Trabuco Hills junior Jason Kauo has verbally committed to play NCAA Division 2 lacrosse for Colorado Mesa University. Kauo finished 2016 with 27 goals and 3 assists while earning Second Team All South-Coast All-League honors.
“The first thing that drew me to CMU was the coaching staff”, Kauo explained by email. “I believe the head coach, Vince Smith, has the coaching style that will challenge me as a player and take my game to the next level. Practicing with the team, I felt like a part of their lacrosse family. The players are very close to each other and I know that I will be supported by my teammates. In addition, I really liked the campus, the location of the school, and the numerous outdoor activities you can do in the local area.”
The Mavericks finished 2016 with a 12-4 record, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship and a no. 12 ranking. The Grand Junction, Colorado campus has become an increasingly popular destinations for Orange County High School players. The 2017 roster features nine players who graduated from Orange County high schools including two of Kauo’s ex teammates.Jake Douglas (Tesoro), Steve Brandenburg (Los Alamitos), Logan Olmsted (JSerra), Cayson Fincher (JSerra), Nick Georgagi (JSerra), Harrison Evans (Trabuco Hills), Johnny Cary (Temecula Valley), Michael Marino (Aliso Niguel) and Nick Wilson (Trabuco Hills).
With Kauo following in the footsteps of Wilson and Harrison, second year head coach Eric Bassett is getting used to sending his players off to Grand Junction. “I am extremely happy for Jason, he is a great player with a great attitude. We are proud to see him represent Trabuco Hills Lacrosse at the next level,” Trabuco Hills coach Eric Bassett said by email. Jason is another great example of how hard work pays off. He is a great player with an exceptional attitude. We are proud to have him represent Trabuco Hills Lacrosse at the next level.”
As his become the norm for college-bound players the last few years, Kauo still has plenty of high school lacrosse to play before he begins his collegiate career. Like any competitor, he has set some lofty goals for himself. “After being named Second Team All League my sophomore year, it is my goal to be First Team All League and be named First Team All County before I graduate”, he said. “Ultimately, it is my goal to continue to improve my game and prepare myself for college lacrosse. For my team I want to keep the streak going and help lead my team to the playoffs and win league.”
“I would like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and teammates for all of their support and help”, Kau continued. “The two coaches who have had the biggest impact on my lacrosse game are Brendan Finnerty and Johnny Rodriguez. Coach Finn and Coach Johnny have been there for me over the years supporting me with coaching and advice that have improved my game. I appreciate the support and encouragement of my head coach, Eric Bassett. Most importantly, my older brother John, playing lacrosse at NAU, and his lacrosse friends have always been there to push me and challenge me on the lacrosse field.”