Jack Goller’s story is a shining example of what’s possible when a child’s dream meets years of hard work and dedication.
“When Jack was 10 years old, he said to me: I’m gonna play Division I lacrosse,” says Jack’s father, David Goller. “I said to myself, there’s no way you can do that, and I don’t know why that’s your goal. But we (along with Jack’s Mom, Kristin) decided to support him, and here we are. Jack has been self-motivated the whole time. This was his dream.”
Jack is committed to play for Bucknell University this coming fall. He has played with ADVNC since he was 10 years old. “Playing with ADVNC has been a long journey,” says Jack Goller. “It’s been all positive. So much fun. ADVNC is the reason why I am where I am today.”
Jack’s lacrosse career started before ADVNC, back when he was 8 years old. His soccer coach suggested he play lacrosse during soccer’s offseason. “Within a month of playing, lacrosse was his favorite sport,” says David Goller.
From that moment on, lacrosse has consumed the Goller family. Both of David and Kristin’s sons loved the sport. Jack’s younger brother Bennett picked up a stick the exact same day as Jack. He was six years old at the time. Bennett is now also a standout player with ADVNC.
But Jack is the original driving force behind the Goller’s infatuation with lacrosse. “He was always practicing in the backyard,” says David. “That is a huge part of his childhood. I had to learn how to throw and catch. I’d feed him ball after ball.”
Jack remembers, “My dad learned how to use a stick, which is cool cause he had never done that before.”
David adds, “When he was in elementary school, he would go out to school early and hit the wall. Then when he turned 12, he asked me to build a wall in our backyard. So we did. Then Jack decided to go to Marin Catholic in 8th grade to play lacrosse.”
The commute from the family’s home in Napa could be up to an hour and a half each way in heavy traffic. David says, “He wanted it so badly. Because it was his dream .. he’s worked so hard on his own.”
Jack put the work into becoming a great lacrosse player. But the college recruiting process was a different beast. David Goller says, “It was a stressful process. The most stressful thing I’ve ever been through. Jack adds, “It was more stressful for him cause I think he wanted it so bad for me. That’s a testament to how great a father he is. But it was stressful for me too.”
Both Jack and David Goller credit ADVNC Founder & CEO Chris Rotelli and ADVNC Director of Training Greg Weigel for assisting them in their college recruiting journey. Jack says, “I’ve been able to talk to Coach Rotelli about anything. He is my mentor. He sent me hundreds of texts about stuff he heard from different coaches. Then Coach Weigel came along and he really set me up with Bucknell. He really worked with their coaches directly. They both wanted the best for me.”
David Goller agrees in saying, “Chris Rotelli has always been available to text or call or help us through the entire process. He honestly loves my boys and he cares about them. The advice Chris gave was great, calming me down and helping me through it when I was nervous or stressed. Then Greg Weigel was there for us when Bucknell approached him. He was our intermediary through the whole process.”
The day Jack signed his letter of intent to play at Bucknell was many years in the making. “It was pretty special,” Jack says. “One of the greatest days that you can imagine. It felt like all the work had paid off.”
David adds, “Bucknell seems to be a perfect fit for Jack. Their academics and lacrosse and social life are a perfect blend.”
Now that he’s gone through the whole process of Division I lacrosse recruitment, Jack has this advice for younger players. “You need to commit your whole self to it, if it’s something you really want. I went to a High School where I didn’t know a single kid cause I wanted to play at the highest level in my area. I spent countless weekends on the east coast, playing in tournaments with ADVNC. Thousands of hours on the wall. Thousands of shots. Then, as I got older, thousands of hours in the weight room. But you need to have fun with it. You need to truly love it and have fun every time you’re out there. Dedicate yourself, then see where the game takes you. Lacrosse has been a blessing for me.”