The short walk from his East Ladner home to the Holly Park turf field to work endless hours on his stick skills has paid off in a big way for Silas Richmond.
The 17-year-old Grade 12 Delta Secondary student has earned a field lacrosse scholarship to Bellarmine University. He is headed to the Louisville, Kentucky campus in September 2022 to be part of a program that plays at the NCAA Division One Level in the Southern Conference.
The youngest of four brothers, Richmond’s family has long been involved in the local lacrosse scene but it still took some convincing to get him playing the box and field versions of the sport.
“I probably started when I was four or five. My neighbor said he would coach and that’s when I said I would play,” chuckled Richmond, referring to the father of Matt Burt, one of his best friends and longtime teammates. “I always wanted to play division one lacrosse and hopefully one day go pro obviously.”
The offer from Bellarmine was a matter of timing with so little happening in the lacrosse world since the COVID pandemic struck nearly a year ago.
It was in August when the high-scoring attack player finally stepped onto the field in the United Lacrosse League and then as a member of a travelling team with the Pro Calibre Lacrosse Academy, run by Coquitlam native and Calgary Roughnecks member Tyler Pace. Richmond also happened to have a recent growth spurt that now has him at 6-foot-3 and tipping the scales at around 185-pounds.
“I just remember it being a little stressful for me, going into Grade 12 and people were starting to get commits a little more. I had this huge growth spurt and had almost missed a year of lacrosse. All the (highlight) tapes I had, I was still super small and it’s hard sending that to schools,” Richmond explained.
The Calibre team played just enough games for Richmond to put an updated highlight tape together. Bellarmine reached out in the weeks after and the recruitment process began. The gap year just made sense given the Knights had a backlog of players after the NCAA declared student athletes would not lose a year of eligibility due to the pandemic.
“They have something like 60 players with two different cohorts. COVID has created a big backlog and I figured I would just take a year for things to settle down a bit,” Richmond said. “I can do a lot of training in my gap year too.”
That training includes plenty of speed and agility work at the Holly turf as at least Richmond has something to look forward to after a year full of cancellations due to the pandemic.
He would have also been a key player on the basketball floor with the Delta Pacers in a season that has been reduced to only skill development. Now, he hopes he will have an opportunity to play box lacrosse for the first time since 2019 with the Delta Islanders junior program.
“Growing up I played hockey, basketball and lacrosse,” added Richmond. “It was so busy, sometimes three practices a day. About five years ago I quit hockey to focus on lacrosse. I still kept playing basketball as I think it has helped me a lot with my footwork and overall athleticism.”
Richmond was in familiar territory this week as the Islanders began off-season outdoor workouts at the Holly turf.