Wilkes University

A New Game Plan

A New Game Plan

Woodly Augustin came to Wilkes to major in biology and play football. Along the way, he changed his major and became a team captain—for lacrosse.

When Woodly Augustin, a senior from Hewlett, N.Y., started his college search, he wanted to play football. The opportunity to take the field as a student-athlete drew him to Wilkes. Augustin was inspired by the coaching staff and the team values of timeliness, accountability and reliability. “If you’re on time, then you’re late. If you’re 15 minutes early, it shows you care,” says Augustin.

During his sophomore year, Augustin realized his goals had changed. He wanted to work with kids, so he switched his major to psychology. “Everything just sort of fell into place.”

Augustin’s athletic goals changed as well. He was approached by Curtis Jaques, the men’s lacrosse coach, about joining the team. Since he played in high school, Augustin agreed to give it a shot. He played both sports for one year before deciding to devote his time to his defensive position on the lacrosse team. 

Augustin’s leadership skills earned him a spot as senior captain. Along with co-captains Matt LaSorsa and JT Weitzel, he acts as a go-between for the coaching staff and players, hosting study sessions in the library and reporting on the team’s overall health and well-being. “I never really had that responsibility. I never really had to fill that role before.”

When Augustin needs guidance, he looks to Jaques, who encourages his players to take leadership roles on and off the field. “I want to give my players ownership of their own development,” says Jaques. “As much as I want to teach them to score and take the ball away, I want to teach them to take responsibility for their peers.”

The coach’s message of transformative leadership is clearly getting through to his team. “He’s a good role model. He has good leadership qualities,” says Augustin. “This past season, Coach Jaques really implemented taking responsibility for not only yourself, but for your teammates and friends.”

Augustin taught those skills to troubled children during his paid internship as a mentor at Mid-Atlantic Youth Services. “We try to change their way of thinking,” Augustin says. “We show them that you are who you surround yourself with.”

Even as he plans to go to graduate school and become a guidance counselor, Augustin makes the most of his time on campus. “I’m just taking advantage of every moment. I like to take care of the now. If you look too far in the future, you’re going to miss out on the opportunities you have now and the people around you.”

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