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In baseball, switch hitters are extremely rare.
The equivalent in lacrosse is a player who can shoot equally effectively with both hands.
Meet Jack Decker.
The senior midfielder for the Wappingers (NY) program shoots over 95 miles per hour with both hands.
But there’s a lot more to Decker’s game than even his blistering shot. He’s a two-way player with ideal size and athleticism.
He’s also the first-ever Wappingers player to commit to a Division I program, verballing to UMBC, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
Decker enjoyed an outstanding junior season under coach Brian Kuczma, the former Johns Hopkins All-American, at Wappingers, his junior season with 34 goals, nine assists and 52 groundballs.
The 6-foot, 210-pound Decker, also a wrestling standout, was an all-section, all-league and Team MVP at Wappingers this last spring.
Decker plays club lacrosse for Ned Crotty’s House of Sports program. This past summer, he played at Maverik Showtime and NHSLS with Trinity-Pawling.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Playing for Coach Zimmerman and learning from him and his assistant coaches were the major factors in my decision to choose UMBC.
The school is also located in the hotbed of lacrosse — offering a very high level of D-I competition.
UMBC is also an honors college and has the Business and Entrepreneurship programs that I am looking for.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was offered scholarships to (and visited) Providence, the University of Vermont and University of Hartford.
Have you decided what academic major you plan to pursue?
Business and Entrepreneurship.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My strengths are my physicality, my ability to shoot from a variety of angles and my overall work ethic. I would describe myself (and so have many of my coaches) as an “old-school, two-way midfielder.”
What area of your game do you need to work on?
There is always something else to work on, but right now, I am especially focused on improving my next-level lacrosse IQ. That way, I can walk into UMBC and be able to contribute right away.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was introduced to lacrosse in eighth grade by a friend of the family. I also played basketball, baseball and ran varsity cross country.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play with Long Island Sting and House of Sports. The events I attended were Maverik Showcase, Under Armour All-American, Nat Invite 125, and Blue Chip Elite.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
I am very grateful to the coaches who have believed in me along the way, especially: Ned Crotty, Brian Kuczma, Nic Bell, Jamar Brown, Ken Miller, Perry Salvio and Phil Settembrino.
One final thought is that although the recruiting process is a roller oaster ride, I set my mind to play D-I lacrosse after the second week I picked up the stick. I am proud that I kept at it — and that, in the end, nothing swayed me from achieving my goal.
I know there is still a lot of upside to my game and I will continue to work hard. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead.
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