Adrenaline Club Player Spotlight: Sam Kopf
April 30th, 2015
Sam Kopf (Seattle Starz/West Coast Starz/Tropics/Adrln All American/Navy)
How long have you been playing lacrosse? What got you started?
My mom introduced me to lacrosse in 4th grade. She had played lacrosse in high school on the east coast (West Minster School) and thought I would enjoy lacrosse, which I did.
How did you get involved in the game?
I started playing on a neighborhood team that a couple of my classmates played on. After a year or so of this I changed to another more competitive team and started playing select lacrosse (Cascade Clash at the time).
What peaked your interest?
Lacrosse demands such a unique skill set. Plus it was fast paced, physical and really hard. At the time (4th grade), I was playing soccer, so the physicality of lacrosse in particular peaked my interest.
Are you parents athletes? What did they play, when and how far did they go?
Both my parents were college athletes. After playing field hockey, lacrosse and swimming at West Minster Prep School in Connecticut, my mom went on to Kenyon College where she swam and was an All-American and National Champion (DIII) multiple years. My Dad grew up between St. Louis and Rhode Island and ran varsity cross country and track at Brown University.
When did you start giving back to the community and what got you started?
The lacrosse community in Washington, Seattle and the surrounding areas in particular, is a pretty tight knit. After I had been recruited to play college lacrosse, I began helping out with local lacrosse camps, West Coast Starz events and other various lacrosse events in Seattle. Growing up with the same general group of coaches since 5th or 6th grade, it was only natural that after being recruited it was my turn to start helping others do the same, as well as help continue to help grow the sport in Washington.
You’ve been apart of Seattle Starz Lacrosse since you started playing. How do you feel the program prepared you for your collegiate career?
The coaches have always put my teammates and I in a position to play against the highest level of competition by traveling back east to prestigious tournaments. Also just in Seattle, Starz has always encouraged my growth as a player and provided the resources necessary to improve.
What lessons, if any, do believe that you will take away from lacrosse that will help you later in life?
Hard work coupled with team cohesion is the key to success and fun.
What position do you play, and why?
I play middie because I enjoy working hard between the lines, running up and down the field, getting ground balls, scoring goals, but also working hard on defense. I also enjoy the challenge of face-offs.
What would be your ultimate achievement?
My ultimate lacrosse achievement would be winning a national championship. I cant say I’m sure of my ultimate life achievement yet.
What’s the best part about playing Seattle Starz Lacrosse?
I’ve met some of my best friends, both players and coaches, through Seattle Starz. Not only has Starz been pivotal in helping me get recruited, but it’s introduced me to some of the most important people in my life currently.
Any Hobbies or interests off of the field?
I have all kinds of hobbies and interests. I love fishing, though I don’t do it as much as I’d like. I love playing golf. I spend a lot of my time listening to music, reading books, spending time outside, hanging out with friends, hanging out with my 2 dogs and 2 cats. I enjoy learning about all kinds of things.
What is one of your most memorable goals?
Since I started playing lacrosse in fourth grade my goal has been to play DI lacrosse. That goal should, if all goes as planned, come true at the Naval Academy next year. I couldn’t be more excited and thankful for the opportunity.
What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
My mom is really into health and well being, so I do yoga with her a lot. I also lift weights with my high school football team, which is a bit different. Probably most significantly though I try to shoot with my Starz coaches a couple times a week in and out of season.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Never, ever, ever give up.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My moms a cancer survivor which is pretty inspiring to me. Both my parents are honest hard workers that inspire me. Outside of my immediate family and extended family, I draw a lot of inspiration from literature. My dad’s an avid reader and he’s introduced me to some really inspirational stuff.
Where do you want to go to college, and why? What do you plan to major in?
Next year I’ll be going to the United States Naval Academy. The mix of DI lacrosse, top notch academics, and the opportunity to serve my country seems like the perfect package to me. Right now I’m thinking I’ll major in chemistry.
How has your HS lax experience been? And what is it like with Starz vs. HS level?
Starz has been an awesome experience that I’m really grateful for. Though high school lacrosse has not been as competitive for me, I’ve still had a lot of fun and had great coaches throughout my four years.
What’s your ultimate lacrosse aspiration?
My ultimate lacrosse aspiration is to win a national championship.
How would you describe your playing style?
I think I work hard while I’m on the field. I think I’m a pretty versatile lacrosse field. Whether it’s offense, defense, face-offs or ground balls I just try to always be working hard.
Any obstacles you’ve had to overcome while playing lacrosse?
Playing in a non-traditional area, it can be hard to play top level competitive lacrosse year round. Starz has helped me overcome this obstacle, in scheduling tournaments on the east coast during the fall, winter and summer seasons.
What is the most difficult adjustment you’ve had to make in your lacrosse career so far?
In eighth grade I was twice as big as everyone. Now I’m a pretty average 5’10” or so. Size has become less of a factor in my game since then. I wouldn’t say it was a very hard adjustment, or one that I particularly noticed.
What has been your experience in working as a part of a team? What is your personal definition of success?
To work as a cohesive team on the lacrosse field is an awesome experience because you can feel unstoppable. Personally success means more to me than winning. I think success involves the experience as well as the outcome. I also think you gotta learn something to truly experience success.
Do you have/what is your personal motto?
Never, ever, ever give up.
Of what accomplishments in your life are you most proud?
I’m proud to be going to Navy next year. I also think it was a privilege to have served in leadership roles at my high school (Seattle Prep) such as captain of the football and lacrosse teams, as well as rector of a Jesuit junior year retreat called Kairos. I’m definitely grateful to have been nominated an Adrenaline All American also.
What was your most memorable lacrosse moment this past year?
We had our first big upset win last week. It was an awesome feeling.
What legacy do you hope to leave in your HS/club lacrosse career?
I hope I’ve helped make the Seattle Prep high school lacrosse experience better for my team mates.
What are your goals in college academically and athletically?
I’d like to maintain good grades and play a lot of lacrosse during my four years.
What type of life lessons has lacrosse taught you?
Hard work will overcome.
What type of career are you interested in the future?
Something in the field of science or medicine. I don’t how realistic I’m being but to be some sort of brain or heart surgeon could be really interesting.