By Will LeBlond
The connection between the Ithaca High School and Ithaca College lacrosse programs has grown deeper with a new addition to the men’s lacrosse team at IC.
The Bombers have announced that high school All-American Jaedon Henderson has joined the program as a volunteer assistant coach for the upcoming 2018 season. He recently completed four years of NCAA lacrosse with the University of Hartford following his career with the Little Red.
Henderson, who has been playing lacrosse since he was in the second grade, just could not get away from the sport he loves.
“Lacrosse has been a part of my life for so long,” said Henderson. “I didn’t want to get away from it, so I decided to coach.
“Ithaca is such a prominent area when it comes to lacrosse,” he added, “and I thought Ithaca College would be a perfect spot to get my coaching career started.”
Henderson’s accolades continued in the college ranks, where he was a 100-point scorer for the Hawks and was named an All-America East Conference second team pick to wrap up his career. With his college playing days behind him and his coaching career set to begin, he hopes his success on the field will translate to success for the Bombers.
“I think my game experience will help,” said Henderson. “I can give the guys some tips, whether it be in a close game, or some other situational things, but other than that, it’s really on the guys to go out and perform.”
The Bombers have performed well for the past few seasons, as IC reached the NCAA quarterfinal round in 2016 and was one win shy of a return trip to the NCAA Tournament last spring. Henderson will look to help get the Bombers back into the national spotlight. It should be a seamless transition into the coaching staff considering his history.
“Just being from Ithaca and going to Ithaca High School, I’ve known coach (Jeff) Long for a while,” said Henderson. “He’s seen me play down at the high school, so we’ve built up a bit of a relationship.”
He looks back at those playing days with the Little Red fondly, as he was a part of two Little Red teams that reached the New York State Championship game and won four straight Section IV Class A titles as well.
“That was definitely one of the most memorable times of my high school career,” said Henderson on his championship years with the Little Red. “That and playing in back-to-back state title games. Those two years were definitely some of the most memorable times.”
With the Bombers for the fall non-competition season, Henderson will be now be helping the squad ready for the spring season, and he’s gotten a good gauge of what this IC team is made of. With his championship pedigree and the team that the Bombers have, Henderson has high expectations for the upcoming season.
“There’s a lot of buzz around IC,” he said about the success of other Ithaca College teams this fall. “Ever since I started in the fall, guys have been going hard at our practices, giving it 110 percent every single day to get better. I think we have a really great chance of making some things happen this year.”
Henderson and the Bombers will have to wait until February 28, when they will open up the 2018 season with a home game against Lycoming College.