With the speed in lacrosse constantly increasing with each season, few defenders have the innate ability to slow things down.
Malvern Prep’s Max Jogerst is one of those few.
“In almost 30 years of coaching defense locally … I have only had a few defensemen who can anticipate the next play, react to it and at the same time communicate things to their defensive unit,” Friars’ assistant coach Paul O’Grady agreed. “Max is one of those guys.”
A varsity starter for three seasons and an elected captain for a senior season that never materialized, Jogerst was poised to cap off a great prep career until COVID-19 intervened. He was an All Inter-Ac pick as a sophomore and junior, and his Malvern Prep squad had the makings for one of the best teams in the state.
“We felt like this was one of the strongest teams we’ve had in years because we return almost everyone,” Jogerst said.
A season ago, the Friars were 16-5 overall and captured the league crown.
“Max is as complete a defenseman as we have had at Malvern Prep,” said head coach John McEvoy. “He has a great combination of field sense and lacrosse IQ, as well as outstanding fundamentals. He is the leader on the defensive half for us, and an extremely effective communicator.”
At 6-foot-3, 230-pounds, Jogerst has the size and strength. But in order to stay with smaller, speedier foes, he takes a cerebral approach.
“Especially in high school, you have to understand the game,” he explained. “If you’re not the most athletic – and I’m not the quickest – it helps to understand the schemes of the offenses you are going against.
“A lot of it comes from playing – even playing small-sided games like box lacrosse. For me, the better I understand offense, the more I can react. If I can understand the game better than most, I will know where to be so that speed doesn’t necessarily make a big difference.”
Growing up in the Dallas, Texas area, Jogerst began playing lacrosse in third grade. He has two siblings, including a twin brother, Jack, who was an attacker for Malvern Prep.
“Growing up it was very competitive,” said Max, who now lives in West Chester. “It builds a sense that you need to go out there and scrap it out and be tough.
“We both play the game with our minds more than our bodies, but (Jack) is more skilled with hit stick. Since we’re both bigger kids, he plays offense like I play defense, and vice versa.”
With the cancellation of the 2020 season, Max’s days of playing competitive lacrosse now appear to be over. He is a National Merit Scholar who will be attending Southern Methodist in the fall and is planning to major in finance/economics. The Dallas school does not have a lacrosse program.
“My mom and grandparents went there,” he said. “There is a long line of people in my family, so it just felt like home to me.”
According to Jogerst, he previously thought he’d eventually be playing Division I lacrosse someday. But once the recruiting process began to unfold, he changed his mind.
“The colleges I would have preferred didn’t necessarily like me for lacrosse,” he explained. “It just wasn’t right in terms of going to college and playing lacrosse.”
Similarly, his brother Jack is going to a school that doesn’t offer lacrosse (Pepperdine) in the fall to major in political science.
According to his coaches at Malvern Prep, Max could have been a strong contributor to any Division I program if he decided to go that route.
“He is a very rare talent, and that’s why I am so bummed he is not taking that unique skill set to the next level,” O’Grady said.
“I would love to see Max playing in college, but I am proud of his decision to forego playing in lieu of his academic pursuits,” McEvoy added.