Jack Reichert is not a self-proclaimed thrill seeker, but the Western Albemarle lacrosse player knows how to bring people to their feet.
The junior attackman did just that last Friday night by scoring two late goals in a four-minute span to lead the Warriors to a 6-5 overtime victory over rival Albemarle in his team’s season opener.
Reichert scored with 1:56 left in regulation to force overtime. He followed that up with a goal off the rush in sudden death overtime to secure the victory.
That clutch scoring was more than enough to secure Schewels Athlete of the Week honors for Reichert, who credits his teammates for putting him in position to leave his mark.
“I think it was less about my performance and more about the team’s performance,” Reichert said. “We all moved the ball well and played as a team. We didn’t try to make selfish plays and always made the extra pass if it was there. That was definitely one of the greatest games of my career so far, a really great way to start the season.”
The journey to lacrosse has been a wild one for Reichert. An active youngster, he started playing lacrosse early in grade school. He also played baseball, basketball and soccer.
“I’ve always had a stick in my hands,” Reichert said. “I could’ve stuck with any of the other sports, but lacrosse always felt like the most natural for me. I never felt like I had to force myself to practice to get better. It’s just something I did because I started to realize I loved it so much. I always wanted to play lacrosse and go somewhere with it and since then, I’ve never second-guessed it.”
On top of the team sports, Reichert was introduced to skiing in the fourth grade when his family moved to Vermont. He competed in both alpine and slalom and really enjoyed the adrenaline rush of the slalom all the way through middle school.
“I first got involved in ski racing when my dad signed me up,” Reichert said. “At first, I didn’t really want to do it, but after my first season, all I wanted to do was ski more.”
Lacrosse surpassed skiing on Reichert’s list as a teenager as he started to refine his skills on the pitch. He patterns his game after Notre Dame attackman Ryder Garnsey.
“He plays with a style that is a lot different than others,” Reichert said. “Ryder plays with a sense of creativity and is able to make incredible plays in some of the most unexpected ways.”
Reichert provides a similar spark for the Warriors.
“Jack is a natural lacrosse player,” Western Albemarle coach Alex Whitten said. “His stick skills and knowledge of the game allow him to be naturally creative and that is a style of lacrosse that is fun to watch. He certainly stepped up his game this preseason, which was evident on Friday evening. He has been establishing himself as a leader and we are excited to witness his development this season.”
The junior attackman credits Whitten’s offensive philosophy for allowing him to utilize all his talents.
“Coach Whitten runs a very freelance type offense,” Reichert said, “He lets the players make the decisions and gives us more freedom than most coaches do. The key to running the offense is making smart decisions and not trying to do too much at one time. I think I fit in the offense because of my creativity and my ability to react to different situations.”
Reichert said he likes to go with the flow of the game and reacts to what opposing defenses are trying to do to him. He prides himself on making the “smart play” on every possession, whether it’s shooting, passing or keeping the play moving in the offensive zone.
“The biggest thing I have tried to add to my game this year is being consistent,” Reichert said. “I feel like I can do a lot of amazing things for my team, but if I can’t do it consistently, then it won’t matter.”
He spent this offseason working on his behind-the-back passing and shooting.
“It is primarily used in practice, but may be thrown out in a few games later in the year,” Reichert said.
Reichert said he has many interests outside of lacrosse. His favorite subjects are Spanish and math and credits his love of the language to his teacher, Ashley Holland.
“She has always been one of the nicest teachers and really knows how to make a class fun,” Reichert said.
Among his other interest are skiing and beating teammate Jack Weyher in FIFA, the popular soccer video game.
The Western Albemarle product would love to play at the collegiate level. Although the recruiting process has been slow to develop, most coaches he’s spoken with have been impressed with creativeness and the fact that he’s coachable.
Reichert said his ultimate goal would be to play college lacrosse at Washington & Lee University in Lexington.
As for this season, Reichert and his teammates have set the bar high in terms of team goals. The Warriors lost to E.C. Glass in the Class 3 state quarterfinals last season and believe they have the talent to go even further this season.
“It was a disappointing loss and a sad away to end the season,” Reichert said. “I feel like it has really motivated us for this year and will make us play harder and with more passion. We expect a state championship. If you want to win one, you can’t think otherwise.”
With goal scorers such as Sam Stalfort, Weyher and others, Reichert said the team has the offensive firepower to compete with most teams.
“I feel like other teams aren’t solely focused on me, but should be on the other talented attackmen that Western has,” Reichert said. “Sam Stalfort, Jack Weyher and I and as an attack line, we work together and work around each other to score. When we work together, we can create opportunities and goals, which is one of our biggest assets for our game this year.”