[EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally published on our old site on April 10th, 2016. Here, it has been republished on our new site.]
For Cooper Snowbarger, lacrosse is more than just a game. Ever since he started playing the sport in second grade, lacrosse has been his passion. The Grandview High School senior scored forty-six goals last season, averaging three goals per game. Snowbarger will continue his lacrosse career at Grand Canyon University next year. However, what makes him unique isn’t what he can do on the field (granted he is a scoring machine), but truly is his need to give back while off the field.
Like many other people this year, Snowbarger traveled out of the country for his spring break. However, his trip to Haiti was not about vacationing, but was rather a church mission to help rebuild a school and church in the small village of Boutin, Haiti. While on the mission, Snowbarger and his peers were encouraged to share their passions with the children of Boutin.
Those on the mission with him played soccer and sang songs with the kids, but Snowbarger decided to do something a little different. He expressed his passion for lacrosse by teaching the sport to anyone that wanted to learn. Snowbarger explained, “At first, they were a little confused by it. The kids sat and watched me and another member of my church group throw around for a couple of minutes before I asked if they wanted to join in.”
After just a few minutes, a crowd began to form and after, “about twenty minutes, we had a group of fifteen guys, Haitian and American, throwing around, laughing, and enjoying ourselves,” he said.
It was an experience that everyone involved will never forget. For Snowbarger, he’ll never forget how easy it was to share the sport he loves with the people of Boutin. He explained, “It felt like we weren’t kids who couldn’t understand each other. We weren’t kids who lived in entirely different nations. We were just a group of kids enjoying a game that brought us together.”