Derek Takacs wasn’t necessarily looking to stay close to home, particularly with such a narrowed focus on his collegiate major.
The Empire 2021 and Mount Sinai attackman had his fair share of high-level schools vying for his services, but he quickly narrowed down his list because he knew that he wanted to study financial math, which, according to Takacs, is, “essentially applied math and statistics.”
Because of that singular focus, he cut his list down to a few schools that had that major, a list that included some of the very best colleges in the country. One of them was nearby Stony Brook, and the Seawolves also had a feather in their cap in the form of assistant coach Mike Chanenchuk Jr.. The PLL’s preeminent two-point shooter coached Takacs at a prospect day, where the two hit it off. It set the wheels of Takacs’ commitment in motion.
“Coach Channy coached me at a prospect day at Penn and really liked me, and he reached out to me to come and visit the school,” Takacs said. “Once I saw the campus, it definitely felt like the right fit. I felt it then and there, but I wanted to wait it out and see my options. After I talked to my parents about it, it seemed like it was where I wanted to go.”
That, coupled with the fact that Stony Brook boasts one of the top financial math programs in the country, made it a no-brainer for Takacs. He committed to the Seawolves, becoming the second Empire ’21 to commit and the fourth player in Empire history to choose Stony Brook. He’ll join ’20 Liam Daly (Shoreham-Wading River) on campus.
“One of the main things is that it’s one of the best colleges in the country for financial math,” Takacs said. “Between the lacrosse and the school, it was a perfect fit. I want to do something in the math field, like accounting, and I had a great connection with Channy. The school is a great fit for me and it’s an awesome atmosphere.”
Takacs’ elevation to a top-flight Division I prospect didn’t happen overnight, but it’s a credit to his work ethic and dedication that he got to this point. In his fifth season with Empire, Takacs has continually worked to diversify his offensive game and become a dynamic all-around threat, and that’s paid off in spades.
“Coach (Harold) Drumm and I are very happy for Derek and his family,” said Empire director Luke Daquino, who has coached Takacs at both Empire and Mount Sinai. “He has worked very hard in the classroom, as well as on the lacrosse field. He’s put in the time to become a player who can beat defenses in a variety of ways, and we think that he’ll fit in perfectly with (new Seawolves coach) Coach (Anthony) Gilardi‘s style. Derek is going to do great things on and off the field.”
A big part of that is thanks to the work that he put in with Drumm and Daquino.
“I feel like I definitely took a big step up with Empire,” Takacs said. “Coach Daquino is a great offensive coach, and he’s helped me with my shooting, passing, finishing and weak hand. He’s helped me become the player that I am today.”
One that’ll be making a major impact close to home.