Throughout all of Ed Prevost's travels in lacrosse, he's had two places to call home.
Prevost grew up in Watertown and played lacrosse at Immaculate Heart Central. This past year, he lived in Syracuse and completed his freshman campaign as a standout attacker for Onondaga Community College. Now, he's readying for a move to Raleigh, N.C.
Prevost signed a letter of intent last week with the University of North Carolina to compete for the Tar Heels in 2010. He'll play for OCC as a sophomore this season. The Lazers' top returning offensive threat was grateful to finish the first step in fulfilling his Division I dreams.
"It felt really good," said Prevost in a phone interview. "I had a home. I didn't have to worry about anything. I just need to apply to school now, and it's all set in stone."
OCC head coach Chuck Wilbur said Prevost has earned the right to get a Division I scholarship. Prevost, listed at 5-feet-10 and 170 pounds, paced the team with 47 goals and 66 assists last year. He was the offensive linchpin on a Lazers' squad that advanced to the semifinals in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament. Most notably, Prevost's effort led to his selection as the National JUCO Player of the Year.
"He's the hardest-working kid I've had here," Wilbur said. "I think he's talented, obviously. We've had superstar players, but I don't think we've had someone who works harder."
Wilbur said Prevost is a quick and skilled performer, but he needs to become more of an instinctive player. Prevost said he's been working with volunteer assistant Nick Gatto - who played on OCC's national championship team in 2006 - to address that specific tendency. The Lazers also claimed the 2007 title, but Prevost and OCC fell short last year with a loss to Nassau Community College in the semis.
Prevost spends the extra practice with Gatto with hopes of relieving the emotional pain suffered in the tournament.
"My goal, after it's all said and done, is win a national title," Prevost said. "After what happened last year, I'm doing all I can to not experience that again this year."
And if Prevost gets his elusive title, he'll strive for one more at North Carolina. He went to the Tar Heels' alumni weekend at the end of September. He met with players and new UNC head coach Joe Breschi. But the family atmosphere stuck with Prevost. It felt like his future home.
As expected, the endless hours of practice and training won't stop for Prevost. He'll carry his work ethic and grades worthy of the President's List into this season, and then to Raleigh.
"He hasn't reached his full potential yet," Wilbur said. "He's always asking the coaching staff what he can do to get better."
JAMIESON PREPARING FOR SU
Wilbur believes Syracuse will have its next superstar lacrosse player in January.
The OCC coach said former Lazers standout Cody Jamieson is enrolled at SU as a part-time student this semester. But Jamieson, who is a complete offensive package at attack, is taking enough credits where he could attend the school full-time next semester.
Despite earlier reports, Wilbur said some of Jamieson's credits didn't transfer initially, which kept him from joining the Orange's lacrosse team during its fall session. He said Jamieson was taking courses where he could earn "around" 11 credits.
If Jamieson makes the team, it should end any of Syracuse's offensive worries. Jamieson was the Lazers' best player during their championship runs in 2006 and 2007. He led OCC to a combined 33-0 record both years and was the Most Valuable Player of both title games. Jamieson also led the nation in scoring with 116 points (65 goals, 51 assists) in 2007.
"He'd be the best player in Division I lacrosse," Wilbur said. "He's a relentless kid. The points come to him. He feeds, he rides and he's unstoppable one on one."
An athletic administrator at Syracuse declined to comment on Jamieson's status at the university, but said "he's still a prospect." He also said Orange head coach John Desko would not comment on the matter. But Wilbur's convinced Jamieson will be wearing a Syracuse uniform.
"You never know, but I'd be shocked if he wasn't there in the spring," Wilbur said.