Episode 28 of Across College Lacrosse is here! On this special edition, I had the chance to sit down an interview NJIT Highlanders head coach Travis Johnson and assistant coach Alex Lopes to discuss the program after spending time talking to the staff and exploring their new Wellness and Events Center.
The Highlanders have come a long way as a university. It was a Division III school for so long before making moves to Divisions II and I respectively. The Wellness and Events Center opened up this past November, in time for the start of basketball season. NJIT’s soccer and lacrosse teams will play on campus once again in the 2018-19 season right outside the center.
The team was able to use the majority of the facilities beginning last season while playing and practicing last season. With a year under their belt inside their new home, the Highlanders now look to really kickstart their program with the current players as well as future Highlanders.
The podcast is below, followed by a gallery of the Wellness and Events Center.
- Quick news segment (2:47)
- NJIT interview (11:47)
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Take a look at some pictures from the trip up to Newark.
- NJIT’s new basketball arena can sit around 3,500 fans and opened this past season. It replaced the Fleisher Center, which sat around 1,500 spectators and had bleachers on one side of the court. Chris Jastrzembski
- NJIT’s new soccer and lacrosse stadium will be built right outside the Wellness and Events Center, where the old stadium, Lubetkin Field at J. Malcolm Simon Stadium, was. The new stadium will be built where the old Fleisher Center stood. Chris Jastrzembski
- The 11,580 square foot turf room is used by many of NJIT’s teams. For lacrosse, the coaches plan to have it available for players to have extra shooting sessions, as well as potential individual group workouts and box lacrosse in the near future. Chris Jastrzembski
- Another view of the basketball court. Many of the other lines on the court are used for intramural sports. Chris Jastrzembski
- NJIT’s 5,710 square foot fitness center has been beneficial to all of the Highlander programs, including lacrosse. The new center can fit over 45 student-athletes at once, compared to the old fitness area. Chris Jastrzembski
- Head Athletic Trainer Matt Koscs shows off the center’s digital addition to their weight lifts. Each station has a touchscreen tablet that shows each student-athlete’s personalized workout and cameras to tape athletes and show their technique. It’s used by a handful of other programs, including Kansas basketball. Chris Jastrzembski
- More of NJIT’s fitness center, including medicine balls in the back. Chris Jastrzembski
- The fitness center also has a small turf area for short sprints and shuttles. Chris Jastrzembski
- Another picture of NJIT’s fitness center. Chris Jastrzembski
- NJIT’s locker room is nearby the athletic fitness center. There are 45 total individual stalls with hooks, a cubby, a padded seat with storage underneath, a personal safe, and their name plate. Another shelf is expected for next season. Chris Jastrzembski
- The Highlanders received two STX Stallion helmets, a matte red and a glossy white. They will receive the Rival helmets for next season. The players enjoyed wearing the Stallion helmets last season and picked them prior to the start of last year. Chris Jastrzembski
- Another angle of the men’s lacrosse locker room, which includes a TV and whiteboard. The TV has closed-circuit access to watch other NJIT sports. Chris Jastrzembski
- Another angle of the locker room. Chris Jastrzembski
- NJIT has three of these stick holders for the team. Each holder has 24 holes, and each hole can fit up to three sticks. Each NJIT player comes in with three sticks to start the season, as well multiple gloves, arm and elbow pads, cleats, and apparel to be used for practice and games. Chris Jastrzembski
- NJIT’s training room includes a hot and cold bath. They can fit up to 15 people each. Chris Jastrzembski
- The training room also includes an underwater treadmill for rehabbing purposes. Chris Jastrzembski
- The training room includes multiple upright seats for rehab, with the NJIT logo on each seat. Chris Jastrzembski
- More upright seats inside the training room. Chris Jastrzembski
- NJIT’s film room can fit about 96 people and can also be split in half. The Highlanders are able to do separate film sessions at once. Chris Jastrzembski
- The bleacher are in at NJIT’s new soccer and lacrosse stadium. The new stadium will be able to hold around 1,000 spectators with an 851-seat grandstand. Chris Jastrzembski
- More bleachers and stadium seats are installed on the other side of the new soccer and lacrosse stadium. Chris Jastrzembski
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