Having tired of baseball by the second grade, Reid Edelstein wanted a faster sport. He picked lacrosse and never looked back.
Now, as a star player at Denison University, he recalled that, as a Lovett freshman, he set his goal as college athlete and said, “My parents, Amy and Bruce, were incredibly supportive, assuring me that they were 100 percent committed to this goal…but if I changed my mind, that was perfectly fine, too. The reality is, I didn’t believe that I was good enough to play in college until recruitment started.”
Playing varsity at Lovett laid some solid base work: practice two hours a day, six days a week. Then, in season, two games per week, and practices, “away” games, time before and after practice in Lovett’s training room.
Edelstein said, “We still had spring semester classes that required a lot of attention! There were five of us in Lovett’s class of 2019 who went on to play college, and we treated lacrosse like a job, in addition to the classroom.”
He also played on a club team with citywide kids, the Georgia Thunder, taking him to tournaments in the Washington, D.C. area, and the Northeast, where lacrosse used to be much more prevalent. He exclaimed, “Atlanta is becoming a lacrosse city, too!”
Edelstein’s college search was intense. Starting on the night that the NCAA allowed colleges to approach 2019 lacrosse players, he received dozens of calls, texts, and emails. He continued, “We felt that I had an opportunity to get into a really great school because of my lacrosse piece, and that I should really love the school, so that, if I decided not to play lacrosse, I would still be at a great place.”
Seeking a balanced college life, Edelstein eschewed NCAA Division I, which required a more comprehensive commitment. Narrowing down to D-III schools, Denison was Edelstein’s best match, based on academics, athletics, accessibility to Atlanta, size, and diversity. Coach Michael Caravana recruited Edelstein, and he now has a female assistant coach, the first woman to coach a NCAA men’s lacrosse team.
Edelstein’s major is global commerce, international business, from a liberal arts perspective (with a minor in Spanish). It is a unique program, created by Denison’s president, Dr. Adam Weinberg (Jewish), who, according to Edelstein, “is amazing, very visible on campus, in town, and in the stands at lacrosse games!”
Another selling point for Denison is that athletic programs encourage study abroad. Since lacrosse is a spring sport, Edelstein studied during fall, junior year, at the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain.
Denison is a private, nonprofit university in Granville, Ohio, founded in 1831. It has more than 2,200 students on 850 acres and ranks 39th in the 2023 Best Colleges in National Liberal Arts Colleges, respectively.
Edelstein stated, “There is Jewish life on campus and an active Hillel. I have several Jewish classmates and some teammates. Some students go to Columbus for services or events at Ohio State.”
Amy Edelstein initially recalled, “We were thrilled that Reid was doing something he loved, and that was more than enough for us. It wasn’t until much closer to high school when Coach Buczek told us about Reid’s future lacrosse possibilities. We were pleasantly surprised! Reid’s uncle played tennis in college, we knew what a commitment it was, and we were ‘all in’…and, if Reid decided that he wanted a different path, that was OK, too. We knew that it could be an amazing experience and, potentially, result in incredible opportunities.”
Dad, Bruce Edelstein, added, “Lacrosse is a ‘gear intensive’ sport, so players look intimidating. Watching college games might look like these young men are trying to kill each other. We’ve learned that gear is for protection, and contact is incidental, as opposed to football, which is more intentional. Reid had a few injuries over the years, but he probably would have anyway, considering that he was always an active boy. That being said, we worry all the time!”
Dating back to the 12th century, lacrosse is considered one of the oldest organized sports. Some refer to it as a combination of basketball, soccer, and hockey.