Vimy Lacrosse Student-Athlete Signs NCAA Div I Letter of Intent
Tristan Rai, a student in the founding Vimy Lacrosse class, signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Lehigh University. He will enter Lehigh in the Fall of 2015 where he will attend university and play for the Division Mountain Hawks lacrosse team. Tristan started at Donnan School in Grade 4 where he was a student-athlete in Donnan Hockey. In Grade 5, he split time between Donnan Hockey and Vimy Lacrosse. This was at a time when students at Donnan were able to be a part of the Vimy Lacrosse Program. Once Tristan entered Junior High at Vimy, he was committed to combining hockey and lacrosse with his academics. He followed this plan through until he completed Grade 9. After that year, Tristan left home to attend Westminster School in Connecticut. This jump to a US Prep School enabled him to continue with his academic objectives and play in the Founders Lacrosse League, one of the strongest field lacrosse leagues in the country. Tristan graduated in 2014 from Westminster and is currently taking a year off before attending Lehigh. Tristan played all his minor lacrosse with the Edmonton Warriors Lacrosse Club before playing Junior Lacrosse with the Sherwood Park Titans organization. He is another example of the continued success of the Vimy Lacrosse program and follows in the footsteps of so many other Vimy alumni that have moved on to the college ranks, both in Canada and the US, to study and play lacrosse.
(From Left to Right: AAD Executive Director Jeff Jones, Tristan Rai, and Vimy Lax Director and Proud Papa Paul Rai)
“I am extremely excited to attend Lehigh University in 2015. I never thought I would be in the position that I am in today. It is a very humbling experience. I am very thankful and proud to be an alumni of both Vimy Ridge Academy and Westminster School. Without the experiences and lessons that I received at these schools I doubt I would be the same caliber of person that I am today. I owe a lot to these schools. I spent my junior high school years at Vimy Ridge, participating in both the hockey and lacrosse programs. The staff at Vimy do an amazing job at both sports and it was a very enjoyable experience being able to play both of the sports that I loved at the same school. Not only did I receive great instruction athletically but I was constantly challenged on the academic front as well. The teachers at Vimy did an amazing job helping me strive to better myself in various subjects. I am thankful to people such as Mrs. Kim Froese, who basically threw me into a Grade 9 math class when I was only in Grade 8, helping me every step of the way. Vimy Ridge challenged me to branch out and find a way to become more.
I owe a lot to Vimy Ridge Academy and everyone who had a part in my experience. I left Vimy after my Grade 9 year to attend Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut. I had a hard time adjusting to the culture shock and rigorous schedule. Westminster is a private boarding school that competes in the Founders League alongside schools such as Taft and Choate. Russ Sheppard, a former teacher at Vimy Ridge, was the one who pushed me to try boarding school. He made the call to Westminster that I will be forever thankful for. Westminster, much like Vimy, was a place where I could do all the things that I loved to do. I was fortunate to make both the varsity hockey and lacrosse teams my freshman year. I also took up football for the first time in my life. My three coaches became some of my greatest role models during my four years at Westminster. I would like to thank Lee Huguley, Tim Joncas and Peter Newman for always challenging and pushing me to be the best that I could be. I would also like to thank Mr. Peter Briggs, who served as my advisor for all four years at Westminster. I turned to Mr. Briggs a lot for help when I was having struggles personally. I also need to thank my former roommates Charlie Niles, David Lee and Austen Tibbetts. Without great roommates it would have been a tough adjustment coming all the way from Edmonton. Thankfully I had some of the best roommates I could have asked for.
I am extremely lucky to have attended Westminster and Vimy Ridge. I thank every staff member and every student who has ever made a difference in my life. I am excited to move forward and give back to Vimy and Westminster in the near future.”