Signing Day 2020: Zack Keisling signs to play lacrosse at the Virginia Military Institution

Senior,  Zack Keisling signs his national letter of intent to play lacrosse at VMI.

Senior, Zack Keisling signs his national letter of intent to play lacrosse at VMI.

by Erich Miller, Photo Editor

On November 11, Zack Keisling participated in the #2020NationalSigningDay.

Keisling committed to play lacrosse at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI).

“I chose VMI because of the strong academic and the military aspects of it. I have talked to many people there and they all have said, ‘you will be set for life if you graduate from VMI’,” said Keisling.

Keisling views this as a once in a lifetime opportunity and cannot wait to get started.

VMI is coming off of a 4-9 season in 2019 and started off the 2020 season 0-4.

Due to COVID, their season was cut short and many of their games were cancelled. This has been a common response from many colleges, with most hoping to resume their seasons in the spring.

Keisling hopes to come in and make an immediate impact as a midfielder for VMI.

Keisling is undecided if he wants to join the military after college. Keisling has decided that he will be majoring in business, but he does not know what kind of business degree he will pursue yet.

Lori Keisling has seen her son’s growth over the year and is ready for his impact as well.

“He has grown so much as a person and a player when it comes to lacrosse. It just has made him better. He loves what he does and I look forward to seeing Zack grow in college,” said Lori Keisling. 

Although spending almost every weekend away due to constant tournaments seems tiring and repetitive, seeing your child commit to take their performance to the collegiate level is worth the sacrifice. Keisling contributes his success to these sacrifices.

“My parents have supported me the whole way. They have spent a majority of their weekends driving me around for games and tournaments.”

Many young kids hop around from sport to sport for years, trying to find what they’re passionate about, but Keisling was able to find his passion quickly in fifth grade.

Keisling played club lacrosse for Team Maryland from seventh grade up until his senior year of high school.

“Zach has transformed himself, he became the best face off player in the state in my opinions” Coach Thompson said.

VMI participates in Division 1 lacrosse, which is the highest division in college sports. Only about 6-7% of athletes compete at the collegiate level, so this is a great accomplishment for Keisling.

The Division 1 schedule is intimidating to almost everyone, but Keisling looks to follow his routine of training every day once he’s in college: lift six times a week and practice lacrosse skills five days a week. 

“Lacrosse has made Zack a better person by teaching him how to work hard and it showed since he’s going to play division one lacrosse,” his friend Caleb Bennett said.

Keisling does not shy away from the competition on or off the field, and can’t wait to start practicing with his team, and of course, take down his competition.

“I can’t wait to compete against the best each and every week!” said Keisling.