WATERVILLE — For Camden Hills Regional High School graduate and Camden native Jack Gallagher, soccer and lacrosse has been a huge aspect of his life.
His love for the sport and how it has impacted him remains prevalent as he concludes his junior year at Thomas College and aims to better not only himself, but also the soccer and lacrosse programs at the NCAA Division III institution in Waterville.
Gallagher began playing soccer thanks to his mother’s love for soccer and her desire that her son play the sport.
“She brought me to camps and coached me as well when I was younger,” he stated. “She is the reason why I started to play soccer and stick through playing it for all of these years.”
Meanwhile, his lacrosse playing days began thanks to his friends.
“The sport looked intriguing and it was something new I wanted to try out and seek out just how interested I might be with playing this sport,” he said.
As a soccer player for Camden Hills, he earned the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year award his junior season and was a KVAC all-conference all-star and all-conference player in Eastern Class B.
During his freshman soccer season with the Windjammers, Gallagher netted the game-winning goal against Ellsworth in overtime during the 2012 Eastern Class B regional championship, a moment that ranks as his favorite sports memory from high school.
In three seasons as a Thomas soccer player, the five-foot-11 defender has appeared in 37 games, started in 24, scored four goals and tallied two assists.
This spring was the first time Gallagher played lacrosse for the Terriers. He appeared in six contests and recorded three assists and six goals as a midfielder.
Gallagher noted the Thomas men’s lacrosse program is in a rebuilding process, which was enticing to him.
“For me, with any program, I want to have the satisfaction on being able to leave this team, knowing that I helped contribute to making this team better,” he said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean the wins and the losses but more of building a better reputation, building a better morale, and helping the turnover to be as minimal as possible — especially for the first years and sophomores.”
The desire to leave a mark within the program’s rebuilding aligns with Gallagher’s goals as a member of the lacrosse team, where his primary goals are to help shape the program’s future to leave the program in a better position than when he started his freshman season, to become a better player, and to become a mentor to the team’s younger players.
As for the men’s soccer program, Gallagher was drawn to participate on that team due its dominance within the North Atlantic Conference.
“Being recruited by a college that has a great pool of very talented players on the team, it [would be] a hard opportunity to pass up on,” he said. “Between the love for the school, the talent, the success, and the joy soccer brings me, it [would be] hard to pass up on something like that.”
On the soccer pitch, his primary goals are to assist in establishing a new culture within the program to boost morale and to win the North Atlantic Conference for a second consecutive year and win at least one game in the NCAA Division III national tournament.
In the classroom, Gallagher strives to be open-minded and a sponge absorbing a vast amount of knowledge.
“All the knowledge I’m being [taught] by my professors allows me to [take] what I’ve learned in the classroom and apply that to my everyday life,” he said.
After college, Gallagher intends to become either a project manager or sales manager for a large corporation and is majoring in business administration to make his goals a reality.
Gallagher, who cites his mother as his motivator, hopes to travel to the west coast of the United States for a winter to, as he says, ski on mountains larger than any he has seen to date.
“That would be an adventure of a lifetime for me personally.,” he said.
When in the Midcoast, Gallagher enjoys spending time cruising on his moped and spending time fishing on Lake Megunticook with friends and family.
To date, Gallagher says his greatest accomplishment in life has been his ability to be there for his father and sister over the past five years helping them in any way possible. Though he declined to share specific details, he stated he feels his life has been made whole through his ability to assist his loved ones.
For those in the Midcoast hoping to play collegiate athletics, Gallagher honed in on being in the right mindset as being key.
“Having good mental health will make obstacles in life less difficult to get past,” he said. “Having a good positive state of mind will not only help with motivation to become a better athlete in a certain sport but, will also help that state of mind carry over into the classrooms and in one’s everyday lives. Life becomes easier when your mental health is in a good state, it will make school, sports, socializing, and many more things easier in life.”
Fittingly, Gallagher’s favorite quote comes from Joel Osteen: “There’s a lot that is good in your life — don’t take it for granted. Don’t get so focused on the struggles that you’ll miss the gift of today.”
Reach George Harvey and the sports department at: firstname.lastname@example.org.