“Practice every day. You can’t just practice one day, you need to practice a lot if you want to get better”
Joshua Dyer is a recent graduate of Christopher Columbus High School. Hailing from the Bronx, Joshua is excited to make the move to New Rochelle and begin his freshman year at Monroe College this fall. He intends to study Human Services at Monroe and be able to explore all of the opportunities that the school has to offer.
Joshua is a long stick defender and a major asset to his team, on and off of the field. Safe to say, he is the team’s “hype man.” Constantly cheering on his teammates and making sure that everyone is focused, Joshua likes to keep his teammates on their toes.
Joshua started playing lacrosse during his sophomore year. He started playing because he was injured while playing football and missed out on most of the season. By the time lacrosse season rolled around, he was on the road to recovery and decided to join the lacrosse team. Joshua has said that joining the lacrosse team has not only given him copious opportunities but also the boost of confidence that he needed to balance playing two sports.
Joshua enjoys the competitive nature of lacrosse, even though he claims to get a little “hot-headed” when the competition gets tough. As a team captain, Joshua says that his leadership skills have translated into his ability to play on the field. He is a very vocal and personable player, willing to help out his teammates when needed. “Since I enjoy the competition so much, I like to take every advantage that I am given,” Joshua says. Running to every ground ball, defending the ball down the field, and being an outlet for his teammates, Joshua is a driven player.
“Don’t give up on a goal. Set a goal and don’t give up on it,” Joshua emphasizes. Failure is not an option in Joshua’s mind. He believes that with determination and hard work, no one should give up on their goals.
In his down time, Joshua enjoys working out and physically preparing himself for football and lacrosse seasons. As a two-sport athlete, it is important that Joshua stay in the best shape as possible in order to keep up with the pace of both games. Although Monroe does not have a lacrosse team, Joshua hopes to walk on to the football and rugby teams, to keep his athletic ability on par.
“Practice every day. You can’t just practice one day, you need to practice a lot if you want to get better,” Joshua adds. He believes that with constant practice, improvement will set in.
This past season, Joshua was one out of the two students chosen from Christopher Columbus to be named 1st Team All Division in the PSAL Boys A Division. Being able to receive such an honor has given him the confidence and the reassurance that praise comes with hard work.
This past winter, Joshua attended the CityLax Winter PSAL Clinics at Christopher Columbus High School. These clinics gave him the opportunity to play with his teammates as well as other players, and fine tune some of his skills before the season began. “They have it every year and that’s where I got better and built my confidence in the sport,” Joshua says.
With a new chapter in his life beginning soon, Joshua has seen his potential and level of confidence increase, not only in lacrosse but in school. He hopes to continue on that path of improvement, on and off the field, as he heads off to Monroe in just a couple months.
“To me, lacrosse is a brotherhood. It’s a game that brings out the best of me and everyone else on the team and cements friendships that I know I will have for my whole life.”
Andrew Strott started playing lacrosse because both his father and grandfather played at the collegiate level. He aspires to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, hoping to play in college after graduating from high school. As a rising junior at Hunter College High School, Andrew enjoys playing for the team as a midfielder. Since he started in 5th grade, Andrew has seen a major improvement in his skills and ability.
What Andrew enjoys most about being apart of the team at Hunter is the team atmosphere and being able to work with people of all different levels of experience. “To me, lacrosse is a brotherhood. It’s a game that brings out the best of me and everyone else on the team and cements friendships that I know I will have for my whole life.” Andrew emphasizes the fact that working together off the field can translate into what happens on the field. If he and his teammates can work together as a cohesive unit on and off of the field, they are more likely to create stronger bonds and connections. “My team relies so much on the atmosphere and ability to work together; we build strong connections on the field so that we can play together,” states Andrew.
Andrew says that throughout his years of playing lacrosse thus far, his stick skills are the most important. He says that without persistence and practice, you are not likely to improve. “The more you work on your stick skills, the more you are willing to improve and to get better.”
Andrew describes himself as a very dedicated and driven player, taking advantage of any opportunity that is thrown his way. “Be aggressive,” he has always been told, and lives by whenever he plays. “Lacrosse is such a physical sport and it is important to be aggressive.” He fights for every ground ball, redefends down the field, and when the opportunity to shoot becomes possible, he takes his chances. “I am not selfish with the ball. I am always determined to help out on the field, and will always be somewhere if possible or needed.” As a team player, Andrew is always willing to help out his teammates.
In his free time, Andrew can be found playing sports like soccer or basketball with his younger siblings or cooking. “I like cooking with my mom who is the “head of the kitchen” so I’m more of a sous-chef by making the salads and sides dishes and prepping the main dish before she gets home from work.” Andrew’s favorite things to cook include korean BBQ-style chicken wings or other Korean dishes like bibimbap, bulgogi, and kalbi.
In school, Andrew’s favorite subject is Spanish. He chose to take up the language because he saw it as a gateway into embracing a culture that is so widespread in New York City, today. “I wanted to learn Spanish because it is so prevalent in New York City today, with all of the diversity. I find it so interesting to learn about a whole other culture and their language.”
CityLax has opened Andrew’s eyes to a community of people with similar interests and levels of enthusiasm for lacrosse. His involvement has ranged from participating in the Fall Boys Showcase Team that played in the November Hofstra Tournament to attending the pick-up sessions at Pier 40. He hopes to continue being involved with CityLax in the coming fall, as well. This summer he also participated in the CityLax Summer Camp hosted by Big Apple, which he said was “an awesome experience and really helped me fine tune a lot of my skills.”
Andrew enjoys seeing the gathering of people from all different boroughs to come together and play lacrosse. “I loved meeting players from all of the boroughs, and it was cool to see how lacrosse was coming from all different parts of the city.” As lacrosse has started to spread throughout New York City, Andrew has loved to watch it grow. He also adds, “I’m pretty sure we will win the PSAL championships next year.”
“Seeing that there are a lot of girls in New York City that are so passionate about lacrosse makes me really happy. It is nice to know that there are a lot of other serious players out there.”
Ivy League bound, Emma Seitz is a recent graduate of Hunter College High School. With plans to attend Yale University in the fall, Emma looks forward to the opportunities that lie ahead of her.
Born and raised in Manhattan, New York, Emma’s lacrosse career began in 3rd grade when she started playing goalie for DOC’s NYC. Once middle school came around, Emma was eager to join the lacrosse team. She played all through middle and high school and ended her high school career as a captain of the girl’s varsity team at Hunter.
She began her lacrosse career as a goalie, but slowly transitioned to becoming a field player. This transition gave her the opportunity and ability to explore the game of lacrosse on a broader scale. However, Emma says about playing goalie prior to becoming a midfielder, “I still love goalie and I tried to play one game a season in goal.” Aside from lacrosse, Emma has also been playing ice hockey since she was 5 years old. At age 3, she learned how to skate. By the time she was 5, she had translated her skating skills into a sport. Over the years, Emma has traveled up and down the east coast, playing in games and tournaments.
When she is not out on the lacrosse field or on the ice rink, Emma can be found reading books of the fiction/science fiction genre, writing, or drawing. As an avid English student, Emma finds it fascinating that “there are many different perspectives that can be taken from a reading, and when all of the ideas come together, the discussion can be very interesting.”
When she plays lacrosse, Emma would describe herself as an “intense and aggressive” player. As a midfielder, Emma likes the fast pace of the game and opportunities she gets to carry the ball down the field and score. Over the past 2 seasons, Emma has been given the chance to take the face-offs. What she likes most about the face-off is that she is ”able to determine the opposing team’s strategy and use it as an advantage.”
As a member of the Girl’s Varsity Team at Hunter, one thing that Emma has taken away from the program is that the team is a variety of different people who have come together for a common reason; to play the sport that they love. As a captain, she is very personable and open-minded, willing to help out the younger players. However, she does say that, “If you are not starting when you are younger, do not get discouraged. Go to practice, work hard, and you will improve.”
As a multifaceted student-athlete, Emma has always been told to “control what you can control and do not get discouraged by things that stand in your way. Focus on doing the best that you can and don’t worry about anything else.” She uses this piece of advice when she is playing either lacrosse or ice hockey.
For Emma, CityLax has been a way for her to make friends from other areas of New York City. She says, “Seeing that there are a lot of girls in New York City that are so passionate about lacrosse makes me really happy. It is nice to know that there are a lot of other serious players out there.” The people she has met through her team at Hunter and with DOC’S NYC has given Emma a greater sense of community and companionship that she may otherwise not have known.
At Yale, Emma hopes to study Economics. She will also join the Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey team and will look to get involved in other campus activities once she arrives on campus. She will enjoy her last summer at home by playing ice hockey, working out, and hanging with friends.
“It meant a lot to me to have my teammates to lean on and to have the relationships that I was able to build through lacrosse.”
Jakub Iwon is the goalie for the CityLax-supported Murry Bergtraum Boys lacrosse team. Now a senior at Urban Assembly Maker (one of the four schools in the building that participate on the Murry Bergtraum team), this two-time captain has been the goalie since its establishment last year as a developmental program. While some people may be focused on the scoreboard to determine this season’s success, Jakub is interested in something else—“My goals are that we grow more as a team with each game, that we have more chemistry and communication throughout. We’re already looking better and better as the games progress, so I hope we continue to improve upon that.”
For Jakub, the importance of communication and teamwork goes beyond the field. Last year, only a few weeks into the season, Jakub’s mother passed away. After taking a week off, he decided to return to lacrosse and fully commit himself to the team. “It gave me something else to focus on and something to do after school that kept me from being depressed,” Jakub says. “A lot of people still don’t know about what happened outside of my teammates and close friends. It meant a lot to me to have my teammates to lean on and to have the relationships that I was able to build through lacrosse.”
Joining the lacrosse team provided even more than a new support system for Jakub. His teammates elected him to be a captain during the early stages of the program. As a junior who had never held any sort of leadership position before, Jakub was a little overwhelmed. “I wasn’t used to that kind of leadership. I’m not very vocal usually, but being a captain gave me a different perspective of things. More than just being a player on the team, I had to be a leader and show by example that if I show up and put in this much effort, they should match that.” This season, Jakub will be leading the team as captain, once again. He describes, “Knowing that my teammates elected me again, it shows me that they have trust in me and that I’ve gained their respect. They know that after what I went through last year and how I still stuck with the team and made an effort to learn everything that I could possibly learn about the game, I’m committed to the team.”
Jakub is now in his final semester at Urban Assembly Maker, and as part of hiscurriculum, he is assistant-teaching in a class with his coach, Jason Feldman. “It’s a fun hour to bond with my coach in a different environment,” Jakub says. Coach Feldman describes Jakub as a “rock” for the team due to his dedication and selfless attitude. “The first day, he volunteered to be the goalie when no one else would and he’s really taken on his responsibilities as captain; he’s someone the other players can look up to.”
After high school, Jakub will be pursuing a career in law enforcement. He says, “I want to do something good and help people in a positive way. I feel like there are a lot of stories out there about cops doing bad things, but I feel like if I can at least be that one percent that can do good, I should take the chance and go for it.” He will be studying criminal justice at John Jay University.