Very often, when a longstick player takes the ball upfield, many are anticipating him to pass off to a short stick.
But when Jared Conners is on the clear, don’t be surprised if he holds on to the ball.
“Not long ago, I played short stick, so I am very comfortable taking the ball up the field and shooting or feeding teammates,” said Conners, a longstick midfielder at Pittsford Sutherland High School in Rochester.
It’s those type of skills — not to mention his size — that made Conners a target of many major Division I programs.
He’s verballed to the University of Virginia, a a commitment first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Conners, who is coming off a strong summer, is a righty who thrives in unsettled situations.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I was interested in a school with traditionally high level competitive lacrosse along with a good education. I wanted to stay on the east coast at a medium sized school. I really enjoyed the outstanding facilities and felt comfortable in the classroom atmosphere at Virginia.
Coaches (Dom) Starsia and (Associate Head Coach Marc) Van Arsdale run an excellent program and I feel fortunate to be able to play for these outstanding coaches.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited Syracuse, Princeton, Georgetown, Maryland, Virginia, UNC and Duke. I also considered Notre Dame, Cornell, Harvard and Yale.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My height, speed, and wingspan give me an advantage on the playing field. I am an aggressive player on defense and feel comfortable in up-tempo game play.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
There are always areas of my game that I can improve. Spending time on the practice field, in the weight room, and with teammates will help further develop my abilities in the game.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
My father has always enjoyed lacrosse and he first introduced me to it when I was two. I also play football and hockey.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank my parents for supporting and encouraging me to become the person I am today. I would also like to thank Andrew Whipple, my high school team head coach, for the many hours he has spent working with me on the field and after hours in the gym. He encouraged me and helped me improve my skills at a young age.
I would also like to thank Kevin Martin, my Sweetlax coach, for his insight and knowledge to help me through the whole process.
I would also like to thank Teddy Run and Dave Thering, my assistant high school coaches, for helping me make the decision to switch from short stick to long pole.
I would like to thank all the coaches who welcomed me (during the recruiting process) and gave me the opportunity to visit their campuses.
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