Lake Norman & Mooresville

Knights' midfielder wants to end career scoring

Jake Koferl has made a name for himself as a skilled goal scorer in his three seasons at Lake Norman Charter.

The senior midfielder, whose 89 goals headed into March 9's game against Lake Norman are a Knight boys' lacrosse record, hopes to keep that pace up to close out his high school career.

"I'm trying to have a better season than I and the team had last year," said Koferl.

The 17-year-old led Lake Norman Charter with a single-season school record 45 goals as they went 10-5 and made a first-round playoff appearance.

Knights' coach Terry Gobble said Koferl stands out because of his vision on the field, having been second on the team with 20 assists last season, and his high lacrosse IQ.

Gobble said that as much as does on the field, nothing comes close to what he means to the team as a leader.

"He's passionate and determined," said Gobble. "He knows what he wants both for himself and the team. He sets high expectations and does everything in his power to achieve it."

Koferl agrees.

"I try to be the most well-rounded," he said. "I'll play offense, defense, pretty much whatever coach wants me to play."

That's why Koferl has become the Knights' go-to player.

"(His teammates) know they can rely on him on a pinch," he said. "There's no doubt the team will look to Jake if we're in a tight spot. Nine times out of 10, he'll produce."

The three-year team captain said he's becoming more vocal, as he tries to motivate his team to excel.

"I have big goals for this year - team goals - and I want to push everyone else to push for them," he said.

Koferl said his history with Gobble has helped him flourish for the Knights. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder has played for his current coach since he first picked up a lacrosse stick soon after moving to the area from Rhode Island in fourth grade.

"Coach trusts the ball in my stick," said Koferl. "He knows what I like to do and I know what he likes his teams to do."

Gobble says he's proud of how far Koferl has come, having seen him accomplish his goal of earning a spot on a college team. Koferl will head off to play at Hampden-Sydney next season.

This is a special season for the coach, whose son, Andrew, is also a senior. He said that seeing that core group, which also includes goalkeeper John Clark, nearing graduation is bittersweet, but he's excited about what they have accomplished and what's the future holds for them - both this year and beyond.

"These kids built lacrosse in this community," said Gobble. "I have a picture on my wall at home of the very first travel team that those boys built. ... It's nice to see the work they've put in pay off."

Gobble said his Knights, which started the year 2-1, have shown potential.

With impressive wins against four-time independent state champion Charlotte Country Day and South Mecklenburg to start the season, the team is starting to reach a goal that Gobble has had since the program was started less than four years ago.

"We want to prove that we're a competitive team that can play with anyone," he said.

Gobble said with the team's comradery and talent, they could accomplish some of the team's main goals, which include competing for a conference title, winning a playoff game and challenging for a state championship.

"If they play their A-game, they have just as much an opportunity as anyone else to accomplish that," said Gobble.

Koferl, who was also a member of the Knights' swim team, hopes to carry the success he had in the pool onto the field.

Being part of the 200-yard medley relay team that won the 1A/2A state title, he said that's motivated him to win another championship this spring.

"It shows that it can be done," said Koferl. "If I can replicate that on the lacrosse field, that would be amazing."