It didn’t take Reece Callies long to realize he had found the place he will call home for the next few years.
“As soon as I got on campus, I could see myself there for the next four years,” he said.
Callies, who graduates from Langley Secondary this June, has accepted a field lacrosse scholarship off to High Point University, a private liberal arts college in High Point, North Carolina.
Callies, who verbally committed to the school back in December, signed his national letter of intent on Feb. 6.
For Callies, it came down to two schools: Denver University or High Point.
“I knew I wanted to go before I even set foot on the Denver campus,” Callies said, adding that he loved the atmosphere on the High Point campus.
He joins a fledgling lacrosse program which will be in its second year when Callies arrives.
That was also part of the appeal, knowing there would be no juniors or seniors to push for playing time.
“That was a big selling point,” Callies admitted. “I feel I will have more opportunity.”
For their part, the Panthers coaching staff are just as excited to land Callies.
“He is a big, athletic kid who sees the field really well,” said coach Jon Torpey.
“He has only scratched the surface of how good he can be.”
Callies caught the eye of the High Point coaching staff in the fall of 2011 when he was playing for Team BC at a tournament in Maryland.
“I got a chance to watch him there and then followed him the next couple of months,” Torpey said.
“We did everything we could to get him on board.”
The coach said that how much playing time Callies gets as a freshman depends on he adapts to his new surroundings and teammates. But Torpey doesn’t envision many problems.
“He is unique because he is so versatile: he can play offence, he can play defence, he can (take) face-offs,” Torpey said.
“We recruited him as a multiple threat all over the field.”
Torpey is especially impressed with Callies’ play in the open field and how he sees the game develop.
“I think he has a ton of potential to be a special player for us,” Torpey said.
“The kind of guy you would want to build a foundation around, the kind of people you want in your organization as you are getting things off the ground.”
Callies, who plans to study business, said education was just as important as lacrosse, and High Point offers him a chance to excel in both.
“I want to be a part of a winning team,” Callies said.
“(Coach) knows what he he is doing and I feel he is bringing in a good group of guys.”
And Callies is just happy he can continue playing the game he loves.
He began playing lacrosse about 10 years ago, after watching a cousin play, and was hooked immediately.
And earlier this month (Feb. 17) Callies helped his Langley Thunder team win the U19 tier 1 field lacrosse provincial championship.
And his coach with the Thunder, Bryan Poole, had high praise for Callies, who he has coached in both box and field lacrosse over the years.
“Scoring, defence, he is just an all-around player,” Poole said.
“(And) he is probably the best face-off guy in B.C.; he is just awesome.”
Poole added that after goaltender Ryley Brown, who won the most valuable player award at provincials, Callies was probably a close second on the team.