Loyola has established a reputation for doing their due diligence on the recruiting trail, spending plenty of time evaluating prospects before making decisions on players they’d like to join their program.
In this particular situation, the Greyhounds picked up a gem of a sophomore recruit from 3d and Cherry Creek in defenseman Jack Calderone (5’11, 165 pounds), who committed late last week. Calderone hadn’t ever been watched by Loyola head coach Charley Toomey until this fall, during which the Colorado native was written up for his play at the B’more Classic and the Philly Showcase.
In a pretty cool development New offensive coordinator Ryan Moran came over to Loyola from College Park in August and continued to pursue Calderone, just at a different powerhouse program. Things developed nicely for the talented longpole who also strongly considered Georgetown and Marquette before deciding to be a Hound.
At Loyola, Calderone fits in rather perfectly. Defensive coordinator Matt Dwan loves poles who can handle the ball off the wings or score but ones who can also, of course, win their matchups down low. This recruit fits that mold and isn’t tied to close or LSM, as he can flourish at either spot, according to 3d Colorado coach Jamie Munro.
“One of the strongest elements of his game is that he’s competitive and tough – Jack stands up to anybody at any time and has an excellent motor,” says Munro. “He really puts pressure on the ball, generates transition and can also face-off… He’s a kid who will do whatever you need him to do.”
Going forward, Calderone is expected to play a significant role for Bryan Perry’s Bruins this spring, competing for a title alongside several other touted commits. Here’s what the newest Cherry Creek Division I bound standout had to say about the process and his decision to be a student-athlete in Baltimore:
What made you decide to go to Loyola?
I really loved the school, the academics, the program and the campus – pretty much about Loyola in general. I’m a fan of how they sort of have a smaller team and 40 or 45 guys rather than a huge roster like some schools. Ridley is one of the most awesome complexes that I’ve seen for any school, I absolutely loved it there.
The coaches all opened me with open arms – they’re definitely people who care deeply about the players in their program and understand how lacrosse is not always the most important thing, it’s the things beyond that [in life].
How’d you get set up with Loyola? How were your visits to the campus?
After King of the Hill, I started to talk to Coach Moran when he was at Maryland and had me come out and visit at one point between that tournament and Blue Chip. I wasn’t crazy about Maryland but then we moved over to Loyola, I really liked that school and how he sort of took me took me under his wing and had a lot of interest in me becoming a Greyhound.
On my first visit, I visited with him and [director of ops] P.T. Ricci and met up with Coach Toomey later in the day, it was all a really great experience. In October, I came out for a second visit and got to do an overnight. It was cool to hang out with some of the guys on the team, see the dorms, get dinner and play Xbox for a little bit. I really liked getting to see what life at Loyola was like. After that and when Coach Toomey got to see me play a bit more, I went to the prospect day in the first weekend of December and got to talk to finalize things.
You made the varsity as a freshman for Cherry Creek, a perennial state championship contender in Colorado. What’s your 2015 outlook?
Last year, it was kind of nerve-wracking for the seven [members of the 2017 class on varsity] of us but the seniors and coaches were very welcoming. The program was coming off of a championship so we were all hoping for another one, obviously we didn’t win but it was a really special experience and so different from anything else I’ve done in club ball.
Coming into this spring, we return some really good players and will also have [former Denver standout] Jeremy Noble coaching the offense, which will be fun. Guys like Henry Adams (Michigan) and seniors Mike Morean (Princeton) and Dylan Johnson (Denver) return , plus we have an all-senior defense so we’re pretty much locked down there. This should be a successful year for us – I’m particularly looking forward to playing teams like Arapahoe, Regis Jesuit and New Jersey’s Summit. I believe we’re heading to the New York area for a trip so I’m pumped for that too!
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to where you are?
I’d definitely like to thank my parents, they’ve been there for me all the way through, paying for all of these trips and tournaments and visits out East. Coaching wise, I’d like to thank Jamie Munro, who has been there through the whole recruiting process and is an amazing coach. Coach [Bryan] Perry at Cherry Creek has also been great to me, same with 3d coaches Lance Savage, Kevin O’Brien and Greg Waldbaum.