, and athletes of all ages and abilities. Lacrosse Canada’s mission is to honour the sport of lacrosse and its unique nation-building heritage, by engaging our members, leading our partners, and providing opportunities for all Canadians to participate. Lacrosse Canada oversees the delivery of numerous national championships and the participation of Team Canada at all international events sanctioned by World Lacrosse. Lacrosse Canada is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values, including our corporate partners - NormaTec Recovery Systems, RockTape, OPRO, Canadian Red Cross, Westjet, and Baron Rings - as well as our funding partners the Government of Canada, the Coaching Association of Canada, and the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation.
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