It’s the busiest time of year for major D-I commitments in the nation’s No. 1 hotspot for lacrosse, the NY/NJ/CT tristate region. Get caught up right here, right now.
When you look at his size — 6-foot-2, 210 pounds — and what he’s capable of doing in the weight room — namely, bench-pressing 310 pounds – you might think Zach Kleinbaum is headed to play college football rather than lacrosse.
But the rising senior uses his size and strength to his advantage on the lacrosse field as a physical and aggressive defender at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Suffolk County (NY), and soon, at the college level.
Kleinbaum has committed to Hamilton College, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
In addition to lacrosse and football, the athletic Kleinbaum also plays basketball for Hills East.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Zach on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Academics were definitely the biggest factor in my decision. However, I still wanted to play for a competitive program. Hamilton provides the best of both worlds.
Being that it is a top liberal arts school and playing in the NESCAC. I also was looking for a small school with a strong sense of community and I got that feeling after visiting Hamilton and meeting with (Hamilton Head) Coach (Scott) Barnard and (Assistant) Coach (Drew) Bezek.
I also considered Dartmouth, Tufts and Wesleyan. I visited Dartmouth and Tufts.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My strengths are my strength, physicality and communication. I would describe myself as an aggressive defenseman that likes to let the attackman know I am there by throwing some hard checks and getting in his gloves.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I would say that I need to work on my footwork and my quickness more than anything else, so that I could improve my one on one defense.
How long have you been lifting for and when did you reach 310 (bench press)?
I have been lifting since sixth grade when I started to work out in my basement. Once I got into high school, I started working out more vigorously. I reached 310 at the Hills East Football Lift-A-Thon last August prior to my junior year.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I started playing lacrosse in eighth grade after being pressured by some of my friends and I fell in love right away. I have played varsity football since tenth grade and basketball as a freshman.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for Team Hills East. We have attended Hot Beds, Tri-State and NYLA for the last few summers. I played and was an all star at Blue Chip 225, ECLC and Elite 100.
I would like to thank my parents for all of their support both on and off the field. I would also like to thank Coach Hodgson, Coach Conway, and Coach Fox for everything that they have done for both myself and the entire Hills East lacrosse community.
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