He’s a team captain of the Torrey Pines lacrosse team, was just named in the nationally published Lacrosse Magazine as their West Coast Player of the Week, and recently committed to play for Tufts University’s renowned team, so it may not come as a surprise that Henry Hollen has had a passion for the sport since he was just 6 years old.
“I was in first grade when I started playing,” he said, after a grueling practice at Torrey Pines. “I was born in Denver, and the only sports you could play as a kid were either lacrosse or hockey, so I chose lacrosse.”
Hollen “immediately fell in love with it” and knew from then on that he wanted to pursue lacrosse in a big way for the rest of his life. He’s done just that since moving from Colorado to North San Diego County when he was just a kid. In the interim, he’s played virtually every position, eventually settling on midfielder, which he considers his favorite. It’s his talent as midfielder that recently caught the attention of Lacrosse Magazine, which noticed that Hollen was instrumental during three recent wins for the Torrey Pines team.
The kudos from the magazine is special for Hollen, considering he’s a West Coast player in a sport that arguably has more popularity in the eastern United States. “It’s definitely rewarding to know that all of the hard work I put in is being recognized, especially as a player on the West Coast,” he said. “Lacrosse is so East Coast-dominated that it’s cool to see players in California get a mention. You feel like you’re a part of the sport’s growth.”
Hollen joined the Torrey Pines Junior Varsity lacrosse team when he was a freshman and was invited to the ranks of the varsity team just one year later as a sophomore. Being one of the youngest players on the varsity team shaped Hollen’s view of lacrosse and sportsmanship in general.
“It changed the way I thought about everything,” he noted. “My sophomore year, we won the CIF championships, so to be part of that team was such an incredible accomplishment. I was one of two underclassmen to get playing time, and that experience helped the way I lead the team now as a captain. When I look at the younger guys now, I see myself.”
Hollen, who’s a senior, is due to graduate this spring and is looking forward to continuing his lacrosse career at Tufts University, a school just outside Boston, known for its lacrosse program.
“My proudest accomplishment so far is committing to a program like Tufts,” he said. “I’ve been in the recruiting process for the better part of five years. This has been my goal since fifth grade, and it’s something that I can’t believe is becoming a reality.”
Hollen counts on support from his family the most. “Knowing they have my back is very important to me,” he said. “They’ve wanted me to go and play wherever I was happiest; they never questioned me going out East to play and put it fully up to me.”
Until he reports to Massachusetts this August, Hollen still has the rest of the season with Torrey Pines to worry about, which doesn’t wrap up until late May — if the team makes the championships, that is.
The season started on a high note with Torrey Pines beating their rivals at Cathedral Catholic, but since has had its ups and downs.
Nevertheless, Hollen is enjoying his status as captain.
“I was slightly intimidated when I first became a captain,” he said while still recovering from that afternoon’s practice. “When you lose a game, it’s on the captains and not the players. But I’m glad I can experience this leadership role my senior year, and hopefully will carry that on to Tufts.”