• Edward Williams, an attack standout at St. John’s High School in Houston, is the first in-state student to commit to pla...
    Edward Williams, an attack standout at St. John’s High School in Houston, is the first in-state student to commit to playing for Southwestern's new varsity lacrosse team.

Southwestern’s first varsity lacrosse team is beginning to take shape and the hard work and long hours head coach Joe Ernst has put in the past few months are starting to pay off.

“The excitement of being not only the first men’s varsity team ever at Southwestern but also in the state of Texas has numerous people intrigued and yearning to be a part of this historic program,” Ernst said. 

Ernst received his first in-state commitment in March from Edward Williams, an attack standout at St. John’s High School in Houston. A big presence on the field at 5’11” 245 lbs, Williams led his team in scoring his junior year with 49 goals for St. John’s, a perennial state playoff team with a tradition of sending players to DI and DIII programs. 

Williams had been considering other top-notch national programs before verbally committing to Southwestern. Several factors went into his decision, including feeling honored to be the first recruit at the first varsity college lacrosse program in Texas. It seems as if history is repeating itself as Williams’ high school team, where his father coached for many years, was the first lacrosse team in Texas. 

“Having played for Select Teams, Champ Camp teams, and at Top 205 Lacrosse Camp − all in the East − it is amazing to be part of establishing a competitive program in my home state,” Williams said. “You can’t beat being in Texas.”

Select Teams, Champ Camp and Top 205 Lacrosse Camp are all invitation-only camps and teams for the top recruits in the country. 

Williams felt the combination of Southwestern’s strong academics and an enthusiastic and proven coach helped seal the deal. “Friends and family can continue to see me play and watch the team grow,” he said. “Not many players from Texas can say that…until now. I’m looking forward to working hard and getting that first win for Southwestern.”

Elliott Kelly from Keller, Texas, has also solidified his decision to attend Southwestern and Coach Ernst continues close in on verbal commitments from other top recruits in and out of state.

In addition to the recruits, Southwestern has also secured a two-year sponsorship deal with Harrow Sports. Harrow Sports, a Denver-based manufacturer of athletic equipment and apparel, will serve as the official equipment and apparel supplier of the new program.

“We are extremely happy with our partnership with Harrow Sports,” Ernst said. “Harrow is becoming a household name in the lacrosse world, and the quality of their equipment line is very impressive.  We have had great success recruiting for next year and our schedule is shaping up to be a very competitive one. We look forward to taking the field with Harrow by our side.” 

The Pirates will hit the field in the fall of 2009 and have their first collegiate competition in the spring of 2010.


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