Steamboat Springs When the opportunity presented itself to leave the dull grays of Rochester, N.Y., for the sun of Tampa, Fla., it wasn’t a hard decision for Jasper Gantick.
The 2009 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, who played lacrosse his freshman year at Monroe Community College in Rochester before redshirting this past season, has transferred to the University of Tampa.
“I met some great people,” Gantick said about his time in Rochester. “But the winter is just brutal. Now it’s all tan and lacrosse.”
It also helps that Gantick is entering one of the more interesting Division II programs in the nation.
Tampa will play its inaugural year in fall under first-year coach Rory Whipple. Whipple is the all-time winningest coach in Division II history, and with a locale like Tampa, it’s not hard to imagine the program taking off quickly.
“Actually the recruiting went better than I anticipated,” Whipple said. “We got lots of kids, and we’ll be a lot better than I thought we would be. It’s a real nice school, and it helps it’s in Florida.”
Gantick used NCSA Athletic Recruiting after this past season at Monroe. There, his game tape was sent out to colleges across the country.
He considered a walk-on role at the University of Denver as well as several other Division II schools across the country.
But Whipple saw the tape, liked what he saw and brought Gantick in for a visit.
“First of all, it’s the weather,” Gantick said. “It doesn’t have the harsh Northeast weather. It’s sunny pretty much every day of the year. The coach really knows what he’s doing. Also I know that we’re going to be really competitive. It’s an easy school to draw good kids from New York and Maryland.”
Tampa also offered Gantick an opportunity to play right away.
Although Tampa’s first recruiting class features a gaggle of freshmen, Whipple said he wanted to balance out the class.
In addition to Gantick, the team includes four junior college All-Americans.
“We’re counting on him to come in and start right away for us,” said Whipple, who said he envisions Gantick as a long-stick midfielder. “He’s athletic, strong and has good stick skills. We’re hoping he brings a little maturity to our team.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com