Apple Valley junior Jacob DeWall (15) Lakeville South at Apple Valley, boys' lacrosse, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at Apple Valley High School. Photo by Mark Hvidsten
By BRYCE EVANS Special to the Star Tribune
Jacob DeWall shrugs off the question.
“Nah, my [summer] schedule’s not too busy,” DeWall, a rising senior at Apple Valley, said. “Nothing crazy.”
OK, let’s check on that: Monday through Thursday, DeWall is up and out the door by 7 a.m. He has to be in the weight room by 7:30, running through his double-duty of workouts for both the hockey and football teams until 8:45 a.m.
It’s straight to the rink after that for two hours of on-ice training starting at 9:15. Then he gets a break, until the hour-and-a-half he has to spend at lacrosse practice for his elite travel team three nights each week.
And what’s a summer break without a few trips? There are the three national lacrosse tournaments DeWall and Team Minnesota will play in. And traveling to various scrimmages, tournaments and passing camps for hockey and football. Of course, there are weekly summer league lacrosse games, too.
Still, DeWall just shrugs it off.
“I like to think that I take a lot of pride in all the sports I play, and you have to put in the work,” he said.
DeWall might be nonchalant about his ability not only to balance a three-sport schedule during an era of high school athletic specialization, but he also excels at each sport. Those around him, though — from coaches to teammates to school administration — marvel at what he has able to accomplish.
It’s a reason that DeWall is one of just a handful of three-sport captains in school history.
“Before he ever steps on the field, you know he’s the type of player you want to have,” Apple Valley lacrosse coach Michael Evans said. “He’s the kind of kid everyone wants to coach — a player you can count on and a player that not only does the right thing but leads by example and shows everyone else what’s expected of them.”
DeWall had a breakout lacrosse season as a junior. A starter since ninth grade, he racked up a team-high 61 points (23 goals and 38 assists) in just 14 games for the 4-10 Eagles. He had five goals in a loss to Rosemount and 11 points (including eight assists) in a victory over Farmington.
He achieved those numbers while playing midfield and sharing a load of defensive responsibility. He earned first team all-Section 3 honors from the state coaches’ association.
At just 5-11 and 170 pounds, DeWall isn’t an overpowering athlete. He’s an all-purpose back in football, mostly lining up as a slot receiver. In hockey, he plays on the blue line.
He’s hoping to play lacrosse in college, likely at the NCAA Division II or III level. His summer tournaments with Team Minnesota will play a big role in sorting that all out, he said.
Really, though, he has focused more on his senior year ahead. He has been in leadership positions growing up through the Apple Valley youth hockey association, and he’s been a leader on the lacrosse team for several years already. The one surprise to him, he said, was being named a captain in football.
“It really means a lot to me that people think of me that way,” he said. “I take it seriously, and I take a lot of pride in it.”
“It’s my last year of high school, so, yeah, there’s some extra [motivation],” he added. “I wouldn’t say that I have any specific goals for the year apart from just doing the best I can and helping my team do the same. You just have to put the work in and see where it takes you, and wait for it to pay off.”