Name: Samuel Pyo
High School/Grad Year: 2015
FCA Team: Varsity Silver
Where and when did you first begin playing lacrosse?
I picked up my first lacrosse stick when I was in 5th grade, however, I started playing lacrosse in the spring of 6th grade. I played for my town team, Half Hollow Hills Youth Lacrosse under Coach Greg Dean.
Why did you choose to attend your college?
I chose to spend my next four years at Houghton College because it provides three very important keys to my next chapter in my life: Faith based education, a strong science program, and the opportunity to play lacrosse. During my visit to Houghton, I found that my hopes and expectations to lay down a strong foundation were set in motion. Houghton is where I can grow in my faith and gain knowledge, all while having the opportunity to play the fastest game on two feet.
What are you looking forward to most at the next level?
I’m looking forward to the higher paced game and the increased competition at the collegiate level. The challenge will drive me to work harder on and off the field. Most of all, lacrosse beyond spring 2015.
What are your future goals beyond college lacrosse?
I plan on pursuing a career in medicine. Counting my Blessings and the opportunity to be a student athlete is a privilege which I do not take for granted. I gained so much and my true desire is to help others here and abroad as an orthopaedic specialist.
Can you provide some insight into your experience with FCA, when did you join the program? How did you hear about the program? What was one of your favorite memories?
I have been involved with FCA for 4 years. I joined the program in the fall of my freshman year. I flew into Rochester and my pole was at JFK, with only my lacrosse head I went to the Skulls and Bones Tournament which was my first experience with FCA. My dad and I found out about the program after watching some players from Long Island play for FCA. FCA was different, it wasn’t all about winning, it was about representing Christ. I wanted to be a part of that atmosphere and then joined FCA. My favorite FCA memory was my first tournament with FCA. The new competition (Canadians and Native Americans) and the FCA atmosphere, so amazing and so different, from competing on the field and then being trained to be a warrior for Christ, I was hooked to FCA.
What advice do you have for any future FCA players about the recruitment process?
Do not sit back and wait. Yes, good things come to those who wait, however, during the recruitment process you must be active and take initiative. There are a lot of opportunities to play lacrosse, however, always begin with an end in mind whether or not you go pro. In today’s rapidly changing society, tremendous opportunities are available to us and it is extremely vital to plan on a career after college. “The right fit” college does exist and if it is in God’s plans, all will workout.
What is your greatest strength as a lacrosse player? What is one part of your game you are focusing on getting better at before attending Houghton?
My greatest strength on the lacrosse field is my communication skills and ability to take charge of the defense. My youth coach always told me that a strong defense should be able to communicate so well on the field to the point when they can talk about what they’re going to eat for dinner. In order to compete successfully in college I must evolve my game. The main part of my game that I am focusing on is my overall athleticism. I must be faster and stronger not to keep up, but to surpass my competition.
What is your favorite tailgate food?
I can never turn down a good cheeseburger.
Who is one lacrosse player that you have learned a great deal from?
Pat McCabe, 4 time all American at Syracuse and former member of Team USA men’s lacrosse, instilled in me his knowledge and love for being a d-pole. He, like myself, was not the biggest guy on the field, but used his stick skills to make up for the lack of size. Without Pat’s mentorship I would not have the opportunity to play lacrosse in college.
What other lacrosse clubs have you played for over the years?
I’ve played on many club teams. I’ve played for Team Hills, Team 91 lacrosse, the Jr. Long Island Lizards, and the Long Island Jesters.
Feel free to include any shout-outs, special thanks.
I want to Thank God for all the amazing opportunities he has provided and wonderful people I have met in my life. I am also grateful to my parents who have supported and still continue to support me through all the highs and lows. They have put up with my shenanigans for 17 years and I love them for that.
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.