NXT 2020 James Chastain Commits to the Air Force Academy
Mar 14, 2017
James Chastain verbally committed to the Air Force Academy. He is the fifth NXT 2020 player to make a commitment and the first in NXT LC history to pledge to the Air Force Academy.
We talked with James to celebrate and share his commitment. We encourage lacrosse players and parents alike to read and learn from his story.
James Chastain, 2020 Defenseman
College Commitment: Air Force Academy, Class of 2024
High School: Avon Grove High School, Class of 2020
Current Club Team: NXT LC 2020
Former Teams: Avon Grove Wildcats, Rising Sons 2020
On the Air Force Academy: “It’s a lot different from other schools. I’m not going there to be treated like anything special because I’m an athlete. We’re all going there to serve. I visited multiple times and feel that I already know and love the campus. AFA is an amazing life opportunity and playing Division I lacrosse is a dream.
Lacrosse-wise, it’s a ways away but I look forward to being an impact player for the program. They watched me this summer with the and through the fall and showed me a lot of love. I enjoyed my time with the team and got to experience life in their shoes a couple times. I’m excited that you can train in the outdoors there too, it’s going to be so cool.”
On his high school team at Avon Grove: “I’m really excited to just be a part of the program. My older brother is on the team and I have known our coaches for a while so I’m ready to get to work with the team. Bryce De Muth (NXT 2018) is a leader for us and they’ve been really solid defensively. It would be awesome to earn some time and help the team win this spring.”
On his youth lacrosse days: “I grew up playing with the AG Wildcats and ever since then lacrosse has just been fun. My dad was an athlete at University of Delaware, wrestling and playing football. He helped coach me in those days and so many of my close friends grew up playing together and just having fun with it. The Wildcats practices are my best lacrosse memories.”
On his most influential coaches: “Avon Grove youth coaches Hammond, Lengel, Mueller and Smith were great to learn from. With the Sons I grew even more thanks to coaches Conners, Doyle, Glavin and Macfarlane. I have been coached by some of the best defensive coaches around.”
On early recruiting: “Our Rising Sons 2020 team was very strong and we played in some big-time events heading into freshman year. Our defense was a special group and got some attention from head coaches following the MVP Rising at Towson. I visited a handful of schools (Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Penn, Penn State) and it was incredible just to have those conversations. There were a few schools that I didn’t believe to be a good fit so I passed on some visits too. We went out to Colorado to Air Force a couple times.
It was mind-boggling to me, it made our whole family take a step back to think about it and say: This is happening, it’s happening for a reason, so keep working hard and try to enjoy and own the process. I feel like I did, taking my time to visit other schools and a couple more than once. I will continue to own this opportunity. It doesn’t make me any less hungry, it gives me a clear target and I’m excited about that.”
On his style of play: “I’d say I have always been hard-working, aggressive and mean all over the field. I like being physical and I like making plays with the ball as well. My lacrosse IQ has grown a lot from playing with the Sons and now NXT where we practice against the older guys.”
NXT 2020 Head Coach Chris Williams on James Chastain: "James is a smart, physically imposing defender who makes his presence felt whenever he is on the field. He consistently dominates his individual matchup, provides outstanding help defense, and has an uncanny ability to get the ball off the ground to spark transition. James is a natural leader and shows a lot of maturity for a freshman in high school, it's no surprise that he gravitated toward the environment of a service academy where a young man like him will thrive."