Editor’s note: This is one of many articles being re-posted by Phillylacrosse.com as it restores content following its redesign this spring
By Paul Edwards
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/11/09
Malvern Prep senior midfielder Mark Jackson has signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I lacrosse at Villanova University.
Jackson helped Malvern Prep share the Inter-Ac League title with Haverford School last year. He also was a member of the Duke’s Lacrosse Club that claimed the Champ Camp crown during the summer.
Jackson plans on majoring in Engineering. He noted that the Wildcats earned their first NCAA playoff berth last year and have high expectations for their first season in the Big East.
“It had everything I wanted,” he said. “It was the type of up-and-coming program I wanted
to be a part of, and it’s cool how they will be playing in the Big East this season. It has a great engineering program and it’s close to home.”
Jackson also considered Harvard before choosing Villanova.
Jackson, a relative newcomer to the sport, did not focus on lacrosse until 8th grade. “I always played baseball and lacrosse in the spring, but in 8th grade I hurt my shoulder playing baseball so I decided to stick with lacrosse,” he said.
Jackson also plays basketball and believes that sport has helped him develop his lacrosse skills.
“There are a lot of similarities between lacrosse and basketball, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” he said. “Both sports require things like footwork and defensive packages.”
Jackson is optimistic about the upcoming season and is pleased with the team’s dedication during the off-season period under new head coach Dan Keating.
“We had a great turnout at the fall workouts so far,” he said. “Coach Keating will have us ready to play. Look for us to be more physical and physically fit.”
Jackson is one of five Friars to sign National Latters of Intent,. The others are goalie Andrew O’Connell and midfielder Ryan Creighton (North Carolina), midfielder Bobby Hill (Virginia) and long stick midfielder Henry Lobb (Duke).
Although he is primarily concerned with Malvern’s development during this off-season, Jackson acknowledges hearing the buzz about arch-rival Haverford School.
“There is definitely a lot of hype surrounding them,” he said. “A lot of people are ready to give them the Inter-Ac title, but that’s why we play the games.”