Harlem Lacrosse - Boston: An Impact Story
Bensley joined the TechBoston boys lacrosse team as a 7th grader in the team's first year. Having just moved to Boston from Haiti at the beginning of the school year and being the only Haitian boy on the team meant that communication was a challenge for Bensley. Through the fall, we communicated largely through yeses, nos, and non-verbal gestures. When the spring season ended, Bensley wanted to keep playing lacrosse. He earned a spot on the first Harlem Lacrosse - Boston Select Team, and he was usually the guy we looked to in the second half to play goalie. His fearlessness and playfulness ensured that he always had an infectious smile on his face, no matter the score. Through his hard work and dedication to the team, he earned a spot at Camp Cedar--Harlem Lacrosse’s overnight camp in Maine--last summer.
With 8th grade just around the corner, Bensley was looking more and more like his 6'2" dad - which meant that despite being new to lacrosse , he had to play with the older guys at Camp Cedar. During lacrosse practices, he was bumping shoulders with far more experienced players like Nemo, David, and Fiddles and all the boys from Harlem Lacrosse - New York. During free time, he would play more lacrosse : any chance to run, get pushed around and maybe push someone else guaranteed Bensley would be there. The competitiveness of the stronger New York athletes captivated him, and he developed some new skills along the way.
Fast forward several months to the Harlem Lacrosse - Boston Showcase in May 2019. This is an event held at TechBoston Academy that included six high school lacrosse games between some of the best teams in New England. The featured game of the showcase was between the Harlem Lacrosse - Boston and Harlem Lacrosse - New York high school teams. Bensley spent the day from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm shooting on the radar gun and playing lacrosse with his friends in the corner. When the Harlem Lacrosse matchup began, he sat at the scorer's table with Coach Mumford, calling out the number of each player that picked up a ground ball. He was focused, intent on watching the game, and very helpful. He cared about the game.
The first goal for New York was a beautiful time and room shot from distance, scored by Nemo. When Nemo ran by the table, Bensley realized who it was. He said, "THAT'S NEMO! Remember, Coach? From Camp Cedar!" He asked what grade Nemo was in, and Coach Mumford told him that Nemo is a freshman. Bensley was in awe that a freshman was on the high school team and that he had scored! It was clear that Bensley was proud to be friends with Nemo. For the remainder of the game, Bensley imagined himself playing on that field as a high schooler. He talked with Coach Mumford about what it will be like next year on the high school team. He left the game inspired and looking forward to continuing his lacrosse career.