WRA grad, coach to lead Thailand national lacrosse team

Published:

Staff report

Western Reserve Academy will be represented at the World Lacrosse Championships this summer as WRA graduate Dylan Sheridan will coach the Thailand national lacrosse team with an assist from current WRA faculty member Brand Closen.

The quadrennial tournament is scheduled to take July 10 to 19 in Commerce City, Colo., with Thailand competing in the White Division along with Latvia, Scotland and Switzerland.

"I'd really like to thank the Thailand Lacrosse Association and specifically, Payu Nerngchamnong for providing me with an incredible opportunity to give back to the sport of lacrosse," Sheridan, currently an assistant coach with the men's lacrosse team at the University of Denver, said in a press release.

"In 2005, I traveled to Asia as a member of USA West. During that trip, I was enthralled by the passion and love for the game displayed by players over there and I've been desperate for another chance to share the game with them.

"Thailand has been at the forefront of lacrosse development in Asia these last few years and I couldn't be more excited to lead them into their first World Games, in my home city of Denver."

The Thai team began training for the tournament in Bangkok in early March before competing in the 2014 Enigma Cup Lacrosse Shootout against teams from Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Sheridan was unavailable to work with the team at that time, so he turned to Closen for help, which is how the longtime lacrosse coach found himself on a jet to Bangkok.

"I worked with the players to evaluate the talent and pick the national team for the tournament," Closen said. "They want to have success at the national level so that the sport will trickle down to city teams and then to youth teams."

In addition to working with the team, Closen had time for some site-seeing as the guest of Nerngchamnong, a Thai national and founding member of the team, who also is president of the Thailand Lacrosse Association.

"It was a great experience and Payu was a great host," Closen said. "For me, it was just like working a lacrosse camp. I've seen Dylan over the years, but his phone call was still a little out of the blue as I didn't have a clue when he called what it was that I could help him with."

Closen is expected to travel to Colorado in July to rejoin the team for the tournament.

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