(MOSCOW, RUSSIA) David Diamonon, who moved to Moscow in 2007 and started the Moscow Lacrosse Club, details his background and the development of lacrosse in Russia.
Shortly after moving to Moscow, Russia, in 2007 to work for Chicago-based Amsted Rail, I founded Moscow Lacrosse Club.
Initially, the club’s activities were limited to small gatherings of mostly expatriates just to throw a ball around. During the summer of 2009, a core group of young Russians expressed their interest in the game. With coaching from myself and other foreigners, they learned the fundamental skills of lacrosse, and we’ve played weekly pick-up games whenever possible.
Highlights of the 2010 season include the addition of two former NCAA Division 3 players to the squad and the inaugural Capital Cup game against the St. Petersburg team. This year we debuted team helmets and jerseys, played St. Petersburg for the second time, added a third D3 player, plus several youth players from the American diplomatic community, and gained membership in the Federation of International Lacrosse. If all goes well, before this season ends, we will fit in another game against St. Petersburg.
My brother, Jay, introduced me to lacrosse when he returned to Houston after graduating from the University of Virginia, STX Laser Lite in tote. Naturally curious, I asked him what it was. He put the stick in my hands, threw me a ball, and my love of lacrosse was born. I was only in junior high school then, and the opportunity to play organized lacrosse in Houston would only come when I reached high school. My first season was in 1988 as a freshman at St. John’s School, where I was an attackman. That first season, lacrosse was still a club sport, but my sophomore year, it became varsity for private schools. We won the unofficial state championship in 1988, were the state final runners-up in 1989, took state in 1990, and were the city runners-up in 1991.
At Middlebury College, I managed and played for one of our intramural lacrosse teams. After graduating with a degree in Russian, I moved overseas and lived in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, and Latvia for a combined seven years, and, unfortunately, opportunities to play lacrosse just weren’t there. I would get back into the game when I returned to Houston in 2002 to attend business school at Rice University, where I helped coach their club team. In addition, I also played for Bayou City Lacrosse. After business school, I moved to Fort Worth for work, where I assistant coached at both Texas Christian University and Fort Worth Country Day School.
In 2007, I accepted Amsted Rail’s offer to move to Moscow, and I knew that outside of work I wanted to start the Russian capital’s first lacrosse team. Now in 2011, that goal has been realized, and we are setting our sights on international games and, eventually, playing in the 2014 World Championship.
The Continuing Legacy
Two of my nephews are playing lacrosse for their schools. Patrick Diamonon was recruited to play midfielder by Hendrix College (Conway, Arkansas), where fall practice just began. Dan Morris is going into his third varsity season as Dallas Jesuit’s goalie, where he was a tri-captain his sophomore year.
Moscow vs. St. Petersburg
The series is even, both teams having won at home. We hope to play another match in the next several weeks to break the tie. Whenever the next game takes place, the goal of both squads is to field enough players for a full 10-on-10 contest. Until now, both games were played in a 7-on-7 format. Eventually, we hope to combine forces to form a national squad and put forth our strongest collective effort against one of the Finnish or Latvian teams.