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Ben Neal goes from Tiger to Cougar

By Staff, 02/24/17, 12:15PM CST


Article courtesy of the South High School Southerner. Author: Oliver Piotrowski

Ben Neal, one of our own peers was signed to a College, Chatham University in Pittsburg, to play Lacrosse. Ben talked a lot about how much he liked the school. One of the things he said was “I liked it because it was small, I really wanted to go to a small school, it has about 3,000 students and it’s in the middle of Pittsburg, and I wanted like an urban area.” He also said, “when I visited I found like a lot of the same qualities in the college that I found here at South, which I thought meshed well with how I learn.”

While Ben was talking about Chatham he talked about Chathams other campus, which is a which fully sustainable campus, meaning it grows food and uses environmentally safe systems. One of which is using rain water, which is cleaned of course, to water their crops, they collect the rainwater using water barrels. Neal said “they’re really concerned about the future and like moving forward with the environment.”

Chatham university is a college in Pittsburg and their mascot is a Cougar. As well as having a Men’s Lacrosse team they have a women’s lacrosse team, a men’s track team, a women’s’ track team, and many others. They offer undergraduate and graduate programs, online classes, and integrated degree programs, which basically means you automatically get a spot for a graduate program. They have 3 locations, Shadyside Campus, which is their original historic location, Chatham Eastside, which was added in 2008, and Eden Hall Campus, which is fully sustainable. Ben said he was excited to go there.

Garrett Lieb has been playing Lacrosse with Ben for 4 years now, and has gotten to see his friend grow and improve. Garrett said that “Ben is very supportive and always looks for new ways to improve his play to benefit the team”, and “He has also grown off the field by being a great leader and role model to younger players.”

Coach Phil Dodson, the coach from Chatham who signed Ben. He is relatively new to Chatham, being hired June 1st of last year to start the men’s lacrosse program. He said “support within the Chatham community has been great.” He also runs into people who don’t know about much about Lacrosse “everyday I run into someone new saying ‘I don’t know much about lacrosse but I can’t wait to come see the game’.”

Coach Dodson first saw Ben play this past July in Colorado, he sent Ben an email and they started talking from there. Coach Dodson said that “his athleticism immediately stood out, he’s not the biggest guy out there but he is as fast and quick as anyone” was something he was impressed by, he also said “One thing I look for in defensemen is the ability to be an offensive threat, and Ben has that.”

Ben said “the teachers have been really congratulatory, every teacher I’ve seen that knows me, or knows me by name, has said congrats and shook my hand.” He said that South has been really supportive of him. Hopefully lacrosse will help Ben Neal make the transition from Tiger to Cougar as he enters his college years.