- ReLaxing Luke
Diary of a D2 Lacrosse Player (Part One)
Updated: Mar 1, 2020
Youth players aspire towards it. Parents ask about it. Fans wonder. Yet, no one truly knows until they live it. What’s it like being a college lacrosse player? Now, you’ll know. My name is Luke Pomeroy and I’m currently a division two lacrosse player at Caldwell University. Here, I’ll go in-depth on the true college lacrosse experience. Is it fun? Do we always party? Do we skip classes cause we’re athletes? I’ll be answering those questions and more. This series will be broken down into multiple parts as our season progresses. Get ready for the D2 lacrosse experience.
A little about myself. I’m an academic junior who transferred into Caldwell. I’ve played lacrosse at Auburn University and UCCS. Both are MCLA. I loved club ball, but as a competitive guy, I always dreamed of playing at the highest level. Caldwell has granted me that opportunity. For that, I am extremely grateful. Due to Caldwell being my second transfer, I am obligated, thanks to NCAA bylaws, to sit the 2020 season. I am ineligible this season; therefore, I am not playing. I am allowed to attend team activities, but cannot suit up. I attend all practices but am not allowed on the sidelines for actual games. I am not on the active roster. I’m like an MLB IL.
Caldwell University is located in Caldwell, New Jersey. You probably haven’t heard of us. That’s alright. 2020 is our inaugural season. Our roster is mainly comprised of freshmen, with a couple transfers. The area is absolutely beautiful and located near all the action. I am thirty-minutes from Manhattan. If I’m in the mood for beaches, the shore is an hour away. You never lack for things to do.
Matthew Klank, our head coach, is tasked with building Caldwell from the ground up. I have loads of respect for Klank. I am forever grateful for his giving me a chance to prove myself. Klank’s knowledge of the game is astounding. Klank is a fiery guy and that’s what I love about him. You feel Klank’s passion emanating from his very being. Klank is one of the rare coaches who cares about academics. He cares about our success in all aspects of life.
The freshmen were in for a culture shock. This is not high school lacrosse. In high school, you get away with goofing around. In college, there’s none of that. Lacrosse is your life. Practice is your job. College lacrosse is like a business. The coach is your boss. As a player, you are an employee. You are given scholarship money to perform. Just like in the NFL, if a player isn’t up to standard, he sits. Having fun is crucial; however, you must have a professional mindset (immaturity kills).
Now, I know everyone wants to hear about actual play, but the off-the-field component is more important. After all, you can’t practice 24/7. First, contrary to popular opinion, college athletes are required to attend all classes. Plus, we get slapped with five hours of required study hall. We actually have more academic work than the average student. Balancing classes with lacrosse is the toughest thing you’ll deal with.
I’m killing another stereotype. College athletes aren’t always partying. Have guys gone out? Yes. But, in reality, everyone is too tired to party. By the time players complete their work, most guys take a nap.
I mentioned earlier lacrosse is your life, but people don’t quite get how far this goes. Lacrosse is always involved in something you’re doing. Going to the cafeteria to get food? You see a teammate and sit with him. In class with a teammate? You sit with him. Have a roommate? Your roommate is on the team. Want to hang out with friends? Surprise! Your friends are on the team.
This is my favorite part of college ball. Belonging to a team practically gives you friends. Our team is comprised of wonderful young men. I know I can comfortably hang with any of them. You’ll have your main group, but it’s not like the other guys are excluded. If they want to tag along, you’re excited. My go to chill session? My roommate, Wayne, and I love starting up the PS4s and playing Star Wars Battlefront II. Spending time with teammates is where you make your best memories. If you’re hanging by yourself in the dorms, you’re doing it wrong!
Enough gushing about my teammates, time for the real deal. The on-field component. Week one of spring ball started off rather simple. We had a run test (how far you run in twelve minutes) and worked on fundamentals. Lots of groundball work. In the first week, you quickly learn who’s in shape and who’s not. If you don’t train over winter break, people know.
In week two, we began implementing our offensive and defensive systems. Cardio comes from playing. Unlike the fall, there isn’t a lot of planned running. Practices are fast-paced. Lots of intensity. Coach Klank does an excellent job of holding the team to a high standard. He’s done an incredible job developing the team since fall ball. The improvement really shows in week two.
Week three was more of the same. Lots of work on perfecting our systems. The week ended with a scrimmage against Drew University (30 minutes down the road).
In the fall, we beat Drew 14-8. This time, Drew had our number. The Rangers pulled ahead to a 12-2 halftime lead before winning 17-6. Do I think the disparity between teams is that large? No. This was our first taste of adversity and was a definite wakeup call. I believe guys were shell-shocked from Drew's improvement. Once everyone calmed down, the second half was much closer (4-5). Yours truly filmed the game and sat beside his Drew University girlfriend (she definitely didn’t rub it in).
While last Friday was a setback. I see this as a positive. Being a first-year program loaded with freshmen, most guys haven't faced real adversity. Now, everyone knows what we’re up against. The reality check turned into two successful practices. You can see the improvement on both sides of the ball. There’s a fire that wasn’t there before. Guys finally understand what it takes to be a successful college player. First-year programs take their lumps, and we’re successfully hurdling over our first one.
We conclude this week with a scrimmage against Mount Saint Mary’s College (D3). On Sunday, we attend a New Jersey Devils game. I truly believe we are growing from Drew and it’ll show against MSMC. We work too hard to not allow ourselves to be successful. Building a program is tough, but we have the proper leadership to make this last. What an opportunity to be apart of something new with my best friends.
Did you learn something new about the college lacrosse experience? Have anymore questions? You a parent or high school player interested in Caldwell University? Air your thoughts and questions by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can comment directly onto this article by subscribing. By subscribing, you’ll be notified when I post part two next week. Any and all support is appreciated. Regardless, thank you for reading and I hope you can all join us in following Caldwell lacrosse.