“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.