Name: Ian Cook (2016)
High School: Horseheads High School
Club Teams: Northeast FCA Gold, FCA U15 National Team, Texas Tortugas, Iron Horse, South Shore Ballers
Where and when did you first begin playing lacrosse?
Honestly, I don’t really remember when I first started carrying around a stick. My mom grew up around the game and my dad played in high school, college, and still coaches. I have pictures of me in a diaper dragging around the lacrosse stick that my dad cut down for me to use with a full size head. I have memories from when I was 4 years old warming up the goalie of the high school team that my dad coached. I started playing organized lacrosse when I was 7 years old in 2nd grade.
Why did you choose to attend Binghamton University?
I chose Binghamton University to further my lacrosse career because of the academics, the coaching staff, and the proximity to home. I also have a feeling of family and brotherhood when I’m around the players and know that I will fit in there.
What are you looking forward to most at the next level?
I’m looking forward to playing against some of the best players in the nation at the collegiate level. I’m also looking forward to learning more about the game and how I can develop as a player.
What are your future goals beyond college lacrosse?
My goals beyond college lacrosse are to grow as a person and continue my walk with Christ.
Can you provide some insight into your experience with FCA? When did you join the program?
I joined the FCA program in 2012 in the summer of 8th grade. I was drawn to the spiritual component because I’m a Christian. It’s been a unique experience. I remember one time when my team was kneeling in prayer before the start of a game and our opponents were yelling at the ref.’s asking for a delay of game call because we had to pray (they said it in a really mocking tone). At that point, I just knew that I was on the right side.
How did you hear about the program?
My dad went to high school with FCA Coach Scott Nitti and my older cousin also played for FCA.
What was one of your favorite memories?
I’ve had many great experiences playing for the FCA including the U15 National Team at the US Lacrosse National Championships in Florida and Colorado. My favorite memory with FCA was going to Golden Goal Camp in the Adirondacks. It was an unbelievable experience and I became closer to so many people. I learned so much while enjoying myself in the middle of the beautiful mountains.
What advice do you have for any future FCA players about the recruitment process?
My advice for future FCA players about recruitment is that the player is a major part of the process. But, most of all, God has a plan for everyone. You will know when you are in the right place no matter what level of college lacrosse it is; D1, D2, D3, MCLA or even club. You need to do what makes you comfortable. I also learned that stressing out and being anxious about finding the right place doesn’t help you or get you anywhere. Let God lead you to where he thinks you should be.
What is your greatest strength as a lacrosse player?
I think that above all else, I respect the game. The Native Americans say it was given to them by the Creator. This concept resonates with me. I believe that I was given a gift from God and it’s up to me to use that gift to please him. So I work hard at being the best person, student, and player that I can possibly be. On the field, I believe that I play solid defense and as a midfielder I think it’s a great attribute to be a two way player.
What is one part of your game you are focusing on getting better at before attending Binghamton?
I am focusing on getting bigger, faster and stronger. At the D1 level everything is taken up a notch. People are more mature, physically stronger, and faster than at the high school level. My size and strength are within my control and I want to be able to be equal to other D1 players.
What is your favorite tailgate food?
I really like macaroni salad.
Celebrity you would most like to hang out with?
I would like to hang out with Drew Brees, I heard that he was an FCA athlete also. I have read a book that he wrote about his walk with Christ while he was in school and throughout his football career. I would like to sit and listen to his story and take in how he has become such an amazing athlete and has stayed grounded through so much adversity.
Who is one lacrosse player that you have learned a great deal from?
My dad. He was a standout lacrosse player in high school and a JUCO All-American. He has always stressed the importance of being a strong student, just playing basic lacrosse, and developing strong mechanics. That philosophy has helped me succeed on and off the lacrosse field.
What other lacrosse clubs have you played for over the years?
I’ve played with Fighting Four (Binghamton, NY), South Shore Ballers (Long Island, NY), the Texas Tortugas and Iron Horse (Dallas, Texas). My dad has a lot of friends who are coaches, so I’m always throwing on a jersey and stepping in to help out teams from all over the country when they need it. It’s been a lot of fun.
Feel free to include any shout-outs, special thanks. First, I’d like to thank my family for all the support and sacrifices for me to reach my dream of playing division one lacrosse. I’d like to especially thank my mom for the years of guidance and the countless hours that she has given in helping me achieve my goals. My little brother, Owen, for being my biggest fan and showing unconditional support with all of the traveling and various tournaments and camps. He was there along the sideline and always looking out for me with a cold gatorade. Outside of my family, I’d like to also thank all of the coaches who have supported me along my journey.
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.