A dream will be coming true for Prince Albert’s Bauer Swystun later this fall.
The Grade 12 student at St. Mary is part of the initial recruiting class for the Westcliff University Warriors men’s lacrosse program, which is based out of Irvine, Calif.
“Going into the recruiting process, I thought it was a one in a million chance that I would actually get picked by a school,” Swystun said.
“It still feels pretty crazy that I’ll be heading to California to play lacrosse next year. It’s something that doesn’t come around very often and it’s pretty awesome that a lot of my friends are getting the chance to play the sports that they love at a post-secondary level next year. It’s an exciting time for all of us.”
Swystun, who has played both offence and defence for box and field lacrosse programs within the Prince Albert Lacrosse Association, wasn’t entirely sure what his post high school plans were going to entail until he started to talk with schools on a regular basis.
“At that point, it was about finding the school where I felt like I had the best connection with,” Swystun said. “With Westcliff, the opportunity to be part of a new team that’s giving everyone a fair chance was something that really boosted them up when I made my final decision.
“I also felt a good connection with Coach Kevin (Arabejo) and that made my decision a lot easier. I found that there were lots of car salesman types of people out there during the process, but I felt a real personal vibe when talking to Kevin as he would ask me about my family, the sport of lacrosse and a lot of other topics.”
The Warriors will be starting play next year in the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) and will compete in the California Pacific (Cal Pac) Conference.
“I feel like it’s going to be a dog eat dog feel in practice once we get there as we all try to prove ourselves and earn a spot in the lineup,” Swystun said.
“We don’t want to be looked at as a pushover in our first year. We want to be an intimidating opponent for other teams and we don’t want them to think that we are a joke.”
Swystun is one of three Prince Albert Lacrosse Association players that have committed to a post-secondary program for next season, as Kade Beaton and Caidyn Prediger will both be suiting up for the Quincy University Hawks, who compete in the NCAA Division II ranks.
“We’ve all been pretty busy working out lately to get ready to head down south,” Swystun said.
“The biggest thing I’m working on is to building up my strength, as it’s important to be as strong as you can be when you are playing against older guys at the college level.”