Stone Jacobs and Trevor Stacey hope the next step will be at the highest of levels on the field and in the box. Jacobs verbally committed to the Div I Vermont Catamounts last week, while Stacey signed a two-year contract with his boyhood favourite team: the Rochester Knighthawks.
By: Daniel J. Rowe & Steve Bonspiel, The Eastern Door
Kahnawake’s lacrosse talent has always been immense, and it is no surprise that outside programs take notice and nab top players from town.
Two Kahnawake laxers moved their careers considerably upwards this week on both the field and the box.
Jacobs heading to the Catamounts
Stone Jacobs has been a top field talent in the region for half a decade and his dream of playing Div I NCAA lacrosse took a huge step forward this week after he verbally committed to joining coach Chris Feifs’ University of Vermont Catamounts.
Jacobs joins local prospects Teioshontathe McComber and Troy Lauder as players who have verbally committed to Div I programs. Lauder signed his letter of intent and is set to attend Syracuse University in the fall, while McComber plans to go to the University of Albany after high school. Cougar Kirby is currently attending and playing for the Albany Great Danes.
Stone is excited to play with Feifs, who was the defensive coordinator for the 2016 NCAA Div I champion North Carolina Tar Heels.
“He was just a crazy nice guy,” said Stone. “He didn’t sound like a used car salesman saying, ‘we have this and this and this.’ He was just a super nice guy, and was saying how he wants you for the player you are and what kind of person you can become. He wasn’t just selling you the program.”
Stone said Feifs encouraged him to visit other schools and check out his options.
“After visiting other campuses and speaking to other coaches, I realized how comfortable I felt with coach Feifs’ vision for the future of University of Vermont lacrosse,” said Stone.
Stone credits coaches Eddie Dickson, Tontie McComber, Eric “Dirt” McComber, Timmy Deer, Garrett Cree, Kevin Martin, Tony Pezzimentti, and Leo Scantlebury with helping him from his early days in the minor system to playing Junior B, Sweetlax and high school field lacrosse.
Playing for the incredible mix of personalities is credit to Stone’s adaptability and desire to improve and grow.
“I just play my hardest and try at every practice,” said Stone. “Being open to learning, whatever the coach has to say.”
Stone will likely do two years at a prep school in the States before entering the program.
A verbal commitment technically is not binding, but Stone fully intends to sign his letter of intent when the time comes.
“It’s very rarely pulled by the school because then the verbal commitment would mean nothing,” said Stone’s father Bob Jacobs. “He basically has a spot as long as he continues to work and strive to get better, and to play at that level.”
Both father and son are excited to help Vermont’s program reach a new level.
“It’s an older program, but they just haven’t had a lot of success because recruiting for them has been a little tough being in the northeast, it’s not seen as a glamour school,” said Bob.
Feifs hopes to change that, recruiting heavily from Canadian box stars, to fit the NCAA trend of quick ball movement box/field hybrid play.
Stone noticed the change in player quality last weekend when at the Vermont camp from two years ago when he first started going.
Between now and 2020, Stone knows to simply continue doing what he has been doing his whole life when it comes to school and sports.
“I don’t really need to change much because my grades are already in the high 90s, and I’m not a partier or anything like that,” said Stone. “I’m always respectful and kind, so I don’t need to change much. I just need to keep my grades up.”
Stone admitted that he stresses over not completing assignments and keeping his grades up, which helps motivate him to achieve higher grades.
He added that his decision is dedicated to one person.
“I would like to dedicate this to my grandfather Steve Kyle, who is my biggest fan, and lost his fight with cancer last month,” he said. “Papa, you will be missed.”
Stacey inks two-year deal with favourite pro team
A lot can happen in a few weeks.
Then, you can be drafted by the National Lacrosse League’s Rochester Knighthawks, your first choice and a dream come true, doing what few Kahnawa’kehró:non before you have done.
Finally, to top it all off, you can sign a two-year deal that runs from your last year in Junior to what could potentially be your first year in pro the year after.
Or maybe you’d like to make it before your Junior eligibility runs out?
“My goal is to make the team, that’s what my mindset is,” Stacey told The Eastern Door.
“I was pretty shocked honestly, I didn’t think I was going to get signed right away to a two-year deal, but I’m really glad the team is showing a lot of interest and it motivates me even more going into training camp.”
The process was kind of strange. Stacey’s dad Billy Fazio, an obviously avid fan of his boy, had to tell his teenaged son to check his email because he was away for a couple of days.
“I read through it and I realized they offered me a contract, I didn’t really know how to react, I was pretty excited,” he said. “From then I had to copy the paper and I ended up signing it at my house.”
So it was kind of anti-climactic, but who cares when it’s a pro contract, right?
“It’s kind of hard to express myself about it because I have been working so hard to get to this point and I’m finally here,” he said.
“A lot of energy is running through my body and I’m just really looking forward to training camp to prove what I can bring to the team.”