Lacrosse star Jamison Koesterer is the latest Cazenovia native to have their name appear in the credits of a major motion picture.
Koesterer portrays the character Emmitt Davis in the recently-released film “Crooked Arrows.” A standout midfielder at the high school, college and professional levels, Koesterer was recruited to choreograph and authenticate action sequences in the film, when his commanding presence caught the director’s eye.
“There were one or two days when I got real heated and started yelling at the kids — acting like a real coach and less like a choreographer. The director Steve Rash called me off the field and I thought ‘Oh man, I messed up. They’re going to let me go’ and he says ‘I think we have a role for you, would you mind reading for us?’ so I went to read, and the rest is what you see on screen,” Koesterer said. “I don’t know if I’ll win any Academy Awards for acting, but all of the lacrosse action in the film is real.”
The film, which opened nationwide June 1, follows an unlikely coach and rag-tag team of Native American high school lacrosse players who hope to capture the state title and restore the pride of their reservation. Koesterer’s character is the head coach of Coventry Academy, a fictional preparatory school whose well-funded lacrosse team is the reigning state champion and rival of the Crooked Arrows.
Koesterer said he first heard of the project in 2009, when the script was passed to his father, Mark, who is the CEO of Sports Studio Entertainment in Los Angeles, Calif. The multi-faceted production company provides casting services and manufactures athletic garments for the film and television industries. Jamison contacted the producers, Mitchell Peck and Todd Harris, to see what assistance he could offer.
While Koesterer’s fundraising efforts weren’t as fruitful as he would have liked, the producers kept in contact with him and eventually asked him to help with casting and choreographing authentic lacrosse action for the film.
Koesterer was a natural fit for the position, having experienced much success in the sport of lacrosse. During his time at Cazenovia High School, Koesterer helped the varsity boys lacrosse team advance to the New York State Class C playoffs in 2002 and 2003, his senior year.
Upon graduation, Koesterer enrolled at John Hopkins University and joined the lacrosse team. The Blue Jays clinched the national championship in both 2005 and 2007 — Koesterer’s senior year at the school. After receiving a degree in sociology, he was drafted to the Portland Lumberjax, a professional team in the National Lacrosse League, where he played for one year.
Koesterer joined the Washington Stealth shortly after and played for the franchise for three years, winning the World Championship in 2010.
Presently, Koesterer lives in Baltimore, Md., and is an assistant coach to the JHU lacrosse team. He is happy to be back at his alma mater, helping the current players improve their game, although he admits it was hard to leave the NLL.
“I decided coaching was the thing that I wanted to do in my life. It was a big step, but I felt it was a necessary one in order to further my career,” Koesterer said. “I was kind of taking a step back, to take a couple more forward.”
Looking back at his journey to this point, Koesterer said he credits Cazenovia’s strong lacrosse program and the many devoted coaches, including Jim Longo, Dan DiGirolamo and Mark Evans, for his success.
“I’m happy for Cazenovia, and I’m proud to represent where I come from. I’m just a small piece of a very large group of people, and I didn’t have anything to do with the lacrosse team winning the state title last year, but seeing that kind of success is the most gratifying thing,” Koesterer said. “To know that something I was part of at the beginning is now winning state championships, getting kids in college and helping them get degrees, is all I could really ask for in life.”
Crooked Arrows is now showing nationwide, and locally at the Shoppingtown and Carousel mall cinemas. For more information on Crooked Arrows, visit crookedarrows.com. To learn more about Sports Studio Entertainment, visit sportsstudio.net.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.