With almost 10 years of experience, freshman Tom Hayes came to Cabrini to put all of the skills he has learned into practice. He was introduced to the sport of lacrosse when he was in fourth grade and it has been his hobby ever since.
For most of his career he played defense because of his height advantage over other players. Hayes is now 6’6″ and he uses a 6-foot pole to defend the goal against midfielders.
He says there are advantages and disadvantages of his height. For example, he matured quicker than most of his friends because he always looked older. On the other hand, he said that it is harder to play lacrosse when taller because it is harder getting balance and speed.
Cabrini found Hayes at a senior shoot-out that he was entered in by his high school coach.
He was also recruited to other schools for lacrosse, as well as football, but decided to come to Cabrini because of his coach’s advice.
“My coaches played professionally around here and they said it was a good area,” said Hayes.
He compared his high school lacrosse experience to his college one and claimed that the speed of the game, as well as the size of the players, increased dramatically.
He said that Division III is still very competitive and is often more competitive than Division II.
He says that college lacrosse is more challenging because, “A player can not play outside of his boundaries.”
Also, after playing with the same men for seven years, he had to grow accustomed to all new players. In high school, Hayes had to dictate the other player with his own strength, whereas in college, he must know the other players in order to play on their weaknesses.
When asked who his role models were, he responded that the two most influential people in his lacrosse career were his coach since fifth grade, as well as the man who began lacrosse in his hometown of Rockville Center, Long Island, NY.
In the future, Hayes hopes to continue to play the game as much as possible, whether he is a coach, team doctor or consultant.
His advice to Cabrini students is, “Don’t get distracted by the outside things if you’re focused on a goal. Stay focused and you’ll be successful.”
He lives by these words and he considers himself successful because of his ability to stay focused.