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Beck headed to Brine Lacrosse Classic

Park freshman Dan Beck will attend the Brine National Lacrosse Classic from June 30 to July 3 in Maryland. (Submitted photo)

Kate Beck smiles when she thinks back to the day, though it wasn’t too pleasant at the time.

Her son Dan Beck, who recently wrapped up his freshman year at Park High School, had just finished up a Team Minnesota tryout at the University of Minnesota to compete at the Brine National Lacrosse Classic. Dan thought the tryout was for a team of 2017 graduates, like his father Craig Beck had told him.

But it wasn’t. This tryout was for high schoolers of all ages, and Dan, who stands at 5-feet-9-inches tall, felt as though he was overmatched and pushed around a little bit by many of the older players.

So when he approached his mom after the tryout, he was none too happy.

“He looks at me and he goes ‘I’m going to kill dad,’” Kate Beck said. “I said ‘Why?’ He goes ‘All those kids were high school kids.’”

A week later, Beck received a note saying he’d made the team, and he was the only freshman to do so.

“I was surprised,” Dan said. “Everyone was bigger, faster. I didn’t see myself competing, but I guess I was. I don’t know, it was pretty crazy.”

Beck will sport a Team Minnesota jersey at the Lacrosse Classic from June 30-July 3 in Maryland. The classic represents just another stop on the whirlwind tour lacrosse has taken him on over the past few years.

Dan Beck’s first love was hockey, his father Craig Beck said.

But from the second he got a lacrosse stick in his hand in fourth grade, that’s been the primary focus.

“I remember going by Hillside Elementary and seeing people playing and I knew I wanted to try it out,” Dan Beck said. “I’ve loved it ever since.”

When he started, Beck had to play up with the sixth graders, because there weren’t enough fourth graders interested to form a team. That continued into the next year, as well.

After playing in Hastings for two years, Beck joined Park’s varsity squad in eighth grade.

Though Beck was smaller, and certainly younger, he was used to competing with older kids from his youth days.

“[But] I was still a little intimidated,” Beck said.

Craig Beck said his son had a good mentor in Park’s then-senior captain Luke Nelson.

“He took him under his wing and really made his whole year worth it,” Craig Beck said.

Dan Beck received more playing time and made more of an impact in his freshman season at Park, but it’s clear his major contributions to the team are in the near future. Park graduated 20 seniors this season, paving the way for him to take on a larger role moving forward.

That’s exciting for the Wolfpack, as Beck continues to improve through exposure to top-notch competition this summer.

In his second year with True Minnesota, his club team, Beck will travel to the likes of Delaware, Philadelphia and Maine. He competed in Baltimore and at Rutgers University in New Jersey the past two weekends.

Beck said a different brand of lacrosse is played in the Northeast, compared to the game in Minnesota.

“It’s a lot more intense,” he said as he pulled up his sleeve to reveal a few scratches on his arm. “In Minnesota there’s a couple of kids who are good on our team and they run the team, but out east everyone’s good on the team. So it’s tough to compete, but we can keep up.”

The events also provide more exposure for the athletes to collegiate recruiters. That’s important to Beck, whose goal is to play some level of college lacrosse.

“All the college recruiters are coming to these tournaments,” Craig Beck said. “So he sees the head coach at Maryland watching his game and it’s like how can you not be pumped up and intimidated. So that’s the level he’s at right now where these are all recruiting tournaments. There’s 30 DI coaches watching you, so the expectations are so high.”

Beck said his True Minnesota squad is often underestimated by northeast teams. The same can likely be expected this week, when Team Minnesota heads to Brine.

As the only freshman on the squad, Beck said many of his older teammates are players he’s heard about, and even looked up to growing up -- including Cretin-Derham Hall star Callahan Crawford.

“A lot of these kids I’ve either played against at the high school level or I’ve heard of,” Beck said. “I know them as the good players in Minnesota.”

Beck said it felt good to be included on a roster with so many talented players from across the state as his young age.

“It make me nervous, too, because I’m playing with the best kids,” he said. “I’m just hoping to keep up with them, and I feel I can.”

Beck said he’s not necessarily looking to be a starter for Team Minnesota at Brine, but he knows the time he gets will be valuable, and it will be a learning experience.

“I’m just anxious to see what happens,” he said.