BC High Athletics was able to catch up with alumnus Will Bowen’18, a former BC High Football and Lacrosse All-Scholastic, and current member of North Carolina’s Final Four Lacrosse Team. Will was one of only three D1 All-American Defensemen in 2021, as he shares his thoughts on the season, but also overcoming a season ending injury his freshmen year, followed by his sophomore season getting cancelled due to COVID.
Q#1: What was the experience like playing in the D1 Lacrosse Final Four, and playing for the team with the #1 seed?
WB: “It was a tremendous experience. Championship Weekend (The Final Four) is the pinnacle of our sport and to have had the chance to compete on that stage was very special. In a year that began with lots of uncertainty due to Covid-19, I am grateful for those at UNC, other universities, the NCAA, and health departments who found a way to make this season happen. The tournament did not play out exactly how we had hoped, but my experiences are ones I will remember for the rest of my life. Coach Hubert Davis, our newly hired basketball coach at UNC, spoke to us before we left Chapel Hill for the Final Four. He shared a few amazing messages, but the one consistent theme was to embrace and cherish the moment because the Final Four is the most important weekend in all sports. This certainly rang true.”
Q#2: You have overcome a lot. Losing your first season at North Carolina to an injury, and then the second season to COVID. How were you able to persevere over two years, to where your first year playing D1 Lacrosse you make All-American? How did you stay focused mentally?
WB: “When I graduated from BC High, I had a loose vision of what my athletic experiences at Carolina would have looked like and they were about 80% wrong. I never would have expected a season-ending injury or cancellation of a season due to a pandemic. In hindsight, however, I would not have asked for anything to have happened differently. It was challenging to stay mentally engaged with so much disruption, but I effectively had to wait two years for my first true season of lacrosse at UNC. That made these past five months of 2021 some of the best of my life. I was lucky to have had such a strong support group of athletic trainers, strength coaches, lacrosse staff, and teammates around me that kept me determined to emerge from my injury better than ever before. Having our season cancelled in 2020 was devastating but having five of our seniors come back for a fifth year made our team bonds unique and taught us to cherish every single moment spent together. It is easy to stay mentally focused when you do not know what comes tomorrow in the perspective of college athletics during a pandemic.”
Q#3: You graduate North Carolina in three years, and will continue lacrosse and graduate school at Georgetown. What will you graduate degree be in at Georgetown, and will you have the same lacrosse goals at Georgetown as you did at North Carolina?
WB: “I am pursuing a Master’s of Finance degree at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. I am extremely excited about this opportunity and although much of my decision was academic and career focused, I am going to Georgetown with the same lacrosse goals of playing in Championship Weekend. I think the program is on the cusp of competing at the highest level, and I look forward to doing what I can to help my new teammates get us there.”
Q#4: How has attending BC High helped you with your college journey, in both academics and athletics at North Carolina?
WB: “I learned a great deal academically, athletically, and socially in my time at BC High which prepared me well for my first three years of college. What I learned most about, however, was myself through the Jesuit teaching principles. One of the most important foundational learnings is knowing your whole, true self and that prepared me particularly well for the things I faced unexpectedly at UNC like my injury and complications due to the pandemic. I find it both fitting and comforting that I will be returning to a Jesuit institution for my next two years of school where I hope to continue in my explorative journey and lay more foundation for my transition to life after college.”
Q#5: While at college, do you have time to follow BC High sports results?
WB: “I always do my best to stay up to date on all happenings at BC High. I am lucky enough to participate in the Alumni Advisory Council which gives me the chance to check in with Grace, faculty, and some alumni frequently. I get access to a lot of strong school coverage on LinkedIn and use Twitter to follow the football and lacrosse teams most closely.”