Feedback from Colin Vickrey 2023 Goalie at Culver Academy

by Trenton Gafner

Name: Colin Vickrey

School: Culver Academy (High School)

Position: Goalie

Year: Junior

Where are you from and when did you start playing lacrosse?

I am from Dallas, Texas. I started playing lacrosse in second grade. I was at football practice and saw some kids playing lacrosse and told my Dad that I want to play that sport. He had to ask around to find out what sport they were even playing. 

How did you hear about Culver Academy and why did you choose to go to Culver?

I heard about Culver from our previous coaching staff Jon Posner and Tucker Mizhir. They emailed me in the spring of my 8th-grade year and at first, I had no interest in going. My dad told me to explore it just as an option and once I stepped foot on campus I fell in love with the place. Culver is the best of both worlds. The teachers at Culver make class and learning fun and interactive. The lacrosse program is consistently a top-ranked team in the nation. There are no rebuilding years at Culver. I thought if I want to thrive at the next level, this is going to be the best place to prepare me for that.

Culver Academy is a Military Academy, what were your thoughts before you started to attend and your thoughts now about going to a Military Academy? 

At first, I wasn’t too sure about the Military system. I was nervous and not too excited that I had to cut my hair. I have made the most out of the military system though and have had a lot of cool memories. The military system is what you make of it. Some people do the bare minimum, which is perfectly fine, it means they have less responsibilities. While others go above and beyond and devote a lot of time towards the corps of cadets. 

What were your thoughts after your first practice and game with your team?

I was on the Prep Team (National Team) my freshman year. As a 15-year-old playing with guys 4-5 years older than me was a huge step up from playing middle school Texas lacrosse but I held my own. It was one of those things where you have looked up to committed guys and here, I am practicing with the best such as Owen Hiltz, Mike Robinson, Sammy English, and many more. Then to go beat Boys Latin 10-3 in 2019 was a reality check for me. I think a lot of people underestimate the true power of our team. Every year we tend to have all of our seniors go to top D1 programs. 

Culver plays a very national schedule, what do you like about that the most?

I think traveling is very fun with the team. Every weekend we have a bus ride whether it is 3 hours or 8 hours. Those bus rides will be some of the most memorable moments of Culver. I never laugh more than I do on the bus. 

Watching your team warm-up your team comes across as very close, can you talk about the team chemistry since a lot are from out of state? 

We spend a lot of time together whether it is on bus rides, hanging out or eating meals together. Even during the off season we will still be getting breakfast, lunch and dinner together. We will lift together during the off days, hang out with one another on the weekends and even go to each other’s houses when we are not at school. There is no senior group or freshman group on our team. We are all one and it is truly a brotherhood. 

What is your daily schedule like when at school in the offseason and in season (non travel day)?

My schedule is pretty similar whether I am in season or out of season. I usually wake up between 6:50-and 7:10. We have BRC (breakfast) anytime from 7:20-7:40 during which we march to breakfast. Classes will start at 8:30 and are 85 minutes. I take 3 classes therefore I have one free period which is a free 85 minutes in which I can do anything I want. Usually, I will lift, play wall ball, get shots, study, or take a nap. Classes then end at 3:15 but from 3:15-4:15 is when we can meet with teachers and get any additional help if needed. If not, then we can go to practice and get some early work at 3:45. Practice is from 4:15-6. During the off-season, we may have skills work, lifting, conditioning, or even a basketball tournament. During the regular season, we will be outside on the turf. Once practice is done, I will get some extra shots, practice my clears or go lift. Dinner is open from 5-7:30 therefore once I am done with practice I will go shower and go to dinner with some of the guys. After dinner, we may go on a walk around the lake or hang out with friends until 8. From 8-10 is CQ or closed quarters. This is when we get our homework done and study for any upcoming tests. After CQ I hang out with some of my friends, or my roommate and we talk and relax before going to bed. Lights out are at 11 but I sometimes try to go to bed before that just to get some extra rest.

Have heard of great things, what is your favorite part about the campus?

My favorite thing about the campus would be the blue track. I spend a lot of time there playing wall ball or getting shots. We have a big brick wall which is perfect for wall ball. We also have a goal in there for when it is snowing or too cold to go outside, I could get shots inside. We also have our annual box lacrosse league there. I will admit though that the most beautiful building is the Riding Hall. I love the architecture of the building. 

What would you want the average person to know about Culver Academy that has never heard of it before?

I would tell them Culver is a place where everyone wants to do the best in whatever is their area of interest, whether it is athletics or academics.  It is not for bad kids who are in trouble, which I hear from some people when I tell them I go to a military school.   I think that is the biggest misconception that I have experienced when telling someone I go to Culver Military Academy. It is the opposite of that in which Culver students excel in their sport and the classroom. 

You said you're a verbal commitment to Princeton University, what did you like about the school and to make that decision?

My first priority in college was academics. Princeton is one of if not the best college in the US academically. Not only are you getting a great education, but you are also playing great lacrosse and competing for a national championship every single year. The coaching staff is also out of this world. Coach Madalon is a former All-American goalie and to have the head coach be a former goalie is very helpful. If you take away the lacrosse and academics, the campus and people at Princeton are amazing. The campus looks straight out of a movie which is often used as movie sets. Culver has a great pipeline to Princeton. Culver tends to send at least 5-6 students there every year. My current roommate is committed to swim at Princeton as well. We have had lacrosse players in the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 class go to Princeton. At the end of the day Princeton is on another level and I am very grateful to have the opportunity to go there. 

What has been your most memorable experience this season so far?

The Hill game had to be the most memorable for me. I had the FTB (For the Boys) speech before the game which is a speech to talk about the game and just to get the boys fired up. The only other Junior to make an FTB speech would be Mike Gianforcaro and to be able to make that speech before a big game like that is very important. I am the only player who has experienced a regular season Hill game (I am the only remaining player that was on the 2019 Prep Team). Hill is our big rivalry game and to go out there and only allow 1 goal with 10 saves against them is memorable. It is a game I have been looking forward to since 2020. To get that win in the snowy conditions was one of the best games I have ever been a part of. 

Thanks Colin and good luck the rest of the season!