BABSON PARK, Mass.—The Babson College men's lacrosse team officially welcomed the newest member of its program on Friday afternoon as 12-year-old Stephen Register joined the Beavers through a partnership with Team IMPACT (Inspire, Motivate, Play Against Challenges Together).
Team IMPACT matches children ages 5-15 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness that has resulted in treatment and/or extended hospital stays within the past three years with teams at colleges and universities across the country. Team IMPACT children gain great strength, camaraderie and support, and the student-athletes are taught lessons about courage, resiliency and life perspective that they can't learn in a classroom. The organization has paired more than 1,200 children with over 450 colleges and universities, which now includes 16 at Babson.
"Stephen brings an energy to the sideline that everyone can feel," expressed ninth-year head coach Brendan Gorman. "Our entire program will benefit from having someone with his determination and positive outlook as part of our team. Babson lacrosse is lucky to add Stephen to our family."
Stephen, who was diagnosed with a genetic disease in 2005 and lives in nearby Needham, officially signed with the program and was presented with a No. 18 jersey and helmet in a presentation at Hartwell-Rogers Field on Friday afternoon. Following the press conference that included some comments from coach Gorman, Stephen and his new teammates posed for photos, enjoyed cupcakes and spent time playing with his family dog, Duffy, on the field. He also joined the Beavers on the sidelines for their 19-4 win over Emerson on Saturday afternoon.
"It's an awesome feeling to have Stephen be a part of our program," said sophomore Matthew MacCune. "Our team is extremely close and every one of us is so excited to have him join our family. The big smile he constantly has on his face and the excitement he has on the sideline during our practices and games is an inspiration to all of us."
Stephen and his teammates return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Wheaton College at 7 p.m.