Categories: clam_chatter
      Date: Oct 20, 2009
     Title: D1 Commitment #16...incredible

Commitment #16 Kirchner's route to Colgate offers lesson for all

As the recruiting process changes, we hear everyone - players, coaches & parent alike - talk about how it's moving too fast, and they feel in some ways it's now the tail that wags the dog. Kids pick lacrosse programs, not colleges. They verbally commit in a rush, before they've considered all the options. Of course they do - they have to...right?

For coaches, it's the tragedy of the commons: if we don't move so quickly, someone else will. For the players, it's become: I heard (fill in the blank) committed, so very few spots must be left; I've gotta move. And for parents, it's the obvious pain and anxiety that comes from seeing your child unhappy, nervous & on edge. The perfect storm of factors makes a process that used to be fun and humbling is now nerve-wracking.

Justin Kirchner (BB&N, midfielder) went through all of this. Heavily pursued by a number of Ivy League, Patriot League & NESCAC schools, Justin had a tough summer '09, with a nagging injury that he played through, but that left him unable to play to his potential. Coaches observed and praised his toughness. But as the summer progressed, Justin saw doors close.

Still, his play warranted heavy pursuit right up until the end from schools like Trinity, Colby and a couple others. But Justin wanted D1. And he decided he was willing to go the PG route to accomplish this end.

Then, seemingly out of the clear blue this past week, came a call from Coach Nagle from Colgate. Colgate had a spot free up, and based on conversations and assessments which they'd been doing throughout the fall, Justin was one of the next few guys on the list. Coach Nagle asked Justin to come down to campus for a small event they were holding, so they could observe him one final time. If things went well, an offer might be in the cards. So, on a windy, rainy weekend, Justin & Dad headed down to Colgate.

Word is he immediately impressed, and it did not even take a day of play for Justin to earn the spot. As he told it, Coach Nagle came up to him and offered right on the field. After personally seeing Justin play during the early part of this fall, it does not surprise.

The lesson for all you seniors, juniors, even you underclassmen coming up through the ranks: STAY FOCUSED & DON'T PANIC. Worry about what you can control: Grades, test scores, staying in shape, and keeping a stick in your hand. Justin did. And while others may have chewed their fingernails, lamented their situation, and let things slip, Justin kept working. His grades remained outstanding. His very high skill level became even higher. He grew stronger. Faster. And even though he may not have known, people were remaining aware of this.

Justin diligently pursued his D1 dream for far longer, and far later, than others had to. But it worked for him. And it will work for others down the road who keep pushing until the end.

Congratulations, Justin!

In committing to Colgate, Justin becomes Clam #16 to commit to a D1 program, and our 26th commitment from this past summer's program. See below for the others:

 JUSTIN KIRCHNER, midfield, Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols - COLGATE UNIVERSITY

Garrett Campbell, attack, St. John's Prep - HARVARD UNIVERSITY 

Christian Dallmus, goaltender, The Rivers School - MCDANIEL COLLEGE

John Ricciardi, midfield, Duxbury HS - ROGER WILLIAMS COLLEGE 

Miles Loring-Thomas, defense/LSM, Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols - ST. MARY'S (MD)

Jeff Dube, defense/LSM, St. John's Prep - ROANOKE COLLEGE 

Tommy Harrison, defense, The Rivers School/Kimball Union - DENISON UNIVERSITY

Franklin Reis, attack, Governor's Academy - BOWDOIN COLLEGE

Peter Von Rosenvinge,

Mike Fanning

Peter Reiley, goaltender, Deerfield - COLBY COLLEGE

Spencer Macquarrie, midfield, Phillips Andover - MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE

JB Marston, defense, Duxbury HS - QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY

Conor Murphy, goaltender, Middlesex - COLGATE UNIVERSITY

Grant Nuemann
, defense, Natick HS - TRINITY COLLEGE

Mark D'addario
, midfield, Peabody HS - SIENA

James Fahey,

Pat Hart
, defense, Martha's Vineyard - ARMY (WEST POINT)

Derek West
, midfield, Peabody HS - UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE

Makar Zaverucha
, goaltender, Duxbury HS - BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY

Zach Brown, attack, Governors Academy - TOWSON UNIVERSITY

Geordie Carrick, LSM, The Rivers School - FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY

John Fitzgerald, attack, The Rivers School/Hingham HS - SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY

Jordan Greenfield, attack, The Rivers School - FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY

Eric Slingerland*, midfield, Phillips Exeter - HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Frankie Wheeler-Larusso, midfield, Catholic Memorial - FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY