It wasn’t long ago that Will Eikenberry believed his lacrosse stick would be his closest companion when he entered college in the fall.
Now, the inanimate friend will either remain in his Andover home, or possibly be a decoration in his dorm.
“It’s strange to think this will be my last season with my lacrosse stick,” Eikenberry said. “But I’m sure it will be around, and maybe I will bring it to college to have in my room and throw the ball around some.”
Eikenberry entered the fall of 2013 believing that he was headed to play college lacrosse for Division 1 Delaware on scholarship after a stellar season at prep school Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
But after an outstanding start to his senior football season at Andover, the linebacker’s highlight film began opening eyes around colleges, finding its way to the desk of then-Penn State coach and Andover native Bill O’Brien.
Eikenberry suddenly found himself an unlikely Division 1 football recruit and, after months of careful debate, made his final decision two weeks ago to join the iconic Penn State football team as a preferred walk-on.
But not before he plays one final season of lacrosse for the Golden Warriors.
“It is bittersweet that this is my last season of lacrosse,” Eikenberry said. “But I am so excited to play football at Penn State. I love football, and how often do you have the chance to play in front of 110,000 people?
“But I am going to miss lacrosse because I love that sport, too. I want to do everything I can to help Andover make a tournament run to cap off my career.”
It has been a long journey for Eikenberry, who for a time believed he would never play football again, let alone for one of the sport’s most storied programs.