Jak Wawrzyniak- a Profile.
by B Thornton- Harwood
Born and raised in Manchester, Jak Wawrzyniak, or Vav to his mates, was introduced to Lacrosse at the age of 9, loving the sport from the word go he has played for Heaton Mersey, Lancashire and represented England in the International Championships last year in Mancester. Now he’s moved stateside to play in New York, but the ambitious 20 year old has his sights set much higher.
So you’ve recently moved to the states to play and study?
To play out here you have to attend and study at University/College in order to play for the school team, I Major in Health Sciences at Stony Brook University which is a based on Long Island, New York. The best lacrosse out here is played at the collegiate level so the only way to play is to study here, unless you’re playing professional lacrosse.
You represented England in last year’s championships, how did it feel to play for your country at a sport you love especially at such a young age?
After the U19 World Champs, all I wanted to do was play for my country again, but at the next level. I was really young going in to the process but I just took it step by step.
It felt amazing when I finally made it, to be playing against some of the talent on the opposing teams in that tournament is surreal. Especially on home turf.
It sounds strange but the lead up to tournaments is my favourite part of the whole experience, the friends you make, the feelings as each selection letter is waited for, the training and also the tours to the USA, just all great memories!
Have you always been a natural defensive player?
I have always played defence, be it Long-Stick midfield or close-defence. If you ask any of my teammates though, I think they’ll tell you I like getting lost in the offensive half a lot more than most D-men.
What are your aspirations for the future?
Right now I’m trying to get better each week at practice and really just look forward to each game!
We’re top of our conference and playing to get in to the NCAA tournament. That’s what I’m heading towards now and for the next four years of college. Hopefully that will take me on to the next level; which there’s no doubt I’d love to do, but there’s a lot of work ahead of me to get there.
There’s a European and a World Champs In-between, too, so I’ll take each as they come.
What do you do with your time when you’re not on the pitch?
If I’m honest there is no outside of sport over here! Preseason is September-January and season starts in February then over the summer this year I’m possibly playing Box Lacrosse in Canada or just working camps and playing in summer tournaments around the USA.
But when some spare time does crop up, I like to spend my time with friends, enjoy my time at home in Manchester, coach kids, and go to the beach (depending where I am!)