Saint Leo lacrosse is setting Canadian on life path

Lions' defender makes many connections through sport

Canadian Lions lacrosse player Wade Hawtin strikes a pose replicating his defensive stance. (Melissa Akgez photo) 

ST. LEO, Fla. — Canadian lacrosse player Wade Hawtin is finding his path in life through the magic of college sports.

The senior lacrosse defender at Saint Leo University, majoring in bio-medical and health sciences, chose the Lions because the combination of campus, team, and environment are setting him up for the future.

He’s played in four games so far this season. Last season, he played 13 games, starting in four of them, picking up one assist, one point and four turnovers. In the 2022 season, he played in three games and had one turnover.

“I’m accomplishing a lot of things I want,” said Hawtin, at the university lacrosse field. “It’s given me a lot of opportunities … for what I want to do for the next part of my life.”

He first started playing hockey at age four, then lacrosse at around six years old.

“It gave me a lot of good friends in school, you make so many connections through the sport.”

His high school, St. Martin Catholic Secondary in Mississauga, has a sports Specialist High Skills Major Program, where he played hockey. The skills he learned from there were transferable to playing lacrosse.

“It’s not a huge change, maybe socially different,” the senior said. “I think being able to play with different people and different personalities because hockey and lacrosse are almost the same, so it was easy to transition.

“The program helped me with time management and learning how to balance (classes).”

He’s lucky his family can fly down often to see him, but he isn’t sharing the international student experience alone.

“The people that are here, it’s not that different from back home,” said Hawtin. “You meet people from all over here too, like a lot of foreign students on different teams so you can share the experience with them in the states.”

After he graduates this year, his goal for the next chapter in life is to pursue a path in sports medicine. Part of that is to stay down in Florida to find schooling or internships, where he can get hours to apply for physician’s school.

“I want to apply to Moffit which is cancer research, or anything in that field.

“We don’t have many of them in Canada so that’s why it’s a better decision to stay down here.”

Despite being in the United States, he’s always carrying his Canadian heritage with him. It’s a frequent conversational topic for him with his American peers.

“I’m pretty proud of where I come from.”

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Posted: Mar 11 2024 4:02 pm
Filed under: Lacrosse Other Sports Sports