After finishing 12-3 last season and clinching the KLA Division-II state championship, sophomore captain Jordan Shutt and his Christian Academy lacrosse teammates had reason to be proud.
They had notched the first team state title in school history – in any sport – and finished the year at No. 4 in the LaxPower state rankings. All of this for a program that had competed at the varsity level for just four years.
According to head coach Phil Brock, it was Shutt, a fierce defenseman and field general, who took control during last year’s title run. “For a sophomore to take on that responsibility, with 3,500 people in the stands, says a whole lot about his character and stature,” he said.
Now a junior, Shutt is taking on even greater challenges after the Centurions were promoted to Division-I for the 2011 season. In addition to CAL, Division-I consists of Trinity, St. Xavier, Collegiate and Kentucky Country Day.
Coach Brock thinks Shutt is just the player to lead the team into this new era. “Jordan is well respected by his teammates because of his attitude, his commitment and the strength that he brings to this team. He’s a dynamic kid and just an outstanding player who works hard between games to master his skills. He’s a true technician on the defense side of the field,” Brock said.
The Centurions (6-7) are still looking for their first win against a D-I opponent after falling short against Trinity and St. Xavier earlier in the year.
An away match against KCD on Thursday, May 12, and home versus Collegiate on Saturday, May 14, will conclude the regular season and determine if they receive a seed into the state quarterfinals on Wednesday, May 18.
Before facing off against Eastern last Thursday, a game CAL won 14-1, Shutt took time to answer questions about his career, summer plans and outlook on the rest of this season.How did you get your start in lacrosse?
I came to Christian Academy in seventh grade and started playing after my friend Hunter Jordan asked me to try out. I’ve played soccer (two-year starter at CAL) all my life and a little bit of football and hockey, but I didn’t pick up lacrosse until all of my friends started playing. They were more experienced and really good so that made it easier (to learn the game).
Coach Brock described you as a “silent leader”. How do you motivate your teammates without being vocal?
I guess being a silent leader means always working hard in practice, doing my job on defense and leading through my actions. I still try to be vocal at times, when it’s needed to get the team going. Honestly, I just play as hard as I can as long as I can.
What has been the most difficult in transitioning to D-I?
We’ve been able to play competitively against these teams. The biggest problem is going up against bigger teams. Sometimes there is an intimidation factor.
Last season’s D-II title was a good high but this season we started by losing to Manual. It was a reality check. Here we are moving up to D-I and we just lost to a D-II team. It put us in our place. Since then we’ve been working, conditioning and getting a lot more fit. Practices have been more productive and there’s been a real change in attitude.
Do you have any plans for the summer?
Right when school gets out I’m going to Honduras with 25 other students on a medical mission trip. My dad (David) is a dentist, so we go down there to pull teeth and do whatever we can to help the people. Then in July, I’m going to Haiti with a different group to distribute food, help out in the community and bond with some of the kids.
What would you like to accomplish in the final weeks of this season?
I want to get better as a player and be able to push when necessary to make the team better. I want us to be more consistent, and I think we’re getting that now toward the end of the season.
I’m excited to see how far we go.