As a former three-sport captain at Waring, Jacob Vaneck knew he wanted to make collegiate athletics a part of his life at some level. He was recruited by multiple schools in his favorite sport, lacrosse, and ultimately found the right fit both academically and in a lacrosse program at the University of New England.
Jacob said the biggest difference at first was having free time in his schedule, so managing his time between lacrosse, his classes and finding quality time to study was an adjustment for him. “I was not really use to having free time at Waring, like you have as a college student, so managing my time accordingly was a little challenging at first.” Playing a sport in college is a really big commitment, says Vaneck. “Being on a team helps keep you in a routine. On most nights after practice you will find the majority of our team in the library studying together. But I do find myself doing work on the bus when traveling to and from games and if we miss a class it is totally on us to get the notes or visit the professor during office hours."
Is there a big difference between seasons? “In season is just really intense and everything is super scheduled, where fall ball in the off season we have less practices and games. It’s definitely a lot more low key.”
Jacob noted that the biggest differentiators between college and high school lacrosse were the overall speed of play and the greater skill level of each player, both on Jacob's team and the teams UNE compete against. "Also, practices can be very demanding and every game is competitive." Jacob feels a strong sense of brotherhood with his coach and his teammates and the passion they all share for the game itself is clearly evident. "I have to say one of my favorite moments this year was when we beat Roger Williams, who we had never beaten before. Both our head coach and one of our captains had tears in their eyes after the match; it was a moment I won't soon forget."
When choosing a school, Jacob’s advice is to “go with the school that feels right, not because of the name, but because the school has what you are after. For me the school just felt right and my lacrosse coach helped make my decision even easier.”