Grant Soucy, a 17-year-old Lake Zurich High School senior, from Hawthorn Woods, recently was awarded an academic scholarship to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, in upstate New York. Soucy will play for the college’s lacrosse team, which is in Division 1, the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National College Athletic Associaton (NCAA).
Lake Zurich Patch did a Q&A with Grant in which he shares how he got the scholarship and offers some tips for students seeking scholarships.
How did you decide to apply for Hobart and William Smith Colleges?
When I was in 8th grade I realized that I seriously wanted to play a sport in college, either football or lacrosse, so every summer starting in 8th grade I would play for a travel lacrosse team (Team One). We would go to 3 tournaments every summer that were located in the east coast. At the tournaments would be recruiters from colleges, so it was up to me, and how well I played, to get noticed by a coach that was recruiting for their school.
By the summer going into my senior year of high school, schools started to show interest in me and asked me to go visit their campuses. That’s where I started getting an idea of where I may want to attend. I received 3 offers from schools for lacrosse: Hobart and William Smith, Boston University, and Bellarmine. All of them, I considered tremendously, especially Boston U. But once I weighed all of my options and thought of the school that would fit me best as a person, student, and athlete, I knew that Hobart was the right place for me to attend.
What is the significance of playing lacrosse in a Division 1 school?
It has always been a dream of mine to be a D1 athlete. Growing up I never really thought I had the size, or raw natural talent to accomplish it though. It's nice to know that all of the work I have put into lacrosse is going to benefit me and pay off.
To play for a D1 school is extremely exciting, it is that next level that every competitive athlete wants to be able to reach. It also gives me the opportunity to receive a great education and play against the best lacrosse teams in the country. I also think that a D1 sport will teach me a lot, especially time management and discipline, because I will need to balance a full time job (lacrosse) and a full time education.
When did you start playing lacrosse?
My dad bought me my first lacrosse stick when I was 6 years old, so I would play catch with him and my two brothers in the backyard. But we didn't have a lacrosse team in Lake Zurich till I was in 5th grade; I was 11 years old at that time. My brothers always wanted me to be a goalie so they could shoot on the goal with me in it, but I realized very quickly that goalie was not for me. So instead I played midfield from 5th grade till 8th grade. Once I went to high school I switched to defense because I knew, if I wanted to play lacrosse in college, I had a better chance at being recruited as a defender.
You also play football; tell me how the two sports compare?
There are definitely close parallels between football and lacrosse. Both of them are fast contact sports that require you to think and react very quickly. Both sports also stress the importance of a team and working together to achieve a common goal.
In football, I am a defensive back so the most important part of my game is my footwork and being quick on my feet. Luckily, for defenseman in lacrosse, footwork is also the most import thing. So I have been working on my footwork in both football and lacrosse, which helps me develop into a more advanced player in both sports.
I have been fortunate enough to play football for LZHS which has taught me many great life lessons, and most of all it has taught me to be very disciplined, which helps me be a better lacrosse player and person.
What are your other interests, activities?
I love playing sports; I am very competitive, especially football, lacrosse, soccer and basketball. I like to snowboard during the winters. I’m very interested in cooking and watching movies; my favorite movies are comedies.
Tell us about the scholarship you received?
I am receiving a mixture of athletic and academic scholarships to attend Hobart. The Coaches at Hobart have been extremely patient and helpful with me and the entire recruiting process; they have done many things to make it easy for me to go there.
What advice would you give other students seeking scholarships?
First, to research the schools and sports that they want to play in college because every sport has different scholarship rules and amount of scholarships that are allowed to be given out. Some schools don't give scholarships, whereas some schools can only give out 12 scholarships but they have a team full of 40 people.
Also, get good grades in high school and the standardized tests because merit scholarships are much more abundant than athletic scholarships.
And if you are trying to be recruited for a sport in college, start getting in contact with coaches as soon as possible; be proactive! You need to get your name out there to coaches, because they cannot always find you. And lastly, always try your hardest in anything you do because you never know who is watching you.
What are you planning to study in college?
Currently I plan on majoring in Biology and going the Pre-Med route. I’m not fully sure what Medical Career I want to pursue, but I will know once I try them out and find out where I feel most comfortable and happy. I love math and sciences and that is where I excel the most in the school.
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