Abbotsford’s Liam Hoogstraten is taking his talents to North Carolina.
The Grade 12 Robert Bateman Secondary School student recently announced his commitment to Wingate University, where he will play Division II lacrosse for the Wingate Bulldogs.
Hoogstraten has spent the last several years playing with the Seattle Starz program in Washington State. The program is considered one of the top lacrosse training and development systems in the Pacific Northwest and Hoogstraten thanked them in aiding his growth in the sport.
“Given that Seattle Starz is the most competitive program in the Pacific Northwest, I was honoured to be selected to represent the club as a Canadian player in order to elevate my game,” he stated on the Starz website. “Special thanks to my parents for their commitment to help make this happen and for always cheering me on. Stand-out coaching provided by Jack Pruitt, Matt O’Neill, Dylan Hummel, and Kinori Rosnow got me to the next level and allowed me to recognize my dream of playing collegiate lacrosse. I would also like to acknowledge the support from team management (thanks Alli) over the years and the friendships I gained. Credit is also due to numerous coaches and supporters in Canada, most notably Tyler Pace, Ian Radonich, and Brad Connolly. I am excited to begin my next chapter as a Wingate Bulldog.”
Pruitt, the Starz high school boys program director, said he believes the Abbotsford product has what it takes to excel at the next level.
“Liam is an inquisitive and physical attackman who will do whatever is asked of him to support the team,” he stated on the Starz website. “Practices with Liam always included thoughtful, specific questions about what he needed to do better and how he could support his teammates. This, in turn, resulted in better dodging ability, smoother integration into the offence, and an absolute missile of an outside shot. His size and physicality might lead you to think you’d be dealing with a brute under the helmet – quite the opposite. He is whip smart and you absolutely cannot get him to stop smiling. Liam’s energy is contagious everywhere we go. There is not a player in our program that doesn’t like Liam (or, as he is affectionately known, ‘Big Rig’) – he is a world class teammate.”
Hoogstraten grew up playing box lacrosse for the Abbotsford Warriors and field lacrosse for the Valley Attack. He also competed on the Team BC men’s field lacrosse team at the U15 and U13 level.
The 6’5”, 248 pound product was chosen in the fourth round, 27th overall by the Burnaby Lakers in the 2020 British Columbia Junior A Lacrosse League entry draft back in January.
The Bulldogs finished with a record of 4-2 last season, but the campaign ended early in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.