As former Socastee standout Jiovany Rendon begins his Lacrosse World Games journey with the Colombian national team, he can begin referring to himself by a new title: team captain.
The 18-year-old is the youngest player on a team that includes several NCAA and professional players from Colombia and was named one of the team’s four leaders and a starter in advance of their first game. Former Socastee coach Matt Fox said he was pleasantly surprised and excited to hear the news.
“It's amazing,” Fox said. “The fact that a kid who was our captain this past season and now is captain for an international team is pretty amazing for an accomplishment.”
Fox said that despite the stark jump in competition from high school to international play, Rendon hasn’t been fazed. The midfielder scored six goals in the two team scrimmages he’s participated in.
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“[Rendon]'s super excited,” Fox said. “He's looking at this as a huge jumpstart for his college career (Delaware Valley College). I don't want to say he's intimidated, he kind of understands … All those guys are NCAA Division I players or have been. He's looking at this as a learning experience and to obviously showcase his talent.”
Rendon will lead his squad in the tournament that features over 30 teams from around the world in its first group stage game at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday against Finland (EST). The tournament works similarly to the FIFA World Cup, with Colombia being slotted in a group with Finland, Spain and Mexico. The winners of each group will advance to the knockout rounds.
The tournament, held in Denver, Colo., began Thursday night with Team USA taking on Canada.