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The connection between a player and a coach is always strong, but for Servite attack Jack Terrones and coach Tom O’Leary, that is especially true.

On Oct. 28, Terrones committed to follow in O’Leary’s footsteps and play NCAA Division II at Southern New Hampshire University.

“He was telling me about it and it’s kind of like a great place,” Terrones said. “I went there to visit and I really liked it and the way he’d described it, it sounded like a good place to me.”

O’Leary had piqued Terrones’ interest, which prompted him to visit the school in September. He was comfortable on campus immediately and was impressed with what the academic program had to offer for his major, business.

“It is beyond challenging to express my sense of pride in our senior captain, Jack Terrones,” O’Leary said by email.  “Since Jack was in middle school, I have witnessed his ascend into the Orange County lacrosse spotlight.  He made an immediate impact on the program his freshman year, as one of the only four year varsity starters in program history. 

I have no doubt Jack will be able to help Coach Calkins do the same, in his first year at Southern New Hampshire University.  To have the opportunity to coach a player like Jack, is a blessing to begin with.  But to see that young man go to play for your alma mater truly augments the bond between player and coach.  I am grateful to Matt and Sherri Terrones for choosing Servite for their sons.”

Terrones is up for the challenge of playing college lacrosse after a standout prep career at Servite. He was named a starter as a freshman, something that he embraced and used to set up success in later seasons.

“First I didn’t expect to start right away because I was younger than their seniors, but once I got the spot and everything I was really excited,” Terrones said. “I felt like I belonged out there and it was fun playing with all the guys and get better so I could compete with everyone else.”

In his freshman season in 2017, Terrones was named First Team All-League and All-County after logging 57 points — 39 goals, 18 assists — to go with 46 ground balls.

He repeated the performance as a sophomore with 60 points (40 goals, 20 assists, 32 ground balls) and as a junior with 57 points (46 goals, 11 assists, 28 ground balls). He finished his junior campaign as the Trinity League’s leading scorer.

Terrones also competed with West Coast Stars, 3d San Diego and So Cal Express in travel lacrosse.

Now, as a senior, Terrones has his sights set on a Trinity League title, something that has eluded Servite since the inception of the program.

“That’s one of my big goals, to win a Trinity League title and leave something from my time at Servite, to have a legacy.”