Sturgis East lacrosse defender Carl Furner has one word of advice to anyone who might want to improve their game – “Wallball.”

“In order to get your stick skills with passing and throwing, what you do is throw the ball against the wall,” Furner explained. “Do it 30 minutes a day on the concrete side of a building.”

Apparently, that has been the answer for him as well as the other members of the Storm team which is in a bit of a rebuilding process this season after qualifying for the sectional playoffs a year ago.

“We lost our goalie (Nick Pinard), our top scorer (Aidan Andrews) and other key players, like Sawyer Gibbons and Sam Smith,” Furner explained. “We’re definitely in a rebuilding year, but I still we can make it to the playoffs.”

Furner, a senior captain and four-year member of the team, noted the responsibility that comes with his leadership role.

“There are a lot of new freshmen, so there’s a lot on my shoulders to help the team to improve,” he said. “I try to be a leader first. I’m not the best player or top scorer on the team, but I try to help the team by being a leader.”

He also understands what it means to be a newbie to the sport, as he first began playing lacrosse as a freshman during his first year at Sturgis.

“He’s worked his way through the ups and downs of the seasons, and eventually it all led to him being selected captain this year,” said Sturgis East coach Andrew Watts. “Whenever Carl is at lacrosse practices or games, he is always looked up to.”

Being a leader is nothing unusual for Furner, who recently achieved the highest honor in scouting, the Eagle Scout award.

“Carl is the true definition of a leader,” Watts continued. “He is constantly pushing himself, his teammates, and the coaches to improve day to day.”

At 5-8, 170 pounds, he has to use his agility and experience to key the Storm defense.

“I’m not the biggest defenseman out there, so you need to have strategy in your game,” he said. “My job is to prevent other team’s players from making highlight reels.”

In addition to playing lacrosse in the spring, he was a fullback with the Sturgis boys soccer team in the fall.

“In soccer, you can be anywhere on the field when you’re playing,” he said. “Lacrosse is much more rigid with way more contact.”

Watts noted that Furner’s attitude both on the field and in the classroom has been an inspiration to all of his teammates.

“Whatever he is involved in, he has always been determined to teach, lead, and continue to learn,” said Watts. “I’m truly grateful and honored to have been able to watch him grow and succeed in his four years at Sturgis.”

 

20 Questions with Carl Furner

1. Favorite subject: Physics

2. Favorite book: Game of Thrones series

3. Favorite food: Spicy Deluxe from Chick Fil A

4. Favorite movie: “The Princess Bride”

5. Favorite TV show: “The Office”

6. Favorite Cape restaurant: Captain Parker’s Pub, West Yarmouth

7. Favorite Cape hangout: Craigville Beach

8. Favorite sports team: New England Patriots

9. Favorite athlete: Tom Brady

10. Favorite ‘pump-up” music: “Mercy” by Kanye West

11. Best advice I’ve received: “Leadership is not telling people to do something, it’s doing it with them”

12. Person I’d most like to meet: Rob Gronkowski

13. Hobbies and interests: Blacksmithing

14. Own greatest sports moment: Big hits in lacrosse

15. Most inspirational person: Ted Sandland

16. Pregame rituals / superstitions: Listening to “Mercy” on repeat in the car

17. Bucket list place to visit: Alaska

18. Biggest sports setback or obstacle: Having the goalie, top scorer, and one starter from attack, midfield, and defense from our lacrosse team all graduate in the same year.

19. College plans / major: Drexel University majoring in Materials Science

20. Advice to young athletes: Improve your game – play wallball

Know someone who'd be a great candidate for the Barnstable Patriot's 20 Questions feature? Contact Mike Richard at mikerichard0725@gmail.com