WATERVILLE — Ian Deveau didn’t know what to say about his friend and teammate, Derrik Flahive. So Deveau, now a senior co-captain on the Colby College men’s lacrosse team, told a story.

It was during lacrosse team tryouts during Deveau’s freshman season. The prospective players were taking part in a wall ball test, throwing a lacrosse ball against a wall and catching as many as they could in a 30 second span. Deveau went right-handed, then left. He caught 20-something and thought he was doing a great job.

As the test went on, word began to trickle amongst the players about the freshman who was catching 60, 70 balls. No way, thought Deveau. Those aren’t real scores.

They were. That was Flahive, the master of wall ball. That, Deveau said, is why erecting the Flahive 5 Wall in his honor is the perfect tribute to his friend.

“It will get us better at wall ball and it will always remind us of Derrik,” Deveau said.

On Nov. 15, 2011, Derrik Flahive died in Chile, in a drowning accident. He would have been a senior on this season’s Colby lacrosse team. Prior to the Mules’ game against Williams College on Saturday, Flahive was the final senior introduced during the Senior Day ceremony. Flahive wore No. 5 for the Mules and he’s still on the Colby roster. After the game, his brief but important contributions to Colby lacrosse were recognized with the dedication of the Flahive 5 wall.

The concrete wall is 30 feet high and 16 feet wide. It sits next to Bill Alfond Field, the home of the Colby women’s and men’s lacrosse teams.

“Derrik saw beauty in the small things in life,” said Marcella Zalot, Colby’s athletic director.

Lacrosse was the perfect sport for Flahive, his father, Roger Flahive said. Playing wall ball seemed to combine two of Derrik’s passions, lacrosse and music. There was a rhythm to it, his father said. Hit the wall here and it would make one sound. Hit it over here, another sound.

“Derrik was a person of motion, huh?” Roger Flahive said.

Derrik Flahive was an active Colby Cares About Kids mentor. He spent time in Tanzania and Zimbabwe helping build schools, wells and stoves. He had a need to move, but judging by the words of his friends and family, none of Derrik’s motion was wasted.

In his two seasons playing lacrosse at Colby, Derrik scored 23 goals and 11 assists. He grew up in Littleton, Colo., and going across the country to school was a big step, his father said.

“It was hard on him. It was hard on me. But he grew. He grew a lot,” Roger Flahive told the crowd of players, family and friends at the dedication. His voice wavered, and he paused, but he made it through. “It’s really difficult to come to Maine, because this is Derrik’s home. It’s a special place and it’s only special because of Derrik.”

While at Colby, Derrik was a founding member of a band, Roshambo. The band played at Saturday’s ceremony, performing “The Weight,” a cover of a song by The Band. It was one of Derrik’s favorite songs and one of the few Roshambo recorded. Lead singer Eric Eberhart, also a member of the lacrosse team, belted it out and, by mid-song, Eberhart had much of the crowd joining him in the chorus.

Katherine and Roger Flahive took the first two shots at the wall. Derrik knew graffiti, Roger said, and wouldn’t mind seeing some decorate the gray wall.

“A little graffiti on here would look really good,” Roger Flahive said. “Things like this, they get marked up, and he would love that.”

The Flahive 5 Wall will get scuffed up and it will begin to show the familiar markings of well-used equipment. The memories it inspires and the joy it brings, those will be tougher to spot.

But they’ll be there. On Saturday, the first ones were formed.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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