Amidst an unprecedented season of change, Chris Connolly ’17 and Jack Gump ’18 harkened back to a formative home: Trinity-Pawling. Although they ran with the Pride at different times, they have now converged at UMass Amherst, leading a nationally-ranked team.
Connolly joined rare company as only the second freshman in UMass history to score 50 points in his first year, and became the quickest player to reach 100 points as a sophomore when he led the team in scoring with 67 points. Gump finds his way onto the field as a skilled LSM, doing the dirty work that doesn’t record eye-popping statistics like his Trinity-Pawling teammate.
Reflecting on his boarding school experience, Gump says that Trinity-Pawling “completely transcended me as a person and as a player.” He gives credit to Mr. Mead for the vast knowledge he gained; most importantly an education in how to prepare to participate in class, take a test, and write a paper. In the same way, Gump says his education on the field went beyond lacrosse. “Coach Kirkaldy taught me discipline, drive, that the only person in your way is you. From day one, Kirks helped me grow into a man and he has a lot to do with the person I am today.”
Connolly says that his time at Trinity-Pawling helped him be a more versatile leader. As a prefect, Connolly connected with his young teachers and coaches: Mr. Gillman ’05, Mr. Pirie, Mr. Harff. “I think the leadership that I was able to learn and the bonds I made with people were super special. Learning those mechanics and leadership qualities helped me build relationships quickly in college.” He fondly remembers the weekend when the power went out and boys stormed the quad in the dark.
Before the 2020 season was suspended, the Trinity-Pawling boys led UMass to a 5-2 start that included wins over nationally-ranked #12 Ohio State and #1 Yale. The Minutemen were voted a final national rank of #12.
by Cyrus Rothwell-Ferraris