Athleticism, size, outside shot, field vision.
Name a skill you would want to see in a Division I midfielder and Ben Kocis has it.
The junior at Huntington High School (N.Y.) is coming off a successful football season. The quarterback led the Blue Devils to a 7-3 record and an appearance in the Suffolk County semifinals.
Kocis threw for 1,715 yards and 16 touchdowns, connecting on 96-of-166 passes. Kocis finished the season with just three interceptions, with none coming after Sept. 22.
But lacrosse is where Kocis’ college future is, and this past week, he decided where he will spend it.
As first reported on Twitter.com/joe_lombardi, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound right-handed verbally committed to Binghamton University.
What were the main factors in your decision?
As soon as I stepped onto campus, Binghamton just felt right. As I toured the campus and learned more about the university and the lacrosse program, I knew this was the place I could excel both academically and athletically.
The coaching staff was awesome throughout the entire process which made my decision even easier. (Head) Coach (Scott) Nelson, as well as (Assistant) Coach (Steve) Settembrino and (Assistant) Coach (Matt) Francis, made Binghamton feel like a second home. After visiting other schools, I just felt a sense of belonging at Binghamton.
Coach Nelson has high expectations for the lacrosse program. I look forward to contributing to Binghamton’s lacrosse program as well as meeting the high academic standards that Binghamton has to offer.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Other schools I considered were Yale, Drexel, Lehigh and Siena. I visited Colgate, Yale, Lehigh, Siena, Albany, Sacred Heart, Stony Brook, Navy and Binghamton.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My size, athleticism, outside shot and field vision. I like to look for the open man and work for the best shot. I also use my stick skills to help get my hands free to shoot.
Since I’ve played football for most of my life, I use that tough mentality to my advantage, which gets me closer to the net, creating more opportunities for my team.
What areas of your game have you been working to improve on?
Although there are many different aspects of my game that I can work on, I would most like to improve on groundballs and shooting on the run.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
My dad was my youth coach for five years and he has taught me all the fundamentals of lacrosse. He taught me to love the sport and has ultimately molded me into the player I am today.
My high school coaches have taught me how to become a better player at a higher level. (Huntington Head) Coach (Paul) McDermott, (Assistant) Coach (Eric) Triolo and (Assistant) Coach (Julian) Watts have always been there to support me and help develop me as a player.
The person who has influenced me the most is my Long Island Outlaws coach, Pat Brennan. Coach Brennan always saw the best in everyone and he forced me to become the best lacrosse player I could be. His understanding of the game helped me improve over the past few years. Just when I thought I was doing everything right, he would have something to say which would improve my game. He was always a positive coach and I really enjoyed playing for him.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
I played with the Long Island Outlaws. I was on the Long Island Lacrosse Showcase (Rising Junior) Suffolk team, Top 205 All Star, Brine Shootout, Philly Showcase, Quaker Fest and the Tri-State Tournament.
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