Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jozokos Represents Team New England at Under Armor Classic

In April Tate Jozokos made headlines when he made a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at the University of North Carolina while he was still only a sophomore. And now this summer the Governor's Academy standout has been not only competing but also excelling on the national level.

Jozokos recently competed in the Under Armour All-American Underclassmen Lacrosse Classic at Towson University in Baltimore, MD. He was 1 of 24 players selected out of a pool of 260 to compete for team New England.

There were 10 teams that represented regions from the US at the event: Long Island, Baltimore, Upstate NY, Philadelphia, South, New Jersey, West and Midwest.

"It was great to represent Team New England in the UA Classic" said Jozokos, who attended Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro, NH before transferring to the Governor's Academy prior to his sophomore year. "At first it was a bit intimidating because you heard how good Long Island, Baltimore and Philly were. But once the games started I was able to relax and play my game."

The New England Team went 3-1 beating Philly, Upstate and South while losing to Long Island. The 3-1 record qualified them for the semifinals. In the semis, they beat NJ 10-8. In that game Jozokos had 2 goals and 1 assist. In the finals, they played Long Island, who has never lost in the 3 year history of this event. The New England team beat them 10-7 to capture the title, with Jozokos scoring 2 goals in the final. There were 50+ division 1 coaches that lined the field each day to watch the talent.

"No one gave us a chance to win a game, never mind the whole thing" said Jozokos, who also plays football and basketball at the Governor's Academy, in addition to lacrosse. "This gave me more motivation to compete and succeed. Playing against the best players in the country was awesome and it gave me a chance to see how I stacked up against them. Overall, it is the highlight of my LAX career."

Matt Jazokos (Tate's father) was the football and lacrosse coach at Kingswood High for several years, including Tate's freshman year at the school.

"I knew early on that I was a good LAX player based on the success of the teams I played on" said Jozokos. My dad always told me to find out how good you are keep traveling south and see how you compete, and if you do well then travel another hour south and see how that goes.

Anytime an athlete from New Hampshire is able to enjoy this kind of success, it is something that should be recognized. Jozokos is clearly a kid who has worked extremely hard, and as a result he's one of the best lacrosse players in the country.

"I realized that I may have the potential to play college LAX after the U15 National LAX Tourney in Baltimore" Jozokos went on. "The NESLL team that I play for came in 4th, and I played a big role in helping that team finish strong. I followed that up with a trip to the Philly Showcase last November. I made the Fab 40 team, and from there I knew that I had the ability to play at the highest level. None of this would have been possible without the sacrifices that my Mom and Dad made in traveling four hours to and from practice twice a week beginning in May and ending in August, plus all of the tournaments. Also, my summer team NESLL gave me the chance to compete at the highest level and helped develop my game over the past 6 years."

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