In 2003, as a student at Lone Peak High School in Highland, Utah, Kyle Gorrell picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time. Little did he know that playing lacrosse would be a decision that would help guide him for the rest of his life.
Gorrell’s life has taken him to many different places in the world since then, including Puerto Rico, Kosovo and various others places in-between. Regardless of all the places he has been, one of the things that has remained constant in his life is the passion he has for the game of lacrosse.
His love for the game of lacrosse didn’t come easily. His first high school season was difficult, which included the team’s first head coach abruptly quitting halfway through and constant struggles as the team lost every game. But through those trials, a passion for lacrosse was slowly starting to build within Gorrell and would continue to grow regardless of the challenges of that first year.
Despite the struggles of that first season, which he still refers to as “awful,” Gorrell eventually moved on from high school and traveled up north to Logan to attend Utah State University and continue his lacrosse career. After suiting up for the Aggies and earning high rankings for his play as a goalie his freshman season, Gorrell put his academic pursuits on hold to serve a two year mission for the LDS Church in Puerto Rico.
While he was in Puerto Rico, he began learning and practicing group leadership skills. He would need the skills he developed to help him over the coming years, in order that he would be able to work with people from differing cultures and help them to come together as one to accomplish common goals.
“Those experiences helped me a lot with this team,” Gorrell said. “They have helped me not only deal with the personality differences but to appreciate the differences.”
After returning from Puerto Rico in 2008, Gorrell enrolled in classes at Utah Valley University in Orem. For the first time since 2003, he took a break from lacrosse.
It was at UVU where another decision that would have a large effect on his future was made.
In fulfilling a lifelong goal he had set for himself, he enlisted in the National Guard and was eventually deployed to Kosovo on a peace keeping mission. In the National Guard, he was part of an aviation task force that has continued in that area as a result of the Kosovo War in the late 1990’s.
During the time he spent in Kosovo and shortly after returning home to Utah, the formation of the men’s lacrosse team at Weber State was part of a plan that was forming in Gorrell’s head. One of the central themes of that plan was a promise to himself that lacrosse would play a major role in his life no matter where he attended school next.
“I decided, during this deployment I was on, that lacrosse is something that needed to be an important part of my life from here on out,” Gorrell said. “It’s something that I love, and it’s part of who I am.”
After deciding on supply chain management as a major, and realizing that Weber State was one of only two universities in Utah that offered those courses as a major, he made the decision to attend WSU and bring a men’s lacrosse team with him to Ogden.
His passion for the sport along with the leadership and organizational attributes that Gorrell has learned during his travels have not been lost on those around him.
Head Coach Peter Stevenson has seen that excitement and those skills first hand working alongside Gorrell as he has taken the team from an idea to a reality.
“It is not an easy thing to do,” said Stevenson when asked about the level of dedication it takes to get a team up and running. “His level of optimism really shines through in the passion that he has for the sport, and for the team at Weber State.”
With a life full of experiences that have seen him travel thousands of miles around the world, and with the men’s lacrosse team at Weber State up and running, Ogden appears to be the place where Kyle Gorrell pictures himself for the foreseeable future.
“It’s been really great to work with these guys,” said Gorrell. “There’s just something about having that school team and having that team spirit that takes it to a whole other level.”