Lacrosse: White learning to be a leader

Balers sophomore Jason White has been one of the team's top players this season.

Jason White remembers the euphoria he felt after the San Benito High lacrosse team beat Soquel near the end of the 2015 season. Even though it went down in the record books as the Haybalers’ second win, players and coaches felt like it was their first (San Benito won via forfeit earlier in the season).
White and his teammates realized all of the hard work they had put in was for a greater purpose—to set the tone for a first-year program. And that’s exactly what last year’s team did. The Balers have won four matches this season, a byproduct of a couple of athletes on the team playing year-round.
San Benito entered the week at 4-8 overall and 2-7 in the Mission Trail Athletic League. White, a sophomore midfielder and attacker, happens to be one of the players who compete for a club team in the off-season.
“The highlight in my time here is seeing all of us get better,” White said. “I’m really excited and happy with my teammates this season. Each one of us is giving a great effort. We’ve all grown a lot together. My main goal is to be a team player and help my teammates improve.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound White plays a rough-and-tumble style that all teams need to employ to achieve success. In a sport that can get downright physical, White knows how to dish out punishment and take it, too.
“I’m a pretty big guy, and I can usually make good contact (when it comes to checking or hitting an opponent),” he said.
White had a goal and three assists in an 8-7 overtime loss to Christopher on April 16. Balers coach Don Jones said the performance showed just how far White has come.
“Jason is having a good season, and he really got his teammates involved in the Christopher game,” Jones said. “He’s learning to be a little smarter and patient with the ball, which is great. He’s also great on face-offs. If we need to win a face-off, he’s the guy to do it for us.”
A solid defender, White said lacrosse has helped him excel in other areas of his life.
“You’ve got to show a lot of dedication in this sport to get better, because it isn’t easy,” he said. “If I’m struggling in school, I know I have to work that much harder for success.”
White developed a strong work ethic early on as he watched his oldest sister, Jessica, spend countless hours honing her craft to become a better tennis player. White fell in love with the lacrosse after watching former Balers teammate Tyler Armstrong play four years ago.
Jones has high expectations of White, who represents the present and future for the lacrosse program.
“I expect him to lead by example,” Jones said. “He has quite a bit of more experience compared to some of our other kids. We need him to show leadership and say, ‘Hey, I’ll show you how to do this.’ In the end, we’ll be stronger.”
White has a deep connection with lacrosse, as his grandfather, Eric White, played the sport recreationally while he was in the Navy. Eric was a petty officer, second class.
“It’s an honor to play on this team,” Jason said. “My grandfather played, and his brother played. It’s a big part of our lives.”

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