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Jack Raba’s familiarity with the world of college lacrosse began long before he gave a verbal commitment to Loyola University last week.
The Class of 2018 attackman at Cheshire High School (CT) has been surrounded by it, in fact. His father, John, is the head coach of the men’s team at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
“I have been around the game my entire life whether it’s going to games, practices or attending film sessions,” Raba said.
Raba, who started for Cheshire as a freshman, is the first 2018 tristate commit for the Greyhounds. His verbal was first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound righty is a physical, athletic dodger with outstanding field vision and a high lacrosse IQ. He also plays football as a quarterback.
An outstanding student with a 3.65 GPA, Raba plans on majoring in business.
What are your thoughts on your commitment and what were some of the main factors?
I am extremely excited to commit to the opportunity that Loyola has offered me. After visiting the campus and meeting (Loyola Head) Coach (Charlie) Toomey, (Assistant) Coach (Ryan) Moran and (Assistant) Coach (P.T.) Ricci I felt the culture, and the overall experience that they offer was second to none.
I loved the size of Loyola campus, and the academic opportunities they offer are incredible.
I believe the Ridley Athletic Complex is the best athletic complex in college lacrosse.
I like the fact that a small campus can have such a big time feel in lacrosse. Loyola has a incredible environment on game day, and the student support is the best in the country.
The location of the school being in Baltimore is great, and it is also a comfortable distance from home. Another aspect that I liked was that Loyola’s non-conference schedule is one of the toughest in the country.
It will be great to compete against teams like Johns Hopkins, Virginia and North Carolina.
Being part of the Patriot League enables you to play against other top schools like Colgate and Lehigh, while academically giving you the tools to be successful later on in life.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited Virginia, Providence, Penn State and considered Georgetown.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I would describe my style as physical. I love to dodge physically, and keep defensemen off balance, by feeling their pressure. I like to use their own pressure against them.
I also feel that playing QB in football has helped me with my vision, and that helps me keep my head up looking for open cutters, or seeing if there is a shot available.
Some of the strengths I have as a player is my high lacrosse IQ. That comes from being around my dad, and his players at Wesleyan.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I have a lot of things I want to work on before I go to college. I can work on extending my range on outside shooting, and keep working on off hand. I will also continue to work to get bigger, stronger and faster. That is what will help me get in the field faster once I arrive to college.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play with CT Cardinals Black and 3D New England. I participated in Prep Showcase, Baltimore Summer Kickoff (All Star) and Sweet Lax Invitational with 3D New England. I will be playing in the Mid Summer Classic and Trilogy tournament with the CT Cardinals. I will also be playing at Maverick Showtime, and I was invited to Nike Blue Chip/Jake Reed camp.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
First I would like to thank my parents John and Jen Raba. They always keep my level headed, and are honest with me on things I need to improve. coach Toomey for giving me the opportunity to play for such a great program.
Next I would like to thank my Cheshire Youth Coaches Rob Hoynes and John Raba they were always trying to help our team get better, and pushed us to play at a higher level all the time. I would like to thank my Cheshire High School Coaches Rich Pulisciano, Jim Dempsey, Josh Nugent, and James Sasso.
My football coach Don Drust for his understanding, and for always allowing me to attend the lacrosse events that I need to do. I would also like to thank my club coaches Jamie Monroe, Seth Jacoby, Dave Jenkins, Pete Sessa, and Jake Rotman from 3D New England.
Special thanks to the McCarthy, Jacoby, Jeffery, Hoynes, and Covel families for helping me get to games, tournaments, and practices throughout the years.
Lastly I would like to thank the past, and present Wesleyan players over the years, and for always acting like older brothers to me.
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