southern regional boys lacrosse

Southern Regional High School boys lacrosse player, Dylan Jinks, 16 of Cedar Run. The Southern Regional High School boys lacrosse team practices. Thursday, March, 21, 2013( Press of Atlantic City/ Danny Drake)

Danny Drake

Most soon-to-be high school juniors are just starting to think about college.

Dylan Jinks of Southern Regional already has his school selected. Jinks verbally committed this month to attend the University of Hartford in Connecticut on a lacrosse scholarship.

"I'm so grateful for Hartford offering me a scholarship," he said. "It's awesome to know I'm a Division I lacrosse player."

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Jinks, 16, was The Press Player of the Year as a sophomore last spring. He scored 53 goals and contributed 33 assists to lead the Rams to the South Jersey Group IV title and the state Group IV and Shore Conference finals. The attacker has 105 career goals.

Southern coach John Pampalone said Jinks is the Rams' first Division I player since the program began in the early 2000s.

"Dylan is a true scorer," Pampalone said. "He'll be double teamed but at the end of the game he'll have four or five goals. He'll have seven points a game. He's a relentless scorer."

The Hartford coaches first saw Jinks play in June at a Philadelphia showcase event. He visited the school earlier this month. Hartford finished 7-7 last season and is a member of the America East Conference along with schools like Albany, Binghamton and Maryland-Baltimore County.

"I liked everything about the school," Jinks said. "The campus layout, the facilities, the dorms. The surrounding area is awesome. There's a lot to do there."

Jinks said he's not concerned about making his college decision midway through his high school career.

"It was a huge, huge weight that was lifted off my shoulders when I said the words 'I'm ready to commit,' " he said. "I'm so happy I found place like Hartford."

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