POULTNEY, Vt. - The Green Mountain College men's lacrosse team is thrilled to announce that Hillcrest High School standout Hayden Jackson (Dallas, Texas) has made his intent to attend Green Mountain this coming fall to begin work on Adventure Education and Wildlife and Forestry Conservation degrees.
GMC Head Coach Paul Reif believes the addition of Jackson will really benefit his squad.
"Hayden brings toughness, a high lacrosse IQ, and athleticism that will make an immediate impact on our program," said Reif. "His ability to defend in space to spark transition and lock down teams' best offensive players down low is exactly the skill set we need to bring our program to the next level. Hailing from Dallas, Texas, the hotbed of southwestern lacrosse, Hayden has experience playing against top level lacrosse players. Furthermore, his success in the classroom and great character are a perfect fit for our school community at Green Mountain College."
Jackson, a 5'9" long stick middie (LSM) for the Hillcrest Panthers, accumulated 50 groundballs and 30 caused turnovers in his senior season helping his team to a 7-4 overall record under long-standing coach Bill Elliott. Jackson's work in the midfield led the team to a 3rd place overall finish in Texas High School Lacrosse League Division II Central and produced the team's best finish (.636) in his four years. Hillcrest finished with the 12th best RPI in the state. For his tremendous play throughout his career, Jackson was recognized 2017 Lacrosse Athlete of the Year in his junior season and was named Hillcrest's Athlete of the Year in 2018.
Aside from lacrosse, Jackson was a six-sport athlete during his high school career at Hillcrest having competed in football, cross country, golf, track and field, and swimming. He was a three-year regional qualifier in cross country, a regional qualifier in golf and track holding the school records for 5k, 1600m, and 3200m. He also held captaincy roles in four of the six sports demonstrating his leadership abilities.
Jackson excelled in the classroom at Hillcrest as well being named to the All-City Academic team all four years and was inducted into the National Honor Society during his junior year.
Upon entry to GMC he was awarded the First in Sustainability Scholarship Award which covers his tuition, room, board and fees for all four years while at the College. Based on his foundational work in high school on The Environmental League, Green Mountain offers a chance to build and extrapolate on the work Jackson has already completed.
"I chose GMC because it is the top college in sustainability," said Jackson. "My dream is to make the world a better more sustainable place [and] it's a bonus that I get to play lacrosse."
Jackson will join an Eagles' program that graduated four seniors from its 2018 squad and will be looking to Jackson and other talented incoming players to help make a postseason run as GMC makes its return to the NAIA.