James Tautkus’ hometown is not exactly known for lacrosse.
“I’m from York, Pa., the home of the York Peppermint Patty,” Tautkus said.
After originally attending St. Paul’s in Baltimore, Tautkus landed at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn.
“I really learned the game there (at St. Paul’s), but I wanted to go to boarding school because I was looking for an opportunity to challenge myself athletically and academically,” Tautkus said.
The move to Taft also gave Tautkus an opportunity to play hockey as well as lacrosse.
“I couldn’t be happier with the path I’ve taken thus far in my life,” he said.
Tautkus’ path in the future also looks very promising.
The rising senior attackman has given a verbal commitment to attend Cornell University.
Tautkus is a 5-10, 175-pound lefty.
Now, here’s a Q&A with James on his commitment:
What were the main factors in your decision?
Choosing a school is tough. So many variables are at play when you look at school that it can sometimes get confusing. To keep it simple, I boiled it down to “What can the school offer me both academically and athletically?” Cornell obviously fits the bill.
What really sealed the deal for me, though, was stepping foot on campus and feeling as if I were at home. I like to think I’m in my element when I’m in Ithaca.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered Drexel, Hobart, Navy, Air Force and Amherst. I visited Brown, Loyola and Georgetown. Visiting these schools really taught me a lot about the college process, which certainly helped in finding the right fit for me.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My strength lies in my ability to play confidently with both hands. I can attack the cage from pretty much anywhere on the field, which creates a lot of opportunities because I can either finish or feed the ball.
When I play, I make sure I attack the field. In other words, I try not to shoot or feed when I’m fading away. This mentality is conducive to an aggressive style of play.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
My mother and my father have played an integral part in my success as a lacrosse player. Even though neither of them played the game, they are smart enough athletes to know what it takes to win. My mother has instilled the fierce competitor and unrelenting will to win in me. My father is the one who really taught me how to play. From stick skills to reading and understanding the tendencies of a defense, I learned it all from him.
The two coaches that elevated my game to the next level are Kyle Hannan and Kevin Mayer. I would not be committed to Cornell if it were not for them.
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