Former SGA vice president is more than meets the eye
When midfielder Turner Harris transferred to UH, he still wanted to play the sport he competed in at the NCAA level at his previous university.
He discovered that UH’s club lacrosse team disbanded in 2006 and decided to help reinstate the program.
“There wouldn’t have been a team if it wasn’t for Turner,” said junior defenseman Tim Hilbe.
Harris, the team president in 2012, was a state champion at Cy-Fair High School and played NCAA lacrosse at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.
He left Nazareth to spend more time focusing on his academics but still had an interest in the game when he returned to Texas in 2010.
Harris, a supply chain and logistics technology senior, is well known at the University for his time served as Student Government Association vice president, but amongst his lacrosse teammates, he’s an important part of the team.
“He was one of our top midfielders and was third on the team with goals and assists. That’s a lot of points that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for him,” Hilbe said.
Hilbe said Harris is a committed player who works hard at practice. He knows there is a time and place to joke around.
“Turner has an amazing lacrosse I.Q. also. It’s almost like having a coach on the field playing with you at all times,” Hilbe said.
In the program’s first year back, 11 players received postseason awards from the Lone Star Alliance Conference of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association despite a 14-10 loss to Sam Houston State University in the Division II Conference Finals in April. Freshman attacker Steven Hartshorn was awarded Rookie of the Year and alumnus Justin Rich was awarded Coach of the Year.
“Well, (lacrosse is) just a sport, but I take it pretty seriously. I’m also an assistant coach for Houston Christian High School varsity lacrosse, and I started my own high school travel team for the summers. I enjoy the Texas lacrosse community and can see myself coaching and playing for as long as my body allows,” Harris said.
Harris said all of the players have become good friends and spend a lot of time together outside of practice and school. The campus politician said the skills learned through lacrosse will help him off the field too.
“I believe the skills you obtain while being involved in a team sport do transfer into your professional life. I suppose it helps you understand the importance of a team and how to accomplish a shared goal,” Harris said.
In the future, Harris hopes UH’s move to the American Athletic Conference, formerly the Big East, opens the door for lacrosse as a NCAA sport.
“I would love to see men’s and women’s lacrosse as the next NCAA sport UH picks up, it would make us more competitive amongst schools in the (American Athletic Conference),” Harris said.