Jake Love is adjusting to university athletics at Saint Leo

Miami native tries to settle in and carve his niche in the lacrosse organization

ST. LEO, Fla. — Jake Love is experiencing the tough transition from high school to university lacrosse firsthand.

After being one of the best on his team in the upper grades, the now-freshman is still trying to get used to being a new guy on the Saint Leo Lions team.

The defenceman on the Lions is finding his spot and creating the types of rituals he had with his high school teammates.

“In high school I had a passing ritual with one of my best friends, we would do it before every game,” Love said, standing at the University Turf Stadium. “But I haven’t started anything like that here yet.”

Although Love hasn’t created any rituals yet, he has found role models amongst his teammates.

“There’s a couple of guys I look up to,” said Love, who collected 75 ground balls and 45 takeaways with Palmetto High School. “Tucker Langmead, he’s one of the guys that helps me out a lot, and Jake Bye, he’s a really good defender.”

The Lions went 9-5 in the Sunshine State Conference in 2017. The team currently has 80 goals on 206 shots in the 2018 season.

Jake Love poses for a photo at the Saint Leo University Turf Stadium. He is in his first year of university athletics. (Ashley Taylor)

The 175-pound first year is already thinking about his future as a Lion, and strives to be one of the seniors the new freshmen will look up to.

“Well I definitely want to get bigger for next year, I want to just keep getting better,” said Love. “By the time I’m in my senior year I want to be a captain or at least have a lead role on the team.”