The 2013 varsity season was a baptism under fire for Jake McCulloch. And he answered the call.
Jake McCulloch earned a starting spot on a midfield line that included two of the tristate region’s Class of 2013 standouts: Duke-bound Jack Bruckner and Rutgers-bound Christian Mazzone.
Together, the trio were a big reason Ward Melville won its first New York State title since 2000 and finished the season unbeaten, and the consensus No. 1-ranked team in the nation.
Now, McCulloch is the final member of the middie line to decide his college fate, verballing to the admission process at Cornell University, a major commitment first reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s “Lacrosse Insider” section.
The Patriots already have a rising junior bound for the Big Red in defenseman Tom Reilly, who was WM’s first 2015 commit when he verballed in late June.
A versatile middie, McCulloch, who also has a nice scoring touch, is also effective at attack. The 5-foot-9, 155-pound lefty has a nose for the net and a high lacrosse IQ.
McCulloch is coming off a strong summer in which he performed well and made the all-star games at several major events, including the Maverik Showtime National Recruiting Spotlight.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Obviously the academics played a huge role in my decision and I know I will be getting a great education. I also really liked the “college town” feel that Ithaca had. The overall success that the program has had was also important to me. Lastly, I felt very comfortable with the coaches and the campus.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was considering Yale, Penn, Harvard, Brown, Colgate, Providence, Villanova and Fairfield. I got a chance to visit all of those schools besides Brown.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would describe my style of play is smart but fast-paced. My greatest strength is my overall lacrosse IQ. I am very versatile being able to play middie and attack and can dodge from anywhere on the field.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I need to work on my foot speed and outside shot. I also need to work on being a stronger leader.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was introduced to lacrosse through my father, Dave McCulloch, who was an All-American at Hofstra and played professionally for the New York Saints. I have had a stick in my hand for as long as I can remember. I also play football.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I played for Patriot Elite during the summer and participated in the Long Island Showcase Suffolk vs. Nassau game, LI LaxFest, Gait Cup, Tristate, Long Island Classic and Maverik Showtime, where I was selected to play in the all-star game.
Any final thoughts?
I want to thank my high school coaches Jay Negus, Chris Muscarella and Mike Hoppey for helping me improve immensely this year and helping me through the recruiting process.
I would like to thank my father for introducing me to the game and teaching me pretty much everything I know.
Lastly, I would also like to thank my linemates Jack Bruckner and Christian Mazzone for helping me mature and improve as a player.
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