By Jimmy Allinder
Timothy Day is proud to have been the leading scorer for the Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen lacrosse team last spring.
However, that’s not going to make the rising senior any more committed to where and if he plays the sport in college.
“For me, lacrosse will not dictate where I go,” he said. “However, if the college offers lacrosse on a club level, I will play that.”
It’s obvious that Day’s priority is choosing the school that offers the best academic program in, for his purposes, business finance or accounting. Day lists Wake Forest University, College of the Holy Cross, Bentley University, Babson College, Furman University and Fairfield University as his top schools.
There’s a reason the Westfield native is intent on making his college commitment based on academics. As he enters his senior year, Day has a 3.95 cumulative grade-point average, which is comparable to an A. Outside of school, he started and runs a Personal Finance and Investment Club, which, among activities, dabbles in stocks.
Day admits a few coaches at NCAA Division II and III schools have enticed him to play lacrosse, but he has expressed only mild interest in going that route.
He attracted so much attention following a junior year that represented a coming out party of sorts at the perennial parochial powerhouse, which finished 13-6 last spring.
Day’s laser-like shot made him dangerous from distance, but the attackman was just as versatile with his stick to deposit goals close in. He says, however, his best asset is passing the ball, which is why he ended with a team-leading 47 assists and 34 goals — one behind team leader Jimmy Tovey, who netted 35. Day’s combination of goals and assists also led the Falcons in total points.
The list of postseason accolades since he joined the program is impressive. He played a key role when the Falcons won the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) championships in 2014 and 2015, was named to the conference second team at attack and will captain the 2017 team.
“I started playing lacrosse in the fourth grade and played basketball up until the eighth grade, but I realized I was much better at lacrosse, so I chose to focus on that sport in high school,” he said.
Deciding to matriculate at St. Joe’s, a school known for its demanding academic standards, was a major turning point in Day’s life, he said.
“It was really hard to leave all my friends and former teammates behind, but I am very happy with all the wonderful new ones I made in addition to receiving a great education from quality teachers and learning lacrosse from outstanding coaches.”
Day mentions former St. Joe’s head coach, Marc Morneau, his mentor in 2014 and 2015, and current coach, Andrew Pinto Jr., for helping him refine his skills. Since the seventh grade, Day attended Morneau’s Leading Edge Lacrosse Academy and played this past summer for 2 Knights to complement his high school action.
“To keep myself in shape, I always try to do a lot of lacrosse drills that involve constant movement,” he said. “I’ll go at the same pace I would in a game for lengthy periods of time. I also go to the Westfield YMCA or St. Joe’s weight rooms to lift.”
Day admits it’s been a challenge maintaining his grades and playing a varsity sport, but he has adapted well to a schedule that works.
“My parents always told me that school comes before sports, so I made sure I completed my assignments and kept my grades up,” he said. “Sometimes it’s been hard, but I’ve never been overwhelmed. The key is managing my time and getting enough rest so I have the energy to play lacrosse six days a week.”
Day says his parents have impacted his life the most.
“I couldn’t ask for two better people to raise me and help me get to the place I’m at today,” he said. “My coaches at St. Joe’s have also played a huge role in helping me succeed on and off the field, and my teammates have always been supportive. One teammate I have a close relationship with is our other captain, Max Bischoff. We are good friends and we complement each others’ playing styles perfectly.”
Day says he’s hoping his final season at St. Joe’s returns the GMC title to the Falcons, which they relinquished to Monroe Township High School last spring. But his top priority, as it always has been, will be deciding where he ends up after graduation.
It’s a decision that will bring Day to the next stage of what has already been an exciting life.