Connor Eakes has been a versatile asset for Monarch lacrosse aiding the team in capturing the 12th seed in the Class 5A state tournament. But there is one facet of his skill set he believes caught the eyes of college programs.
The Coyote midfielder just has a way with winning face offs. And his ability to gain possession of the ball was a definitive factor in NCAA Division-II Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., pursuing the prospect.
“They want me to come in and do a lot of face-off work right away,” said Eakes, who has averaged 1.4 goals per game this spring. “From there they think I can start competing for a spot at offensive middy the year after and develop into a two-way middy.”
Eakes, who attends Broomfield and competed in football and wrestling for the Eagles, has been one of the main face-off men for Monarch. He has filled that role extensively with his club program, the Wheat Ridge-based Colorado Wild. But it was an injury his junior season that cast Eakes as one of the Coyotes’ possession specialists.
“When our main face-off guy — Peter Appenzeller — got hurt against Fort Collins last year, it gave me a chance to jump in,” he said. “At the beginning of the year I thought I would be doing a lot more face offs, but after Appenzeller got hurt I took about 90-percent of them.”
Eakes was recruited by Catawba for lacrosse and plans on inking his letter of intent in the upcoming days. And he will remain busy when he reaches the Atlantic Seaboard, having been invited to walk onto the college’s football team. At the beginning of his senior year, the three-sport athlete anticipated just playing lacrosse when he moved to the next level. But once he started shopping Division-II programs he felt the urge to continue competing in more than one season.
“Wrestling was out of the question because of the overlap,” he said. “So I started looking for schools I could play both lacrosse and football. Honestly, at the end of football season, I thought I had played my last game.”
Eakes is known as a workhorse and an athlete who will do anything to help his team win. The senior drew high praises from Broomfield football coach Gary Davies at the end of the season for filling in multiple positions on the injury-plagued Eagles. And he was credited by Broomfield wrestling coach Joe Pereira as a team leader who steered the Eagles to a state championship.
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton.