In the words of his players, Jon Munk got “mad props” last week for his performance in the World Lacrosse Championships.
Munk, a 2003 Hood River Valley High School graduate and coach of the HRV varsity boys lacrosse team for the last three years, was in Denver for the week-long tournament that brought together the top 38 national field lacrosse teams from around the world. As the grandson of Czech immigrants, Munk has played intermittently for the Czech Republic national team for several years, including this month, when he helped his team to a 4-3 record and a 14-th place finish.
As a highlight to the tournament, at the end of the final rounds an all-star team of ten players – called the President’s Team -- is selected and honored as some of the top players in the world at each position.
“I was pretty surprised,” Munk said, about learning he had made the team. “I played pretty well, but didn’t think I had that phenomenal of a tournament. But apparently some of the other team’s coaches thought I did a good job. Basically, I think it’s because I’m a well-rounded player. I was out there a lot, in a lot of places on the field, so I had more opportunities to be noticed.”
Playing midfielder, Munk scored eight goals in six games for his team, which defeated Turkey, Costa Rica, Poland and Switzerland and lost to Germany, Ireland and Finland.
The United States and Canada went undefeated to face each other in the finals; Canada ultimately took the title with a 10-7 win. The Iroquois Nationals finished third with a 16-5 win over Australia.
“Where we finished isn’t bad considering,” Munk said. “In Czech, box (indoor) lacrosse is way bigger than field lacrosse, so a lot of the best players chose not to come to the outdoor tournament. It’s an expensive trip, so they saved their money to be able to travel to the indoor world championships next year.”
Munk said his contribution to the team, and the award, is a good way to secure his place on the Czech team for the near future, which includes the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships next September in New York. He’s hopeful to be able to play in that tournament, although at the moment his future is a little uncertain. This summer he’s finishing his studies at Portland State University, where he’ll graduate with a Master’s in Education, with the goal of teaching high school health and physical education.
“I’ve always liked lacrosse, and having an opportunity to still play and compete is great,” he said.