Do you remember the 2005 Division I men’s lacrosse national championship game?
Danny Jones sure does.
In fact, to say it left a big impact on the sophomore at four-time New York CHSAA champion St. Anthony’s would be an understatement.
For starters, it was Jones’ first introduction to lacrosse.
He discovered it while flipping through the channels on his TV.
Soon, he was glued to his set.
Johns Hopkins wrapped up a 16-0 season by pulling out a 9-8 win over Duke in that game, which was played in Philadelphia.
So perhaps, considering how his intro to the sport came, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Jones, a resident of Baldwin, N.Y., has verbally committed to attend Hopkins.
The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Jones is a versatile and speedy two-way midfielder marked by his aggressiveness on both offensive and defense, and his unselfish. Jones, who also possesses outstanding stick skills, also plays basketball and football.
What were the main factors in your decision?
First and foremost, the level of high academics at the institution. My parents have always stressed upon me that academic importance is No. 1, so the decision to choose Hopkins was fairly easy.
After I graduate from this prestigious university, I will be open to so many other opportunities in my future life, which also played a key role in this process.
Of course, lacrosse played a large component into my decision because not only are they among the elite in Division I, but the coaching staff and players that I will be surrounded by also include the best in the country.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Duke, Maryland and Syracuse.
I was able to visit Maryland and I was scheduled to visit Duke and Syracuse, but a foot injury derailed those plans.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Very aggressive on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. I tend to use my speed and quickness to my advantage against opponents. I love to have the ball up top and to dodge either direction to get an assist or if the slide doesn’t come to put the ball in the back of the net.
I feel that my strengths as a player are shooting on the run and getting my teammates involved.
I am one of those players that get more joy out of the game if I lead to one of my teammates scoring rather than me myself getting credit for the goal.
When did you starting playing lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I got introduced to the sport of lacrosse toward the end of the third grade when I was flipping through channels and I stopped upon the 2005 national championship, where it just happened to be Hopkins up against Duke.
The next spring I decided to join my local PAL team where I put the stick in my hand for the first time. Ever since then I’ve had a non-stop enjoyment for the game that seems to grow every year.
I also compete in football and basketball at St. Anthony’s.
Who have been some of the biggest influences on you during your development as a player?
Some of my biggest influences during my development as a player have been Coach Frank Ferguson and Coach Mike Schwalje.
Coach Ferguson, of the Baldwin PAL, has coached me from the fourth grade up until the beginning of 9th grade. He is an excellent coach that really focuses on his players. He taught me the fundamentals of lacrosse and continues to give me new knowledge whenever I speak to him.
Coach Schwalje is probably the best High School Summer League Coach in the country. He is also a player’s coach and his pre-game speeches along with Coach Len Genova would always get us fired up before the start of our games.
Coach Schwalje also offered me great advice during this rigorous recruiting process.
All my coaches in my past have been great, but these lacrosse role models really stick out to me the most.
What travel team did you play on and what were some of the big showcase events you participated in last summer?
I play on the Long Island Express 2015 Orange Team. We participated in the New England Storm Invitational, New Jersey Tri-State, and the NSCLA Showcase down in Delaware. We also went down to Florida where we captured the 2012 U-15 National Championship.
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