Source: Sherman Publications

Athlete of the Week
Blocking shots

by Wendi Reardon

April 23, 2014

Senior Jake Hendricks made 28 saves during the weekend to help the Clarkston Boys Varsity Lacrosse team score two wins in Ohio.

Hendricks has played the goalie position for six years after his coach asked him to try it.

“Out of all of the kids I was the most experienced and played every position,” he remembered. “I tried it out and I liked it.”

He admitted being in the net can be nerve-wracking but it also has bonuses to it as well.

“You feel responsible,” Hendricks said. “You can see everything going on. You are the eyes and the ears of the team - letting defense know where to go, where to slide, who to hit and when the shot is coming.”

He began playing the sport eight years ago while at a summer camp at Oakland Yard. The camp had a little bit of everything and he decided to try lacrosse since he had seen other kids play it.

“I got hooked,” Hendricks said. “It is fast-paced. It is hard hitting and full contact.”

Over the few years the team has claimed the OAA Red title and last year won the MHSAA Regionals for the first time. Hendricks said the big season finishes have helped him during the off season.

“It has given me a lot of confidence - not just in myself but in my team,” he added. “Each year we are progressing to higher levels and hopefully we can keep that streak up and win a state championship.”

Hendricks noted the finishes have helped as he and his teammates prepare the lower classmen.

“It sets the bar for us,” he said. “A lot of the younger kids look up to the older players. I train a bunch of younger goalies and they aspire to win huge championships. It sets the level of what they want to be.”

Hendricks also has his individual goals he is working on, as the team set their eyes on the state crown this season. He hopes to be named All-American and would like to get his save percentage as high as he can.

After graduation in June, he plans to study engineering and has received an ROTC scholarship with Michigan State University. His career goal is to join the Army and be an engineer for them.

“I like knowing how things work,” he added. “If I can’t fix it myself then I feel kind of useless. I don’t like having other people do things for me if I can do it myself.”

As the future awaits for him, the Clarkston Lacrosse program has helped him.

“It has given me a lot of confidence in myself,” he said. “Playing my position is quite a bit of leadership and that has given me skills to help me in the future. Plus, working with my teammates we have become a family.”

His advice to aspiring players is to keep their eyes on their goals.

“If you really want to become very good you have to non-stop train - rain or shine,” Hendricks added. “It’s how you get the really excellent players. It is that motivation that will make you a champion.”