SHREWSBURY: RBR’S PIERCE SCORES A FIRST

Jonathan PierceRed Bank Regional senior Jonathan Pierce of Shrewsbury (pictured above and below) made New Jersey sports history as the only high school athlete to achieve 1000 saves in both ice hockey and lacrosse.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Jon PierceThis year, Red Bank Regional High School senior Jonathan Pierce of Shrewsbury achieved a feat that no other athlete has in New Jersey history: he registered 1000 saves in the two sports of ice hockey and lacrosse.

Jon was subsequently named the New Jersey Sporting News Ice Hockey Player of the Year, in addition to achieving the status of lacrosse saves leader in the Shore Conference. He was also named second team all-division B North. A student in RBR’s Academy of Finance, Jon will go on to attend Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA this fall, on an academic scholarship where he will also play lacrosse.

Jon Pierce sistersJon Pierce is pictured between his fellow-triplet sisters, Isabella and Victoria.

Many years ago, a health ailment altered Jon’s destiny. A natural athlete (and one of a set of Pierce family triplets, with sisters Victoria and Isabella), Jon enjoyed playing ice hockey from the age of 8, in the Princeton area. He began his play as a forward, but an asthmatic condition forced him to soon change his position to goalie, a switch that he regards as a “perfect fit for me…it involves endurance, but not sprinting and running.”

Athleticism runs in his family. His grandfather played football at Old Miss; his parents were high school athletes, and his older brother played football at Union College. Jon’s sister Victoria will crew for Holy Cross next year as a freshman.  Sister Isabella will be attending Susquehanna with him. Jon believes his entire family has been his greatest mentors and key to his success. While Jon continued to play hockey through his formative years on club teams, he didn’t pick up the lacrosse stick until eighth grade. Soon after, the Pierces moved to Shrewsbury and a new high school, where he believes sports helped him assimilate into his new community. He served as the lacrosse captain in his junior and senior year, and ice hockey captain in his senior year.

In comparing his two sports he states, “Making the switch from hockey to lacrosse was fine. They may be very different equipment-wise (you are much more protected in ice hockey), but it is the same in that you just have to get your body out in front of it. And playing one sport keeps me in shape for the other.”

Jon’s RBR Lacrosse Head Coach, Kevin Main, agrees that his ice hockey experience made him a better lacrosse player, explaining that “Jon uses his whole body and uses his legs more than a typical goalie would.”

On Jon’s contribution to his team, he states, “We had such confidence in his abilities to make those saves that we were able to adjust to a zone defense and invite the other team to shoot from the outside. That took some pressure off our younger defensive players.

“As a goalie, you verbally direct what is going on in front of you; Jon was very good in helping our younger defenders do a great job in anticipating what was going to happen.”

“And Jon would only offer constructive criticism, and would never get down on his teammates,” adds Coach Main. “A true leader leads by example.”

Jon was similarly respected in ice hockey, with Assistant Coach Michael DeCotis observing that “he is the kind of young man that would prefer to have a championship team then any individual honor…on the day he got his 1000 save, I congratulated him, but he wasn’t even that happy as he was more concerned about our team loss in that game.”

Jon, who was active in the high school’s environmental club and Future Business Leaders of America, chose his college based on its business school program, as well as the great coaches and players he met when he visited the campus. Jon believes his entire family has been his greatest mentors and key to his success.