Diablo Valley College lacrosse team captain Chris Morrissey got some thought-provoking news the other day.
DVC middie Juan Buenrostro will celebrate his 21st birthday on Monday -- the very day the Vikings open their Fall Ball club season against visiting San Jose State at 7:15 p.m.
"That's kind of cool," Morrissey, a Clayton Valley High graduate, said. "I didn't know that. We'll have to win that game for him then we'll celebrate afterward."
Maybe they can start by saying Feliz Cumpleanos ("Happy birthday" in Spanish).
It turns out that Buenrostro is a bilingual birthday boy with a back story.
In July he represented Team Mexico in the Lacrosse World Championships in Manchester, England. He even scored in Mexico's 10-9 loss to North Korea. The United States beat Canada 12-10 in the championship match.
A Livermore resident who was born in Walnut Creek, Buenrostro said he has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Mexico, where his parents were born.
The former Granada High player has an infectious personality, in addition to his rapid pace on the field.
"Juan is a very sociable guy," Morrissey said. "He brings a lot of speed to the team, and when he's around everybody sort of smiles. He's small (5-foot-7, 150 pounds), but his smile is like a 200-pound guy's smile. He's a funny guy, a cool guy."
Buenrostro is also a scrappy guy. Morrissey said in every practice Buenrostro will peel himself off the ground after taking contact from a bigger guy and then quickly rev up again.
The Vikings lacrosse team, believed to be the state's only community college team in the sport, is a third-year program few know about.
Still, DVC matched up favorably with the big boys last year, including routing San Jose State 15-2, avenging a 15-6 setback the year before. The Vikings also won the West Coast Lacrosse League Division II title.
The Vikings spent Saturday at Gregory Gardens Elementary School doing chores as part of the Pleasant Hill Community Service Day.
DVC players are excited about their experienced new coach, Jon Skinner, a northern Virginia native -- a region where lacrosse is the second most popular sport behind football, according to Skinner. The coach has been impressed with the Vikings' desire and willingness to improve.
Three former DVC stars, Alex Starr, Gavin Cook and Laki Sotiropulos, transferred to Saint Mary's last spring, a fact that adds significance to the DVC-Gaels showdown on Oct. 9 in Moraga.
Top defenders are Morrissey and San Ramon Valley graduates Alex Warner and Evan Birdsall. Goalies John Honea (Foothill), a former Marine who will start against San Jose State, and Mike Schleicher (San Ramon Valley), are also excellent. Marshall Bowden (Las Lomas) is a top scoring threat.
Buenrostro, who works weekends for his dad Juan Sr.'s landscaping business in the Tri-Valley, has contributed to lacrosse's vitality by coaching the Livermore Phantoms youth team, also helping out with Granada junior varsity boys squad.
When he was a Matadors freshman, a classmate convinced him to give the sport a shot.
"After doing it I naturally fell in love with it," he said.
EAGLE WITH WHEELS: In 2009, Los Medanos College's Thomas Hampton, now at West Texas A&M, ran away from the state competition in rushing yards.
Now it could be Laney's CJ Anderson's turn.
The high-flying Eagle, out of Jesse Bethel-Vallejo, entered the weekend with 444 yards in two games, his 222-yard average topping the No. 2 runner in the state by an average of 74 yards.
Contact Matt Schwab at firstname.lastname@example.org