Two of the leading players in the Westfield High School (N.J.) varsity program will both be headed to top-notch Division III programs.
If you were with us today at Twitter.com/Joe_Lombardi, you learning of the commitments of rising seniors Patrick Decker to Gettysburg and Jake Kaplan to Tufts.
Decker is a midfielder. Kaplan is a tenacious defender who is strongly off the ball.
What were the main factors in your decision to commit to Tufts?
I wanted to be able to go to a high academic institution while being able to compete for a national championship. Tufts, I feel, is the best program in the NESCAC, and one of, if not the best in the country.
Tufts will challenge me academically but will help me be successful later on in life, since it’s such a great school. I felt comfortable around (Tufts Head) Coach (Mike) Daly, (Assistant Coach Sean) Kerwin and (Assistant Coach Taylor) Harris, and I love the location right outside Boston.
Also, 5,000 undergraduates is a perfect size.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered and visited Williams, Washington & Lee, Dickinson and Gettysburg. I also considered Amherst, Middlebury and Bowdoin.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Using my feet to turn kids at GLE (goal-line extended) or forcing them out and away from the cage if they get above GLE.
I feel that I am good staying on the attackman’s hands when he’s dodging and using that to put the ball on the ground or to force him to make a bad pass. Also, I feel that I am a strong off-ball defender and I communicate well.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
In seventh grade my best friend and family friend’s dad convinced me to pick up a stick. From there, everyday after school, my friends and I would shoot and throw around.
I played basketball and soccer in middle school but choose to focus on lacrosse in high school.
What travel team do you play on and what showcase events have you been in and which ones do you plan on attending?
This past fall, I went to Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip and National Invite 175.
This summer individually, I attended the Prep School Showcase and NYLA, MVP, National Invite Best of the Best and FLG in 3D with Building Blocks Elite.
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