Congratulations to Joe on his college choice and good luck in the future!
Ponte Vedra High School
University of Denver
Sweetlax Florida, Sweetlax National, and Ponte Vedra Sand Gnats
Why did you choose this college?
The second I stepped on the University of Denver campus, I felt very welcomed and wanted by both Coach Tierney and Coach Brown. Coach Brown was able to recount several of my plays from events this fall and demonstrated his reason for bringing me on campus early and with passion. The coaches’ styles and attention to details, especially those in culture and attitude, really stood out to me. Of course, the reputation of both coaches is beyond impressive but was made even more obvious as I learned what they do to become so successful. Beyond the coaching staff, the beautiful campus and its location just outside of Denver, Colorado was icing on the cake and further added to my decision. The increasing academic strength and focus on improving the school as a whole, paired with the connections both coaches have, helped aid my decision as I know that I will be successful after I graduate.
What are your first memories of the sport?
My first memories of playing lacrosse are when I played in a local indoor league after quitting baseball. I instantly loved the sport, so I soon moved to my local outdoor club team. I was put on defense for several years and ended up being very good. I then moved on to playing in Florida club tournaments but, after a few seasons, began to play up with the travel program, Team Florida, and loved the better competition. Eventually, I switched to midfield and stuck with it. As I switched from team to team, I finally found Sweetlax to give me the best exposure for recruiting.
What part of the process was most surprising to you about the recruiting process and what would you like to pass on to those who are going to face it in the future?
Patience and hard-work are key. And, everyone’s process is different. Initially on September 1st, I did not receive the calls i had hoped for. Feeling that my dream was crushed I decided to embrace it and worked extremely hard for the next 3 months. I made the best of every moment in the weight room and on the field with my private coach and PLL player, Chris Bocklet. I finally gained the confidence I needed to expand my skill-set and attitude so that I could dominate the fall recruiting circuit. I came back in the fall and played some of the best lacrosse I had ever played. I began to receive a lot more calls and emails from coaches reaching out, and on top of them all was Denver. All in all, I was blessed to realize how much my determination and action really payed off. Seeing my teammates commit and receive more and better calls than me created a fire that legitimately helped me to understand everyone’s process is different and being patient while working hard allowed me to make the most of my process.
Who would you like to thank for helping you get here?
I really want to thank my parents and coaches. Both of my parents did everything they could to provide me with every opportunity to achieve my dream. My dad did everything he could from organizing my process digitally to pushing me on the field throughout the off-season. My mom worked her tail off to take time off work so she could take me to events and pushed me to keep going at it. Both my mom and dad took an incredible amount of time to take me to and from events, provided me with all the lessons and coaching I needed, and pushed me just as hard as I pushed myself to get to where I am today. Among the coaching opportunities my parents gave me were my private coaches Chris Bocklet and Glenn Carter. In my earlier years, I, and a group of my teammates, worked with Glenn Carter, previously head coach at the University of Richmond, to develop our fundamentals and IQs. This early work projected myself ahead of most others, especially in the state of Florida. I more recently worked with my high school coaches and club coaches: Chris Polanski, Tom West, Kevin Martin and Kevin Dugan. Each one of these coaches played a role in not only increasing my exposure by adding to my confidence as they guided me throughout the process but also further helped my refine my skills. Most recently, Chris Bocklet went way beyond what I had ever asked of him. Coach Bocklet took hours out of his day to review my film with me, increase/restore my confidence, and coach me into the most improved player I am today. He helped guide me to put in the work I needed after Sept. 1 and put in countless hours of planning and research to find the best ways to coach me throughout the fall, ultimately increasing my skill-set, boldness, and above all, my confidence. Of course these are not the only people who helped me to land at the University of Denver but without these names none of this would have been possible.