White Bear Lake’s lacrosse coach sees to it that colleges get a good look at prospects like Thomas Rodriguez Jr. That’s what led to the midfielder and face-off specialist committing to a strong Division I team, Albany-SUNY, last week.
“Every year we invite college coaches to come out to out MN SELECT Tryout evaluations. A coach from Albany immediately took special note of Thomas,” Brandon Husak said.
“After that, Thomas had multiple recruitment opportunities from other schools. It is an honor to have Thomas attend Albany for its strong reputation.”
Rodriguez, a senior-to-be, had eight goals and 13 assists, and won 80 percent of his face-offs, for the Bears (12-4) this spring. Her verbally committed to Albany-SUNY (State University of New York) on June 18. Official signing of letters of intent take place in November.
Albany, which wears purple and gold “like the Vikings,” Rodriguez noted, reached the NCAA final four in 2018. The Great Danes, coached by Scott Marr, slipped to 5-9 last season, after graduating heavily, but the program has netted 10 NCAA appearances and nine America East Conference titles.
Rodriguez, asked what Albany coaches told him they liked about him, said it was his stick-work with the the ball, winning most of his face-offs, and that he fits their style. He plans to major in political science.
“Thomas has incredible work ethic,” Husak said. “In our sport, it helps to be 6-foot something, and a blue chip athlete. Thomas wasn’t given that natural size. He has worked to create his skill set to be a Division 1 lacrosse player.
“He has been relentless in his efforts towards the best institution that would be the best fit for his goals.”
Rodriguez said he played baseball before switching in fifth grade to lacrosse and found his niche. “There’s a lot of stick-work, like in hockey, and a lot of running, like in soccer,” said Rodriguez about his chosen sport. “There’s always something going on out there. Never a dull moment.”
A one-sport athlete, Rodriguez plays for the Minnesota Loons the rest of the year. He’s in North Carolina with them this week, and in the winter plays five on five indoors.