Going into his freshman year, Cam Irwin was an aspiring hockey goalie who failed to make the GBS team. Now, as a senior, Irwin is a captain of the lacrosse team and is committed to play collegiately at Tufts University.
Though Irwin has played lacrosse since age 11, he only truly committed to the game his freshman year of high school, according to Irwin. In his four years playing at South, Irwin has become an amazing lacrosse player, according to his coach Matthew Jones.
“From the moment I met him as a freshman, I knew right away that he was going to be special,” Jones said.
Cam’s success didn’t go unnoticed by younger brother, Jackson Irwin, either. According to Jackson, Cam inspired him to play lacrosse.
“I started [playing lacrosse] because he started,” Jackson said. “It really looked like fun. Over time, we grew into it more, and then it became brother and brother competition.”
Jackson now accompanies his brother on the field as a member of the varsity team.
“It’s pretty cool [playing together] because we kind of have a mental connection,” Jackson said. “He always looks out for me. He always tries to help me out [and] make me better.”
As well as helping out his brother on the field, Cam also helps out the team.
“He knows how to create opportunities for other people, which is very important to our team,” Jackson said.
Jones also agrees that Cam’s skills help the team as a whole.
“He definitely works harder than everyone in practice,” Jones said. “He doesn’t rely upon his given abilities and talents; he’s always working, always trying to improve, which, in turn, improves everyone around him.”
According to Jones, Cam’s greatest asset is his understanding of the game.
“[Freshman] year he was moving up between the junior varsity and freshman [team],” Jones said. “He was practicing for the junior varsity team a lot of the time, but when he would come play with the freshmen, he just knew what we were doing, very early on he had an understanding of the game.”
Varsity goalie Ryan Hauldren, who has played with Cam since freshman year, said he feels that Cam’s abilities during a game help the team succeed.
“Last year we were playing Palatine, and it was our first game of the year so we were kind of sloppy, and [Cam] came in and scored four goals and it really put us over the edge and got us that first win,” Hauldren said.
Cam said he hopes his team does well this season, and he especially hopes for victories against New Trier and Glenbrook North.
“Beating them would be awesome this year [because] I haven’t beaten those teams my four years here [at South],” Cam said.
As well as goals for the team, Cam aims high for his personal goals this season as well. Cam says he hopes to be All-American in lacrosse this year.
Tufts University, located in Boston, is a Division III school for lacrosse. Cam’s coaches and teammates, including Hauldren, are very excited about Cam’s future there.
“[The team] is proud of him,” Hauldren said. “We know he deserves it.”
Jones has high hopes for Cam at the college level.
“With his commitment to doing the very best, he’s going to get to college and he’s going to shine, and I’m looking forward to watching that,” Jones said.