Chilliwack’s Taylor Engel has committed to the Drury Panthers field lacrosse team. (Drury U graphic)

Chilliwack’s Taylor Engel has committed to the Drury Panthers field lacrosse team. (Drury U graphic)

Chilliwack lacrosse star Taylor Engel commits to Drury U

The Sardis secondary student will help launch a brand-new team in Springfield, Missouri

A Chilliwack teen is going to Missouri next fall to help launch a brand-new field lacrosse program at Drury University.

Taylor Engel, a Sardis secondary student, will be playing Div 2 lacrosse as the Panthers debut in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA).

“It’s super exciting to be part of a team that is just getting off the ground,” Engel said. “Hopefully in a couple years we can move up to the NCAA level, which would also be super exciting.”

Engel plays attack and when he started sending film of himself to United States-based schools, he believes his speed and vision impressed.

“The Drury coach (Dustin Rich) said they’re looking for a lot of Canadian guys who play the inside game, and he said I’m going to bring a lot of excitement to the team they’re building there.”

Engel played one season at Sardis secondary, suiting up in Grade 10 before COVID wrecked his Grade 11 and 12 seasons.

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RELATED: Sardis secondary adds field lacrosse squad

“I learned a lot from our coach, Dan Heisler,” Engel said. “I thought I knew a lot about lacrosse, but really I knew nothing. Dan made me a better player.

“It was a good program to play for.”

Engel has also played for the Chilliwack Hawks, and helped usher that program into existence in 2016.

“I played the first season ever with the Hawks, and the best part of that was that I was playing with other people who were also learning how to play field lacrosse for the first time,” Engel said. “Nathaniel Leroux is a player who took me under his wing and helped make me the player I am today. I can’t thank him enough for that.”

Drury University is located in Springfield, Missouri and Engel admits to knowing absolutely nothing about Springfield or Missouri.

“I couldn’t even give you three things I know,” he said with a laugh. “It’s going to be different, but diving into the lacrosse will help me adapt.

“Right now I’d say I’m about 70 per cent excited and 30 per cent nervous, but I can’t wait to get started.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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