I had a chance to talk with Minnesota native and Homegrown alumni Jacob Matenaer about lacrosse, life, and Mila Kunis.
First of all, just tell us a little about yourself. Like what position you play, what high school did you go to, and what club team did you play for?
I played midfield for East Ridge High School, MN as well as for the Minnesota Yeti Club team under the coaching of Bob Felter and Adam Crane.
How’s everything at St Leo gone so far? How’s class going? What’s it like living in Florida?
It has been going well. Now that it is in season I have settled into a pretty standard routine, but I am always busy. Between classes, schoolwork, practices, games and lifts, any free time I do have I try to fill with naps to avoid the Florida heat.
What made you choose there? What’s your major?
I chose here because I really liked the lacrosse atmosphere on the team and how serious everyone took it. Also I liked the brand new School of Business for my major, Management.
Tell us a little bit about the recruiting process and how it went for you. What other schools did you look at?
It all started back in freshman year when a coach at a local camp told me I had potential and should try out for a select team. I tried out and ended up making the Yeti, and from there I realized everyone who played on the Yeti had goals to be recruited, so they took us to play in highly talented recruiting tournaments. I then made my mom or dad film all my lacrosse so I could put together a highlight film of my play to send to coaches. From there I sent it out to multiple schools and got multiple replies from all sorts of levels. I got replies from places like Adrian (DIII), ASU DI MCLA), St Leo (DII), Lehigh (DI), and lots of other DIII schools out on the east coast in the New England Area.
What’s been the biggest adjustment to college life? What’s been the biggest surprise?
The biggest adjustment and surprise is your independence. I never realized what it would feel like to have to do everything on your own, like cooking. I miss home cooked meals.
What stick have you been using this year? What type of pocket?
Currently I am using a Brine Clutch 2x, with a mid pocket strung by fellow teammate Chris Caizza from Lindenhurst, New York, which is located on Long Island.
Go to dodge?
My first two dodges of the game I like to go hard down the right ally just trying to be fast, then on my third dodge my opponent will be expecting that and I give a hard plant on my right foot to split back over the top to my left.
Any pre-game rituals?
I really like the feeling of clean teeth in a mouth guard, so generally before any game, before I go to the locker room, I will brush my teeth.
Best player you’ve ever played against?
No particular one, but when I was in Colorado playing in the Vail Shootout I had to play against the Baltimore Crabs, the number one U19 club team in the nation. Every single kid on their team was committed to play lacrosse at a top 25 DI program. They were unreal.
How did you get started playing lacrosse?
In 8th grade my friend at the time got me hooked on it when we were playing in his backyard.
Favorite lacrosse memory?
Scoring my first collegiate lacrosse goal this year.
Favorite sport besides lacrosse? Why?
Soccer. I never really liked it during high school but recently I’ve really enjoyed watching the premier league and I one day hope to go to England to see a live game.
You’re in the MLL trick competition, what do you do?
My favorite fake high, fake low, fake high again, turn around like you scored, then put it between your legs.
What Jersey Shore character do you relate to the most?
Honestly, I never have been a fan of Jersey Shore.
What do you put on your Subway sandwich?
I like to get an Italian BMT with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, green peppers, banana peppers, and ranch dressing.
Favorite athlete? Why?
I guess I don’t have a favorite athlete, but the athlete that inspires me the most would be Lance Armstrong. Everything he went through and the amount of training he put into his sport truly is a testament to what hard work and dedication can do for you.
Super power preference? Why?
I’d want to have the powers of the Green Lantern. To be able to fly and create anything out of a picture in your mind would be sweet.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Number one thing on your bucket list?
Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Number one song on your iPod’s most played list?
The Show Goes On- Lupe Fiasco
Best advice for an aspiring lacrosse player?
You will only be as good as you are willing to push yourself to be.
Finally, what’s one question you want to ask the next person we
One thing your sport has brought to your life?
Interview has been edited for clarity.