BOLTUS READY FOR LIFE'S CHALLENGES ON AND OFF THE FIELD
7/4/11 12:00 AM
By Craig Rybczynski
Four years ago, an 18-year-old Jeremy Boltus was in the midst of basic training at the United States Military Academy. The Fourth of July was a chance for the cadet to relax and enjoy West Point.
“July 4th wasn't too big at West Point because of everyone having a different summer schedule, but it was a great holiday when I was an incoming freshman because the basic training camp was tough on me but the July 4th holiday held a show and fireworks that gave me an easy-going feeling for the rest of the summer,” said Boltus.
Fast forward to 2011 and the Baldwinsville, NY, native is enjoying the beginning of another chapter in his life. The attackman leads the Hamilton Nationals with 14 goals and is tied for ninth in Major League Lacrosse with 29 points. He has been a major reason for the resurgence of the Nats and their three-game winning streak. In the last three games, Boltus has 12 goals.
“I have loved my time in the MLL and I appreciate everyone in the Nationals organization giving me a chance to play in this league and also for the Nats,” he said. “The league has been especially great because the guys I have been surrounded by every weekend are some of the best I have ever played with.”
He was named the MLL Offensive Player of the Week for scoring nine goals in two games (6/24 to 6/25). He tied the franchise record with seven goals on 6/24. Not bad for the Hamilton Nationals’ eighth-round selection (43rd overall) in the 2011 MLL Collegiate Draft.
The 2011 Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, Boltus finished his college career ranked second in Army men’s lacrosse history with 124 career assists and 214 points. A Tewaaraton Award finalist, he scored 24 goals with 45 assists as a senior. Growing up in a suburb of Syracuse, in the heart of Orange lacrosse country, it would have been natural for him to aspire to play at Syracuse University. Yet, Boltus was bound for another college with a higher purpose.
“My motivation to join USMA had a lot to do with the lacrosse program, but also I would say the family aspect and being part of something bigger than myself drew me to want to attend USMA,” he said.
He broke into college lacrosse in 2008 with 27 points and the following year he broke the 50-point plateau. Each year, he increased his point total, reaching 67 points in 2010 and 70 as a senior. In 2011, he paced Army with a career-high 70 points and a personal-best 46 assists. He also led the NCAA with a 3.07 assist per game average and was third in points per game at 4.67. Boltus concluded a fantastic college career in May and still craves the routine he had at West Point.
“I would say that I am going to miss going to lacrosse practice every day because although it was tough day-in and day-out, it was some of the best memories I had during my time at West Point,” he said.
Boltus still calls West Point his home as he continues his education. During the weekend, the attackman focuses on his professional lacrosse career and helping the Nationals return to the MLL Championship Weekend.
“I have already started my next assignment, which is a graduate assistant for the lacrosse team for six months then I will head off to Ft. Sill, Okla., to attend a six month basic officer course about Field Artillery.”
For now, Boltus will relax and enjoy the Fourth of July and remember the sacrifices and dedication of his friends
and Army teammates.
“About the holiday, I have never really thought about it too much but now that I am actually in the real Army, it does have a special meaning when I think about all of my former teammates who have been and currently are deployed and defending our freedoms,” he said.