The University of Michigan-Dearborn lacrosse team is set to start the 2018 season on Friday, Feb. 9 at home at the Detroit Country Day Fieldhouse against Olivet College at 8 p.m. After a difficult 2015-16 season, the Wolverines rebounded to finish one game below .500 last year and look to further improve this season. With the seven freshmen being the largest group on the team, the Wolverines will rely heavily on their new talents to build success.
So, who exactly are these freshmen that the Wolverines are counting on? Let’s get to know a few of them in this week’s Freshman Feature:
Steven Szymusiak is a freshman defenseman for the UM-Dearborn lacrosse team from Canton, Mich., where he started playing lacrosse in fifth grade and graduated from Canton High School. He also played football in high school, but lacrosse has always been his top priority.
Szymusiak originally was drawn to the school by the respected engineering program and is thankful to be able to play lacrosse for the Wolverines. As a defensive specialist, he hopes to use his skills to propel to the team to new heights this season and will “do whatever my team needs to win,” he says. Szymusiak is a mechanical engineering major possibly planning on a double major with manufacturing engineering, so you can find him studying in Mardigian Library while not at the Fieldhouse. The Wolverines hope he is as mathematical on the field as he is off the field this season.
Last year, Szymusiak captained his high school team to a regional championship and hopes he can accomplish more as a Wolverine.
Ethan Covert is an incoming defenseman who graduated from South Lyon High School. Growing up in South Lyon, Mich., Covert has played lacrosse since he was in sixth grade and wore down opposing offenses on the gridiron as a cornerback using his speed. That speed will be an asset to the Wolverines defense this season as well as the physicality needed in football and lacrosse alike.
Covert is a political science major aspiring to attend law school and serves as a senator for Student Government where he represents student interests at the school. But he’s not only making an impact at UM-Dearborn, he’s making an impact in the community. Covert is a member of the Mentors for a Brighter Day program, which requires a compassionate, patient, and empathetic above-average student and allows him to visit and mentor underprivileged kids at Whitmore-Bolles Elementary in Dearborn.
He was recruited by UM-Dearborn and declined going to Michigan State, Kalamazoo College, and Albion College to play for the Wolverines. As a freshman, he is looking forward to filling the shoes of last year’s graduating defensemen and “setting a new, higher standard for UMD lacrosse.”
Covert says his most memorable moment in lacrosse was winning a Notre Dame prospect tournament in the summer of 2016 but strives for greater achievements with the Wolverines.
Chad Reynolds is an incoming freshman from South Elgin, Illinois, where he started playing lacrosse in the fifth grade and graduated from St. Charles North High School. He’s a well-rounded athlete, playing six different sports throughout his life, which translates well to his position on the UM-Dearborn lacrosse team as a long-stick midfielder, one of the most important positions on the field.
When looking for a college, Reynolds had three things he was looking for, “a good pre-med program…to join R.O.T.C. [Reserve Officer Training Corps., a college funding program for students who are willing to complete a service obligation] and have it nearby and play a sport.” Nowhere around Chicago met all the criteria so he looked to Michigan, where his dad grew up, and found UM-Dearborn met the standards.
Reynolds is a biology major on the pre-med track also planning for a minor in psychology and hopes to get into medical school to become a physician in the military. He hopes to bring some defensive prowess to the Wolverines and hopes to help on face-off.
Reynolds hopes to make great memories at UM-Dearborn. “Some of my most memorable moments in lacrosse are from the bonds that I make with my teammates,” he said. “Lacrosse is more than just a sport, it’s a culture that I find to be much different and much more enjoyable than any other sport that I’ve played.”
Check back next week to meet the rest of the freshman lacrosse players.