2017 Penn Charter grad Luke Stansfield switched from college football to lacrosse — and made the right choice.
Luke Stansfield thought he was all set to play college football.
Stansfield, a 2017 graduate of Penn Charter School, had a strong senior season as a Quaker, excelling at both tight end and linebacker for the Quakers. Because of his impressive final year, he was offered a chance to continue his career at Valparaiso University.
At the time, it was everything he wanted. But after lacrosse season, he wanted more.
“After I started lacrosse season, I decided I wanted to play that instead of football,” said Stansfield, a Torresdale native. “I decommitted and then decided to go to Drexel. It’s close to home and it was a great fit every way. I’m really happy I switched.”
So is Drexel.
Penn Charter plays lacrosse in the Inter-Ac, which houses nothing but great programs. And because the Quakers always have their sights set on winning a league championship, they loaded up on tough opponents in nonleague play.
That helped Stansfield when he arrived at Drexel last year. It’s also why he got on the field a lot faster than some of his teammates.
“When we were practicing, we had 13 freshmen, and we weren’t sure who was going to get to play and who was going to redshirt and just get better,” Stansfield said. “Everybody wants to play. They ended up keeping seven freshmen, and I was one of them. I was really happy I was one of the ones they kept.”
Stansfield did play right away, coming off the bench in 10 games and scoring one goal, which came in a victory over №11 Georgetown, and two assists, but his role was a lot different than what he was used to in high school.
At Penn Charter, Stansfield started at midfield and he was able to use his all-around game to help the Quakers. But before the season began at Drexel, the coaching staff decided to see how he would make out at forward.
It was the perfect fit, especially because it allowed him to do what made him such a good football player.
“I think at forward you get to use your size and you can just go out and try and run through people,” Stansfield said. “I love to hit. At forward, I’m able to use my strength and hit people with my shoulder. I think having that football experience really helped me a lot with transitioning to forward.
“I loved playing midfield, but I think moving to forward plays to my strengths. I’m working hard on getting better at it. It took a little getting used to, but now I love playing it. It combines the best of lacrosse and football.”
Stansfield also loves the school itself.
He would have been very happy playing football in Indiana, but staying home and playing lacrosse is a natural fit. It also gives his family and friends a chance to come out and see him in action.
“I love being home,” Stansfield said. “That’s not the reason I decided to go to Drexel, but it’s a good benefit. It’s also a great school.”
The strong academics at Drexel is something Stansfield is taking advantage of.
He’s a double major in business analytics and finance, and he’ll soon be using what he learned in those classes during an internship.
That’s going to make for a very busy spring.
“Next year during lacrosse season, I’ll be working at a paid internship, so I’ll be at practice from 8 to 10 (a.m.) and then I’ll go to the internship. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, but these internships are a great opportunity. It gives you a chance to have a resume by the time you get out of college. I’m really lucky to get a business co-op like this.
“Valparaiso was a great school, but I just think Drexel has been a much better fit. It’s everything I wanted. Both lacrosse and school. It’s really a perfect fit.”
Stansfield also knows he still has a lot of work to do.
He had a good freshman year while learning the ropes, but next year he’ll have an even bigger role on the team.
He credits Penn Charter for getting him ready, and he intends on using what he learned there and what he learned during his first year at Drexel to aid him going forward.
“At Penn Charter, we were always playing against teams that had (Division I) talent and that makes you play better,” said Stansfield, who was a captain on both the football and lacrosse teams in high school. “The league was good at football and even better in lacrosse. High school doesn’t have you completely ready for college, but I think it definitely helped to play those top teams.
“I’m happy with my freshman year, but I know I have a lot of work to do. It was a good year, but I’m working at getting better. Now I know what to expect, but I’ll be more prepared to play next year.”