Would I get along with players currently on the team?
- Travis Puls – With my team, there were a couple players from my high school, so I knew some of the guys during my visit to Virginia Wesleyan. During my overnight visit, I had a great time with all the players and got along with them really well. I didn’t know any freshman until orientation and when I met them, we all got along pretty well. From that point I knew I made the right decision with choosing the school and team.
- Jimmy Marlatt – The people and culture of a team can be hard to describe, and even more difficult to get to know during a quick recruiting visit. I suggest just trying to meet as many players, coaches, and parents as possible. You should also try to watch and listen to how teammates interact with one another on and off the field. Try to surround yourself with people that will make you better, are dedicated to winning, and know how to have fun doing it.
Are sporting events like football and basketball games a big part of campus life?
- Matt Dusek – This was something I wish I had thought about more when I was choosing schools. I did not think I would mind Drexel not having a football team. Since graduating, that may be one of my biggest regrets. I did not carefully consider how big of an impact a football team would have on me. Then again, depending on what division you play, you may not have time to go to all the home games like a regular student (especially if you have school work too).
- Greg Edmonds – I did not take into account if my school had “big time” football or basketball which is something I would consider more if I could go back in time. I loved playing lacrosse at Johns Hopkins, but I did have friends who went to big state schools with “big time” football and basketball and it seemed like they really enjoyed having that on campus.
- Taylor Stothoff – At Penn State, football is life, so the fall was a great experience because you were able to see all the alumni and die-hard PSU football fans that would come into town to support the team. The tail-gates, the stadium, and the town is an amazing atmosphere, and you could feel the sense of pride that every PSU had for not only the football team, but for the school itself.
- Jack Runkel – This was a huge part in my decision to go to Loyola. Loyola’s main sport was and still is Lacrosse. Basketball is good but they only bring about 1000 fans to games and their court is on campus. Its a great atmosphere but it doesn’t feel like you are watching Duke play or Ohio State play. The Lacrosse team consistently sold out games of over 7,000 fans. Lacrosse being the main sport on campus was a big plus.
Does everyone stay on campus during the weekends?
- Travis Puls – My school was a very small school. When I went there everyone was permitted to live on campus. So everyone usually stayed on campus during the weekends. There were also places to go outside of campus that we would go to if everyone wanted to get off campus for a night. When I was a senior, we were the first class allowed to live off campus. That’s when people would start leaving campus a little more, but with it being so small, most just stayed on campus.
If lacrosse wasn’t in the picture, would I want to go to this school?
- Taylor Stothoff – I think that this is one of the most important questions when deciding on the right school for you. When I first visited Penn State I made sure to keep this question in the back of my mind. My parents and I toured the campus with the coaches, as well as downtown State College where all the restaurants and stores were located. I took everything I saw into consideration, and even though I knew I would be coming here as a student-athlete, I tried my best to picture myself as a regular student. I also looked into everything that Penn State had to offer for regular students, such as clubs, fraternities, and organizations. There was plenty of things for me to do, if I ever decided to go the non-student athlete route, and that made me feel comfortable knowing that there could always be that possibility of a back-up plan.
- Jimmy Marlatt – When making my recruiting decision I always considered if I would be happy there if I was unable to play lacrosse or if the coaches left. Unfortunately, injuries/issues and coaching changes are a part of life at the college level. I always say that coaches may be a reason not to go to a school, but it shouldn’t be the main reason you chose a school. Three of the last five schools I looked at went through coaching changes while I was still playing.
Does the lacrosse team live together?
- Taylor Stothoff – Yes, my team lived in 5 different houses or apartments together. I was lucky enough to live with 7 teammates who were in the same graduating class as me. Even though we had 5 different homes, it was easy for guys to come hang out at either one of the 5 houses, which made for a lot of great, off-field memories together as a team.
- Ryan Corrigan – At Belmont Abbey we had on campus apartments, which were populated primarily with athletes. Everyone on our team lived together—playing a sport makes acclimating to college a much easier process because you instantly have 35 friends. Aside from the on campus apartments we also had team mates who had houses and apartments off campus a few minutes away.
Are there recreational facilities and programs offered by the school?
- Ryan Corrigan – Belmont Abbey is undergoing a lot of renovations right now. They’re putting in a brand new turf facility, new tennis court complex and an entirely new basketball stadium. When I was at school we had all types of fitness classes and leagues that went on throughout the year. We had flag football leagues, 3V3 basketball leagues, etc.
Are lacrosse players permitted to take part in study abroad programs?
- Matt Dusek – I think this is huge. One of my biggest regrets of playing Division 1 lacrosse was not being able to study abroad. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to travel after I graduated and played lacrosse for a couple months in a few places outside the states. Regardless, even I couldn’t have traveled; I do not regret playing college lacrosse. Not everybody will feel the same way, so you need to decide how important traveling is to you or if you think you will get a chance after you graduate.
Do my parents feel this is the best school for me?
- Justin Ward – My parents (and most others) wanted two things for me during the process: a strong degree and the ability to watch me play high level D-1 lacrosse. Loyola provided both of those things.
Is the size of the school the best fit for me?
- Matt Dusek – This was a huge factor in my decision. This question also goes back to “does the school fit in with my academic ability.” I knew I would not pay attention in big lecture halls, even if they were in major courses. You need to be realistic with yourself, and ask, “can I be responsible enough to take care of my own work without a teacher hassling me?” For me, I was worried I wouldn’t pay attention so I wanted to go a school that had smaller classes (similar to my high school); I wanted classes to generally be around 30 people. Some of my classes were bigger, some of them were smaller.
- Greg Edmonds – This was one of the major factors for me in making my decision. I knew I wanted a school that was small to middle sized (small being 3,000 or more undergrad students and middle sized being around 12,000 to 15,000 undergrad students). I took a few visits to schools that were very large (20,000 + undergrad students) and l began to feel like just another number on campus. I wanted to go somewhere where I would know my professors and they would know me, somewhere where I could go seek academic help or a tutor and know them personally. Also, I knew I wanted a school with smaller lecture halls because sometimes classes with a couple of hundred students just turns into a lecture and PowerPoint presentation rather than a classroom.
- Taylor Stothoff– I think this was also a very important factor when choosing the right school for me. I went to a very small high school, and I was used to knowing everyone I saw. Penn State has over 40,000 students, and I thought to myself, “Would I get lost? How would I make friends?” Even though PSU is a huge school, it is easy to make it small. My teammates became my best friends, and in a way, we were like a fraternity. We hung out with each other every day, whether it was at practice, in class, at lunch, or at our house. Being a student-athlete, you are likely to be around other student-athletes too, so I was able to meet other people who were on the football, basketball, track, field hockey, and etc. I was also able to make friends when I lived in the dorms freshman year, and at class, so I was also able to have a range of friends during my time at Penn State.
- Jack Runkel – I went to a very small high school (400 students) so I definitely wanted a small atmosphere and a tight knit community. Loyola is only 3,600 students and definitely has a great community feel.
- Ryan Corrigan – Belmont Abbey is a very small school. The total number of undergrad attendees is about 1,000. I personally really liked the size of the school, I felt like I knew everyone on the campus. When you go to a big school, I think it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. Because the school is smaller our classes only had 25-35 people, this was beneficial for me because I each of my teachers knew me by name when I walked up and asked them a question.
- Justin Ward – As a high school student, most of my classes were about 25 students or less. I felt that I learned best in this environment because I could engage with both my teachers as well as my students. I was a student who needed to have access to my teacher in order to master the material at hand. I knew that I needed to be in a similar setting during my college years. Loyola afforded me the same classroom environment. In my four years at Loyola, I only had one class that had over 30 students in it. Other than that all other classes were small (roughly 25 students) which allowed me to get to know my professors and classmates.