By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/5/09
Attackman Westy Hopkins, who helped La Salle win state championships in 2008 and 2009, Tuesday gave a verbal commitment to play Division 1 lacrosse at Notre Dame for 2010-11.
Hopkins, who graduated in June, will spend this year as a post-graduate at Lawrenceville School (N.J.) and then head to South Bend, Ind.
Hopkins, who scored 37 goals and earned Academic All-American honors in 2009, had been hoping all year to sign with a Division I college. Since no suitable offers came, he decided to prep a year at Lawrenceville, known for its strong academic and lacrosse program.
This summer he continued to play club lacrosse for the vaunted Duke’s Lacrosse Club and also excelled at the Nike Blue Chip recruiting camp.
“I guess they first took a real interest after I played at Blue Chip this summer,” said Hopkins, a first-team All-Catholic League North and Honorable Mention All-Phillylacrosse.com pick. “After that we were talking a lot.
“I flew out to visit the campus a week or two ago and liked it a lot. They passed me though admissions (Tuesday) and gave me the phone call. I am real excited.”
Hopkins said that due to an illness, he fell behind slightly in the summer recruiting game after a strong junior year at La Salle.
“It all started my junior year in the playoffs when I got mono,” he said. “That hurt with the recruiting process through the summer. It was tough to get noticed; I didn’t play much and when I did, I couldn’t play to my potential.”
At La Salle, Hopkins was part of a potent 1-2-3 attack line that included senior Randy Forster (signed with Penn State) and his younger brother Kevin Forster, considered one of the top rising junior attackmen in the nation.
The 2009 highlight was clearly when Hopkins tallied two goals in the Explorers’ 7-3 win over Conestoga in the first Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) championship game.
“My experience at La Salle was awesome,” he said.
“The recruiting thing, well, I don’t know. Eventually, it all worked out. Why not sooner? I don’t know.”
Hopkins said he’s looking forward to playing at Lawrenceville and has formed a bond with assistant coach M.V. Whitlow. He plans to major in business at Notre Dame, which went 15-1 last year, bowing to Maryland, 7-3, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Also headed to Notre Dame in 2010-11, are St. Joseph’s Prep rising senior defenseman Stephen O’Hara and Haverford School rising senior midfielder Liam O’Connor.
“They have a great business school,” he said. “It’s really competitive. And their lacrosse team is pretty incredible right now. Coach (Kevin) Corrigan is pushing to go for a national championship and I’d love to be there when that happens.”
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