A Tale of Two Dreams: Charlie Sandor’s Decision to Pursue His Academic Goals Over Athletics
Charlie Sandor always dreamed of being a college athlete.
“Beginning as a little kid, I dreamed of playing a college sport,” he said. “When I first began playing for True, my goal was definitely to work as hard as I could to play college lacrosse.”
Although that was Charlie’s childhood dream, it turns out there was an even greater one: gaining entry to Harvard University. Charlie’s dream was realized earlier this year, as he was accepted early decision. Charlie now looks forward to attending Harvard University this fall as a member of the class of 2019.
Charlie grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois playing sports. When he was in the fourth grade playing football, his coach encouraged him to try lacrosse. And so began his lacrosse career as one of only two fourth graders on the first ever Glen Ellyn 5th/6th grade youth lacrosse team. He began by playing midfield.
As his lacrosse career progressed throughout middle school, he was introduced to True Lacrosse.
“Coach (Mike) Gabel invited one of my friends and myself to participate on the Illinois team that was headed to Orlando, Florida for the U15 Nationals,” Charlie recalled. “While playing for this team, I met several other players who played for the 2014 True team, six of which went to Benet. My respect for Coach Gabel and learning more about the success of the True Lacrosse program from future high school teammates led me to tryout for True Lacrosse in the fall of my freshman year.”
At the suggestion of his coach Tom Walters, Charlie tried his hand at LSM at his first tournament with True. He continued at LSM throughout his high school career, along with the occasional go at defensive midfield with his Benet team.
As a member of True, Charlie made new friends and enjoyed the camaraderie among his teammates. They worked hard together and their coaches, Coach Walters and Coach Gabel, were tireless in their efforts to develop every player’s skill level.
“We worked hard as a team,” recalls Charlie, “and were given every opportunity to compete at a national level while showcasing our skills to college coaches.”
When he wasn’t playing lacrosse, Charlie maintained a busy schedule as a member of the varsity football team at Benet Academy, and a member of Model UN, student government, NHS, and serving as a peer tutor and mentor. When asked about his favorite subject, Charlie responded, “By far, my favorite subject in school is mathematics. I am currently enrolled in multivariable calculus and discrete math. I love the challenge in solving math problems and mastering concepts. It is cool that everything we do can be defined by a mathematical model.”
In the current climate of college recruitment in which players are committing as early as their freshman year, it is understandable that players put all of their energy into getting recruited. For Charlie, that was the original plan, too.
“I engaged the recruitment process by sending out emails, resumes, and posting video to reach a wide range of coaches,” he said. “At the end of the recruitment process, I considered pursuing two D3 schools that expressed an interest in my lacrosse skills, Wabash College and MIT. True helped me reach my full potential as a player, receive exposure to the schools I was interested in, and helped me make the necessary connections with coaches.”
Even greater than his ambition to play college lacrosse, however, was his dream of one day going to Harvard.
“While I considered playing lacrosse at Wabash and MIT, Harvard was clearly my first choice, even if I were not recruited to play lacrosse.” He continued, “For as long as I can remember, Harvard has been my dream school. It was my first choice based on academic excellence and its alumni network.”
Between his aspirations to become a college athlete and his ambition to be a student at Harvard, Charlie had an important decision to make.
“My goal was to play lacrosse there (at Harvard). However, as time went on, I realized that I may not be recruited to play, so I worked hard to put myself in a position to be admitted based on academic performance and other extracurricular activities.”
That hard work paid off when he received the good news.
“I learned of my acceptance while at a Model UN conference in Chicago and was ecstatic while reading the email. My parents drove down to the hotel to congratulate me and celebrate with me. The acceptance also made the college process a lot less stressful as it was the first college I had heard from.”
His drive to be successful and work hard to achieve his goals can be attributed to the example of two very important people in his life.
“Without a doubt, my grandpa and dad have had the greatest influence on my life. They taught me many life lessons and each one served as a mentor and a role model for a solid work ethic, being humble, and developing my strength of character.”
With the stress of applying to college behind him, Charlie can focus on the future without any regrets.
“I hope to continue playing lacrosse at Harvard either as a walk-on to the varsity lacrosse team or by participating in its club lacrosse program. In addition, I plan to devote significant time to career development, research, and peer tutoring.”
The decision to pursue his academic interests first over his athletics has lead Charlie to fulfilling one of his dreams: to become a student at one of the most prestigious universities in the nation. As a result, his dream of playing college lacrosse may follow.
Tuesday, May 5th was a wonderful night to celebrate our Senior Lacrosse players. Under the lights in the Benedictine Stadium, our senior boys and their parents were honored for their hard work and dedication to Benet Lacrosse! Afterwards they brought the team to victory against Marian Catholic. What a great night!
Senior Night Celebration
Senior Night Celebration
Conor Moran (2011) Randolph Macon
Declan McGuire (2013) Lafayette University
Riley Mann (2014) Georgetown University
Jack Moran (2014) Furman University
Liam Simes (2014) Colby College
Will O'Grady (2016) Furman University
Reese Koberov (2014) Oberlin College
Will Mann (2014) Loyola (MD)
John D'Angelo (2017) United States Air Force Academy