By BRIAN JENNINGS
Blue Knight midfield Jake Testa signed a recent letter of intent to play lacrosse at the collegiate level for the Division II Golden Knights at the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y.
“I think it’s a great decision for Jake,” said Southington boys lacrosse coach Ron Chase. “It’s a newer program, which will give him the opportunity to get a lot of playing time right away early on in his college career. Usually, a lot of kids have to sit a few years when they get to college. Academically, it’s a good school for what he wants to do.”
Testa had another offer to play lacrosse for Assumption College in Worchester, Mass., but opted to compete for Coach Jim Morrissey in a young lacrosse program that is only six years old. Morrissey was named the head coach of the Golden Knights lacrosse program in September, 2014. Before coming to St. Rose, Morrissey served as the head coach at the College of Holy Cross and worked as an assistant at Hobart, Cornell, and his alma mater of Syracuse.
“I do know the coach at St. Rose and he is an excellent coach,” said Chase. “He was also an excellent lacrosse player. He’s got a good situation there. He’s trying to build his program with guys who are athletic, love the game, and work hard on and off the field. He definitely got one with Jake.”
When it came down to choosing schools, Testa said that St. Rose just felt like the perfect fit for him
“I enjoyed the campus, the players, and the coach,” said Testa. “Signing came along, and I’ll admit that I was kind of intimidated by the whole process.”
Testa said that he plans on studying marketing/management in sports or international business.
“I liked that it’s a small campus of 2,000 to 3,000 students,” said Testa. “This way I’m not just packed into a class. There will be relatively small class sizes. I feel this will promote my educational experience at the next level.”
Location was also a feature that played a big part in Testa’s decision to attend St. Rose.
“I also like how I’m getting away from Connecticut and being able to see what it’s like living in New York,” said Testa. “It’s going to be a fun experience.”
Chase said that Testa’s game on the lacrosse field evolved throughout his high school years, molding into an athletic midfielder with excellent upside. His first couple years of high school, Testa played on the junior varsity squad, but last year as a junior, he rarely came off the field in games.
“Jake’s an all-around workhorse,” said Chase. “Last year, his role was not intended to be our number one midfielder. But after having five guys that didn’t play for various reasons, he was asked to go above and beyond what his expectations were last year. And he knocked it out of the park.”
Having a great offseason also contributed to catching the eye of the collegiate level.
“He had a great summer with showcases and summer leagues,” said Chase. “He really dedicated himself to playing in the offseason, which caught the attention of a lot of coaches. Coaches love that athleticism and they’ll make him into the player that they want him to be.”
Chase went on to say that Testa’s dedication to the weight room and the fact that he is coachable will make him a good player at the collegiate level.
Last season for the Blue Knights, Testa tied for the most goals scored on the team with 19. Testa also dished out five assists and scooped up 37 ground balls.
Other Southington lacrosse players that were recruited to play at the collegiate level included senior midfielder/attacker Mike Majchrzak (Hartwick College, Oneonta, N.Y.), senior attacker Chris Gamber (Hartwick College, Oneonta, N.Y.), and senior midfielder/utility Jon Moller (Elmira College, Elmira, N.Y.).
Last season, Gamber tied Testa for the most goals, scoring 40 goals in his sophomore year. Gamber also had 5 assists and fielded 23 ground balls. Majchrzak scored six goals and was third on the team with 38 ground balls.
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