Stone Jacobs (left) fights off a Harvard defender during an exhibition game in January 2020. It was the first time Jacobs played organized lacrosse since his injury.
(COURTESY ROBERT JACOBS)
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After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and a torn meniscus in 2017, Kahnawake’s Stone Jacobs is back to full health and plans to play field lacrosse for the University of Vermont Catamounts in early 2021.
The 20-year-old suffered the injury during a pre-season lacrosse tournament in Ottawa.
“We were concerned about his future,” said Bob Jacobs, Stone’s father. “He had already had an offer on the table from Vermont and he was already scouted. We knew it was going to be a long road.”
“It’s a really shocking situation. I hurt it on Saturday and I rehabbed on Sunday,” said Stone. “I felt normal again. When I got the MRI on Monday, they said I’d get (results) the following day.”
Stone spent a year-and-ahalf rehabbing his injury, which included surgery.
“He was operated on two months after the injury,” said Bob. “They had to take a big chunk of his hamstring and made a new ACL out of it. Not only did he have to recover from that, but his hamstring as well.”
“Even before surgery, I had to do rehab with the (Kahnawake) Hunters,” said Stone. “I slowly started jogging and had to know my own body when I pushed myself without getting hurt.”
Since his recovery, he was a freshman with the University of Vermont, but did not play to allow his body to heal.
“You come back three months early and risk yourself or do the full treatment,” said Stone. “The Hunters messaged me and asked if I could play. Each time, I had to make the responsible decision. To do 20 years of lacrosse or come back three months early and risk injury – it’s realizing your own body and feeling comfortable at the end of the day.
“He’s more than 100 percent, physically and mentally,” said his father. “He’s in the best shape of his life and the team has gotten him to where he needs to be.”
Vermont lacrosse head coach Chris Feifs took a risk on recruiting Stone despite his injury. While he has not been able to play for the university yet, Feifs believes he still made the right decision to bring Stone to Vermont.
“Stone is one of the best human beings I’ve had to recruit in my coaching career,” said Feifs. “Having to go through the adversity he did with a pretty bad knee injury and how diligently he rehabbed it really speaks to his character. He’s an inspiration to the rest of our team.”
Stone became the first Indigenous player to be recruited by Feifs and is currently the only one on the roster. Feifs says that will change as he enters his fifth year as a head coach in 2021.
“We really want to start a pipeline to Native Americans for Vermont,” he said.
The recruiter was very impressed with Stone’s potential.
“He’s just a unique player,” said Feifs. “His understanding of the speed of the game. We had a good relationship. I thought there was mutual respect there.”
Stone will remain a true freshman and have another year of eligibility to play for Vermont due to COVID-19 cancelling the season in mid-March. He was able to play exhibition games during the 2020 pre-season and embraced his return to the Creator’s game.
“It was nice. Not only playing exhibition, but right from the first day at practice with the intramural scrimmage that we had,” said Stone. “Just being able to go out and play was very rewarding with how long the process it took.”
Stone was a top student at Howard S. Billings High School in Chateauguay. He played 30 regular season games from 2016-2017 with the Kahnawake Hunters, scoring 29 goals and 51 assists.