By Jayden Presley, Sports editor
Lacrosse attacker Trevayne Hunter found friendship and education opportunities through the sport that may have been difficult for him to achieve without it.
“I am Native American, and in my culture, we play the game of lacrosse,” said Hunter, who grew up in Aldergrove, Canada.
Lacrosse is the oldest sport in North America, first developed in the 1100s by Northern Native American tribes for social events or to settle disputes.
Hunter said he feels fortunate to play lacrosse after his tough childhood.
“Both of my parents were drug addicts. My mom died from an overdose, and my father coped with that with abuse toward me and my younger brother,” he said.
He and his brother were taken into foster care when he was 5 years old. They started in a group home and bounced from three different homes. He took care of his brother and made sure they stayed together.
“I kinda started three different lives from a 5-year-old’s perspective,” Hunter said. “The foster care system tried to split us up, but we were fortunate enough to go into a home where we have the same mom to this day.”
Hunter and his brother were raised by their single foster mother, along with a foster brother that influenced them to play lacrosse. He and his foster brother are six years apart.
“He was playing lacrosse already before I got integrated to the family. I looked to him as a father figure, because I didn’t have a father in the household. He taught me everything I knew in lacrosse and outside of lacrosse,” he said.
His older brother is now an engineer and played Division I lacrosse at Robert Morris University, later drafted into the NLL.
“I do have aspirations for playing pro one day,” said Hunter. “With my brother, he’s one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met in my life, and I’m glad to have him as a role model.”
He decided he wanted to play lacrosse on the collegiate level when he was in the sixth grade. At the time, his older brother was going through the recruitment process, so Hunter wanted to follow in his footsteps.
He started his collegiate career at Tusculum University in Tennessee, but he said it wasn’t working out for him. His best lacrosse offer landed him in Montevallo.
A senior social science major, Hunter plans to graduate this summer so he can complete his master’s in counseling in the next two years.
“I want to help people that had the same upbringing as me, so it’s more than just lacrosse. It’s about making them the best versions of themselves, like what my older brother did for me,” he said.
He puts his counseling knowledge to use by being a key motivator on the men’s lacrosse team.
“I tend to see myself as a person who picks people up,” said Hunter. “If someone’s having a bad day, I definitely try and talk to them. If someone needs someone to talk to, I’m here to listen and not judge them.”
He said he tries to make sure people are doing the right thing and going in the right direction, himself included.
The men’s lacrosse record is 4-3 as of March 9, and they lost 10-6 in a huge game against the University of Indianapolis, ranked #3 in the nation. Despite the loss, Hunter spoke highly of the talent on the team.
“We have one hell of a lacrosse team. We have many guys on this team that should be in DI. I don’t know if I can say that for myself just because I’m a team guy,” Hunter said.
His assessment of his team is that the players are good individually and are aggressive when trying to score, but they lose the ball early on offense.
The Peach Belt Conference named Hunter player of the week on March 1 after his performance on Feb. 26 against Palm Beach Atlantic University. He said the team record did not matter in the end but growing as a person does.
“People that make mistakes and are still happy and still want to learn what they can do to benefit themselves are things that I really take to heart,” he said.
Hunter is grateful for the friends and coaches he met who gave him advice to excel not only as a lacrosse player, but as a person as well.
“We’ve had a couple of hard losses against good teams such as St. Leo and Embry-Riddle, but in my true opinion, I think we are better than those teams. I have no doubt in my mind that we’re the best team in the South.”
Jayden Presley is the sports editor for The Alabamian. She is a sophomore mass communication major, concentrating in multimedia journalism, and also minors in creative writing. She enjoys writing in her spare time, drawing and playing video games.