Instead of following the traditional path to a traditional program, Fayetteville-Manlius senior Ari Waffle has taken his talents to a newcomer in the college lacrosse ranks.
Waffle has signed his national letter of intent to go south, to Florida, and attend Jacksonville University, which only entered the NCAA Division I ranks for the first time in 2010.
In the last two seasons, Waffle has emerged as one of the area's top offensive stars, leading the Hornets' attack with his finishing skills. He also played football this fall, serving as the team's kicker and also playing at wide receiver as F-M went 9-1, losing in the Section III Class AA semifinals to eventual champion Baldwinsville.
Working as an independent, the Jacksonville Dolphins (who share the same nickname as LeMoyne College) went 6-7 last spring, and in 2011 will join the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, which has an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
All this is spearheaded by head coach Matt Kerwick, who left Hobart College in Geneva to take over the fledgling Jacksonville program. Kerwick coached seven years at Hobart, leading the Statesmen to the NCAA tournament in 2002 and 2004. Kerwick has also coached at Alfred University.