Mercer Island Islanders senior boys lacrosse player Donnie Howard competed on the Russian National lacrosse team at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships from July 12-21 in Israel. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Mercer Island Islanders senior boys lacrosse player Donnie Howard competed on the Russian National lacrosse team at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships from July 12-21 in Israel. Shaun Scott/staff photo

Howard partakes in an experience of a lifetime

Mercer Island senior Donnie Howard competes in 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships.

July of 2018 was undoubtedly a memorable month for Mercer Island Islanders boys lacrosse player Donnie Howard.

Howard, who will be a senior during the 2018-19 school year, was a member of the Russian National Lacrosse team that competed at the 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships from July 12-21 in Israel. Howard’s mother Loulia is from Russia, which gave Howard an opportunity to compete on the Russian squad at the world championships.

“Going into my junior year of high school (summer of 2017) our Mercer Island lacrosse team went to Russia for a two-week trip. We played two separate games against teams from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. That is where they kind of got a look at me, and due to my mom’s heritage of being Russian, they asked me if I wanted to play for a team at the world championships. I thought to myself, that is a big deal! I thought about it for a few months and I decided it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I took it.”

Howard said his Russian teammates were warm and friendly upon his arrival.

“I came (to Israel) a few days after the rest of the team because I was on the East Coast. They were all settled in but they welcomed me with open arms. There was a few other Americans on the team who were either adopted in Russia or lived there,” Howard said.

Howard said he spent a total of 15 days in Israel.

“It was an incredible experience and not quite what I expected. There is a lot of big cities, tall buildings and tons of construction. It is very hot and it’s in the desert. It was very safe place and I loved the culture,” Howard explained.

Howard said he has remained in contact with his Russian teammates since returning to the United States.

“We have a big Facebook group chat. We also stay in touch through Instagram and we text occasionally,” Howard said.

Howard is eagerly anticipating his senior season with the Islanders boys lacrosse squad this fall. In 2017, the Islanders lost to the Bellevue Wolverines, 12-4, in the 3A state championship game.

“I think about that games almost every day. We also lost to them (in the title game) my sophomore year. That has stuck with me. This year we have a tough squad that is deep. We have high expectations. I would like our team to go undefeated, get to that state championship spot and win it,” Howard said.

Following his final season with the Islanders, Howard will continue his lacrosse career at Boston University.

Correction: A previous version of this article included the incorrect score of the 2017 3A state championship game. The Reporter strives for accuracy and regrets the error.

More in Sports

The epitome of a legend

Paul Allen will always be remembered for saving professional football in Seattle.

Islanders water polo team loses to Bellevue, Roosevelt

Mercer Island remains optimistic despite recent defeats.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis team’s No. 1 doubles team consisting of Chris Elliot and Kevin Chen finished the 2018 regular season undefeated. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Dynamic duo dominates at the net

Mercer Island Islanders No. 1 doubles team goes undefeated in regular season action.

Moscow Spartans football players Omari Grinyaev, Michael Levenshtein and Mercer Island head football coach Ed Slezinger pose for a quick photo prior to the start of Mercer Island’s football practice on Oct. 9. Grinyaev and Levenshtein will be in Washington observing the Islanders football programs practices, meetings, workouts and games through Oct. 22. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Islanders football program hosts Russian players

Players from the Moscow Spartans football team make trip to Mercer Island.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis team earned a 6-1 victory against the Bellevue Wolverines in a 3A/2A KingCo tennis matchup on Sept. 25 on Mercer Island. The Islanders improved their overall record to 8-1 (4-0 league) with the victory. Photo courtesy of Anjali Patel
Islanders are dominating on the tennis court

Mercer Island defeats Bellevue in rivalry contest.

Mercer Island senior midfielder Emily Arron, left, puts pressure on Liberty defender Cameron Nelson, right, in a matchup featuring two of the top soccer programs in the 3A/2A KingCo Division. Mercer Island earned a 2-1 comeback victory on Sept. 25 on Mercer Island. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders attain comeback triumph

Mercer Island makes statement with victory against Liberty.

Mercer Island Islanders senior wide receiver Hunter Johnson wants to see his team bring home a 3A state football championship this December. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Johnson is a big-play threat for the Islanders

Islanders are undefeated on the gridiron.

Islanders dominate Vikings

Mercer Island scores 17 goals against Puyallup.

Goal celebration in Mercer Island win

Mercer Island senior captain Jackie Stenberg, left, celebrates scoring in regular time… Continue reading

Mercer Island Islanders senior swim athlete Chloe Mark, who has advanced to the Class 3A state swim meet in the 500 free the past two seasons, wants to see her team finish in one of the top three spots at the Class 3A state swim meet this November. The Islanders captured fourth place at the Class 3A state meet during the 2017 season. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Mark is a marvelous swimmer for Mercer Island

Mercer Island senior Chloe Mark has loved swimming since she was in elementary school.

‘She likes to win and she likes to run hard’

Mercer Island’s Maggie Baker tears up the cross country course.

Mercer Island player Oliver Schaaf, (No. 5), plays defense against the Newport Knights in the season opener on Sept. 6. Photo courtesy of Michelle Kavesh
Islanders boys water polo team is striving for excellence in the pool

Mercer Island defeats Newport in season opener.