More and more lacrosse players from the Southland are heading off to play in college. This summer, Southland Lax is catching up with a few guys and asking them to share their experiences — what they’ve done, how they got there and how others can follow a similar path.
Any awards won, both high school and college?
2011 Northwood Varsity Coach’s Award
How did you get into lacrosse?
I had played football through high school, and after my senior season ended after playoffs, I had nothing to do after school. I had friends on the lacrosse team, and the coach, Greg Guy, was a teacher for a class I was in and asked me to come out and just try it. I used other people’s gear for the first month until I made my decision if I wanted to play or not. After the first month, I had so much fun and found the beauty in the game and loved it.
What’s your favorite lacrosse memory?
On senior day in high school, we dominated our arch-rivals. I was always an athlete just playing lacrosse, but that game I felt I matured extremely and became a lacrosse player and knew I wanted to play in college.
How did your season go this year?
I went to UCSC just for school. I messaged the team president, and he told me to just come to a couple of practices and see what I thought. I ended up meeting the guys and having a great time and found a group of people who I could turn to and who became my best friends, which I needed, because I didn’t know anyone one going to school there.
I worked extremely hard, hitting the wall every day and working on my stick skills, and earned the starting LSM position until I tore my ACL in a tournament in Vegas (fourth game of the season). I underwent reconstructive knee surgery two months later and am now rehabbing and looking to come back stronger then ever for next season. Overall for the team, we lost in the conference championships to St. Mary’s.
What advice can you give to younger players looking to bring their games to the next level?
I am still a very young lacrosse player, so I can relate to young players well, because I am one. While I was on the field, there would be whistles and flags, and I would have to ask my teammates why something was called. After I got hurt, I took stats for my team and mentally became so much better from just watching practice and games day after day.
Even though I can’t run yet, I hit the wall everyday switching from my long pole to short pole day to day. I walk around carrying my stick with my gloves on to practice cradling, dodging and throwing checks. I make it into a game, and depending on how many times I drop the ball or something, when I work out, I add extras to my gym workout. So for newer players like me, I can say just having a stick in your hand and getting comfortable with using both hands is the best advice.
I can say from first-hand experience that tearing my ACL has made me a better player, because I would not have been focusing on my stick skills as much. And enjoy playing, because it killed me just sitting there watching, knowing I was unable to help my team.