Love for the Game
Brannick, Chase and Zach Arbuckle are three brothers united by their passion for lacrosse.
“We always grew up playing football and other sports, but we always thought lacrosse looked cool and our parents thought it looked cool,” Chase says. “We went to a clinic and just fell in love with it. It was one of those things where we still played other sports, but lacrosse quickly became the number-one sport for us.”
All three are currently enrolled at Carmel High School, and Brannick (class of 2022), Chase (class of 2022) and Zach (class of 2024) were part of the varsity lacrosse team that fell to Hamilton Southeastern High School in this year’s state championship. When they’re not playing for Carmel, the three brothers also stay busy with club lacrosse, with Brannick and Chase playing for True Illinois Premier 2022, Zach playing for True Illinois Premier 2024, and all three playing for the Long Island Sting.
After discovering their love for lacrosse at a fairly young age, the three Arbuckle brothers can remember sharpening their skills with each other in their backyard.
“I remember when we were first getting into it, Brannick and me would set goals on how many passes we could get before dropping it, and we would just get really psyched when we got to the number,” Chase says. “It slowly just crept up to where we didn’t have to set a number anymore and could just do it infinitely.”
After honing their craft locally, the Arbuckle brothers eventually became involved with True Lacrosse, the Midwest’s premier club lacrosse program.
“I think around sixth grade, we started playing travel for True Lacrosse here in Indiana,” Brannick says. “Eventually we got good enough to go play for True Nationals in our age group, which is all the best kids from all the True organizations coming together. They play on that team, and that team will go to tournaments and play other teams.”
As the Arbuckle brothers explain, True Lacrosse has helped to put the Midwest on the map when it comes to lacrosse, especially considering the sport’s popularity on the east coast.
“The Midwest was being really left out for a long time, and True was the first program that really came and brought all of the Midwest together to rival all the Northeast teams,” Chase says. “That was when it started getting really serious for us, when we made the national team and we were able to go out and see the really good competition for the first time.”
“I remember going out there our first year,” Chase continues. “We got our butts handed to us every single game, and that was a big eye-opener to the skill level we wanted to compete at. Ever since then, we started practicing really hard and playing more teams like that. I think that’s really what made the difference here in the Midwest. A lot of kids only play the school season, like half of the year or so. When we’re able to go out and play in the summer and we’re able to go out and play some of the best club teams in the country, we learn a lot.”
Through the years, True Lacrosse Co-founder Jake Deane has witnessed the Arbuckle brothers’ growth firsthand.
“What’s really impressive to me about them is their desire to get better,” Deane says. “They’re very committed to wanting to get better, and they have big-time goals. They want to play at the highest level they possibly can, and I really do believe they have the ability to do so.”
When it comes to their most recent season with Carmel varsity lacrosse, the three brothers certainly have individual accomplishments they are proud of. Brannick and Chase both say they improved on their athletic physique, while Zach has learned how to handle his nerves when competing on a bigger stage.
“My first game of my freshman year, I didn’t think I did so well – I was false starting and was really nervous to play in front of a big crowd,” Zach says. “I think I’ve grown a lot this year on learning how to cope and do well. It’s really been a good learning experience that I’ve gotten throughout the year.”
Looking back, the Arbuckle brothers say this past season with Carmel was ultimately defined by resilience.
“Something I’m really proud of this year is how much we were able to overcome the losses that we had at the beginning of the season and how much our team just did a 180,” Chase says. “I think the commitment to the team really rose. The leadership by the seniors is something that I’m going to remember forever.”