Quaker Valley lacrosse standout signs with Lake Erie
For Jimmy Perkins, Lake Erie College just felt like home.
The Quakers Valley senior lacrosse player finalized his college decision and signed his letter of intent with the Storm last week.
“When I went for a visit, what stood out was how close-knit it was,” Perkins said. “It really makes you feel like you are part of a family. It was like I was at home.”
Perkins also considered Monmouth, Robert Morris, Wheeling Jesuit, Rollins and the University of Tampa. He said entering his sophomore season he began working toward playing at the next level. While he originally hoped to play at the Division I level, the positives of Lake Erie were too great to overlook.
“I sat down and thought about where I would be most happy, feel comfortable and actually see the field,” Perkins said. “That is what led me to Lake Erie.”
Perkins added he had ties with the coaching staff after playing on a summer team entering his junior season that was assisted by Lake Erie assistant coach Steve Gartelman.
Lake Erie College is a private liberal arts school in Ohio 30 miles east of Cleveland. Perkins plans to major in business. The Storm competes in NCAA Division II's Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference with Mercyhurst, Seton Hill, Wheeling Jesuit, Lindenwood, Walsh, Ohio Valley and Alderson-Broaddus.
Perkins won't be the only former WPIAL player on the roster as Peter Township's Nico Summaria and Chartiers Valley's Matt and Mitch Redmond all play for Lake Erie.
“I was able to talk to them on my visits about the difference coming from Pittsburgh and playing at the Division II level,” Perkins said. “It will be nice knowing there are guys on the team around when I come back home.”
Perkins — who also is a member of the Quaker Valley hockey team — said making his decision before the start of his senior season on the lacrosse field is a relief and will allow him to focus on his final high school season.
The Quakers come into the season after a successful campaign in 2013. The squad finished 13-4 with a section title and advanced to the WPIAL Division II title game. Perkins was named the Divison II player of the year as he finished with 90 goals and 42 assists.
“Last year we had a core group that knew we were capable of going far and it was just a matter of getting everyone else to buy in,” Perkins said. “After last season, our expectations have never been higher.”
After falling to Seton-La Salle, 13-8, in the title game last season, Quaker Valley is set on claiming the top prize in 2014.
“We don't expect anything less than a WPIAL championship,” Perkins said. “We have small goals along the way. First goal is a section championship and get a home playoff game. But we didn't get the outcome we wanted last year and we want to show people we are capable of doing it.”
The Quakers open the season Wednesday with a trip to Shaler. Start time is set for 7 p.m.