Athletes of the Issue: Chris Sherk: Gifted Goalie
Chris Sherk ’18, a Co-Captain of Hopkins Boys Varsity Lacrosse, has been a prominent force in the program’s defense for the past six years. “Although he only started playing lacrosse in seventh grade, he’s one of the best goalies [Hopkins] has ever seen,” said attackman Quinn Schneider ’18.
Sherk began playing goalie out of necessity: “In seventh grade the goalie shattered his leg and the boys needed a new goalie, so I decided to play,” Sherk commented. “[Lacrosse] is the only sport where Chris can stand in the net and be lazy... I think that was part of the appeal,” Co-captain Mitchell Delfini ’18 joked. Being a goalie is not only about stopping shots, but also leading the rest of the defense. “I’ve played on really good teams before Hopkins, but Chris seems to unite the defense more than any other goalie I’ve played for,” said attackman Cooper Bucklan ’21. Head Coach Scott Bartush explained his theory for Sherk’s success as a captain: “He’s used to leading the defense, which I think is why he’s so good at leading the entire team.”
“From the moment I began coaching [at Hopkins], Chris stood out to me as a natural leader.” Bartush said, “Chris has an incredible work ethic,” Delfini commented, “Sometimes Chris and I will wake up early, just so he can see shots before Assembly. He is willing to put in the time and effort to make the team better - that’s what sets him apart from others.”
Sherk often ends tough practices and games with a “family on three” chant. Bucklan elaborated on this act as a younger player on the team, stating, “Chris is almost like a father figure on the field. He is kind to all of us and really commands the team with care.” Bartush expanded on this familial leadership saying, “Over my 14 years of coaching players, some of whom go on to play Division I in college and even in the MLL (Major League Lacrosse), I’ve never been around a captain that has such dedication to each individual teammate.”
After a tough first half against Suffield Academy in early April, Bartush stated, “Chris is keeping [the team] in the game right now.” This was no exaggeration, as Sherk holds the school record for most saves in a single game, and multiple league achievements, including being named Western New England all-league Sophomore year and an FAA honorable mention his Junior year. “Chris is a standout lacrosse player and captain.” Schneider commented.
Sherk is undecided as to whether he will continue to compete at the collegiate level. Focusing on the present, Sherk stated, “My favorite memory of Hopkins lacrosse was our double overtime upset win against Wilbraham and Monson, but I hope to top this by winning the FAA championship this year.”