Team reacts to lacrosse star's post-grad success

LAX_Matt_Symes web.jpg

Lexi Valenzuela
Campus Life Editor

Former Whittier College Men’s Lacrosse Midfielder Matt Symes was drafted by the Calgary Roughnecks Lacrosse Club in the 2016 National Lacrosse League.

Symes finished his playing career at Whittier starting 61 games with a total of 74 goals and 13 assists. Symes also has collected 24 groundballs and took 164 shots, with 119 being on goal for a 73% goal percentage.

“As a player he was very fast, and had some of the best stick skills on the team,” said offense player Nick Hernandez. “He always caught everything that came his way, and he had a natural talent for scoring the ball in the goal. He brought great energy with the plays that he made on the field. We could always count on him to make those big plays.”

Several of Syme’s former teammates offered their overwhelming support, saying that this achievement did not come as a surprise.

“He was a character for sure; he was born in South Africa, but moved to Canada and [ended up here],” said senior defense player Alexander Hernandez.  “I found out through forms of social media, our coach and then from him as well. I was super excited for him; it was really cool.”

The National Lacrosse League is the men’s professional box lacrosse league, with 9 teams in the United States and 4 in Canada. The NLL plays winter to spring starting in January and ending in June. Every year, the teams compete for the Champion’s Cup.

“I am very excited for Matt on this well-deserved opportunity and extremely proud of him for representing our program at the sport’s highest level,” said Head Coach Brian Kelly. in an interview with “His hard work and dedication has put him in this position and I wish him the best of luck on a long and successful professional career.”

“He was a great teammate and even better friend,” said junior attack player Siegfried Ocker. “I don’t follow the draft personally [but I] saw his name pop up. I wasn’t sure how much he was trying to pursue the sport professionally, but when he was drafted I wasn’t really surprised; he was a really great player. He brought the team together and he played well with everybody.”