Much has been made of the new programs set to launch next spring at Michigan and Marquette.
But there’s another college much closer to the nation’s No. 1 hotbed for lacrosse, the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region, preparing to start a program as well.
We’re talking about Albertus Magnus College in New Haven.
Albertus will launch club men’s and women’s teams this coming spring that will be elevated to Division III varsity status for the 2013 season.
Darryl Delia, who has the distinction of coaching at all three of the four Division I programs in Connecticut (Yale, Fairfield and Sacred Heart), will serve as the program’s first head coach.
And one of the member’s of Delia’s first D-III level team in 2013 will be Lakeland/Panas senior defenseman Nick Kostik.
Here’s a Q&A with the left-handed defenseman on his commitment:
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Albertus Magnus?
Magnus had everything that I was looking for in a school – academically and in lacrosse.
I wanted to go to a small college that was close enough to home that I could come home when I wanted and that my parents would be able to come and watch me play in college. I want to study to become a high school history teacher and Magnus has strong education and history departments.
The campus is beautiful and, for a small school, yet very active. It may be small in size, but it feels like it is much larger. The campus also uses three landmark mansions for dorms for some of the students – I don’t know if I will be able to dorm in one of those my first year, but I am excited about doing that sometime during my four years up there.
And, New Haven is a great college town – Magnus is right behind Yale, and you have the University of New Haven and Quinnipiac right there, too.
And, of course, there is Coach Delia, who is a great guy. He is so enthusiastic about starting this program and doing it the right way that you can’t help but get all wrapped up in it with him.
I’m going to get the chance to play for a guy that used to coach at the D-I level. He told me that everyone will get a chance to earn playing time – that you are expected to work hard in practice, work hard in games and work hard in the classroom.
He said that everyone is constantly being evaluated every day and that you earn your time on the field – that just because you start one game doesn’t mean that you will start the next. It is all about working hard and producing – that everyone gets a shot and that’s all you can ask.
I know that Coach Delia is all pumped up about getting going and so am I – I can’t wait to get up there and get that first win for him and the program. He is such an excitable guy, I want to see what he is going to do when we get that first win. So, the school really offers me everything that I wanted in a college.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I had 17 D-III schools contact me between last fall and this summer. I cut that list down to five that I visited – Albright in Reading, Pa.; Kean University in New Jersey; Emmanuel in Boston; Marywood in Scranton, Pa., and Magnus.
What are your thoughts about being part of the program from its launch as a collegiate team?
That was one of the selling points of the Magnus program – being part of the first team. There is only one “first” in everything; and to be able to say that I was part of the foundation of the program is something special to me.
Coach Delia said that the first team is a special one – and, looking ahead, it will be something else to go back on campus in 20 or so years and see a picture of that first team hanging somewhere in the athletic building with me in it.
Coach Delia said that his teams always form a tight bond – but I think a “first” team forms an even closer bond with one another. And, don’t think for a second that we are not going to win right out of the gate – Coach Delia expects to come right out and compete for the conference championship and that AQ to the tournament.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I see myself as a fundamentally sound defender who can really excel in a structured defense. I like to play angles and force the player I am guarding to go where I want him to go; I like to stay on his hands and make him uncomfortable and maybe force him to do something that he really doesn’t want to do. I still have things that I need to improve on – there is always room to get better.
What players have helped influence you as you made your way through varsity?
There are so many people – coaches and players, from the time I started playing in third grade right up to now and Coach (Jim) Lindsay. When I was in youth, Art Bonifati first taught me the fundamentals of playing defense; then, there are the Savastano brothers (Kennedy Catholic co-head coaches Nick and Vinny)– my father is friends with them and I went to their summer camps from third grade right up until a couple of years ago and I got the chance to work with guys like Nick Daniello, Matt Bocklet and Ryder Bohlander.
I got my first college look last fall playing with Brendan Curran’s Renegades’ team, so Mr. Curran means a lot to me; and this past summer I got the chance to play with Roy Colsey’s Team Superstar and learned a ton from my coaches – Drew Werney and Garrett Johnson, about what it takes to be a college player, and, even though I was on the other U18 Superstar team, I learned so much just by watching Kevin Schurr and Matt Landis during practice.
* For more info on Nick, check out his player profile by clicking here.
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