Yanes looks to take off after men's lacrosse career
After four seasons as a member of the Hofstra men’s lacrosse team, Jimmy Yanes’ run is coming to an end. He will leave behind years of memories, but use what he learned on the field to propel himself to new heights.
“I plan on graduating soon,” Yanes said. “After graduation, I am going to aviation school for roughly 10 months.”
As a pilot, the similarities are clear. He will be the man counted on, serving as a true leader. Not to mention, people will depend on him, just like the Pride has depended on him for three full seasons.
Coming to Hofstra from Junipero Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California, Yanes was thrilled to get his career started. But an injury postponed his dream, sidelining him his entire freshman year.
“It motivated me tremendously,” Yanes said. “I was on a mission to try to get back on the field. After my freshman year, I knew I had to fill a big hole.”
That lit a spark, leading to a breakout sophomore season. Starting all 14 games, Yanes tallied 20 goals and five assists for 25 points, including game-winning goals against Princeton, St. John’s and Delaware.
An incredibly successful second year was a preview of Yanes’ future seasons. When head coach Seth Tierney entrusted him with the responsibilities of leading the offense, Yanes was ready for the test.
“My sophomore year was great,” Yanes said. “We started 10-0 and it was probably my greatest season as a member of the Pride as far as memories go.”
He continued that elite play in his junior season, notching 24 goals and 35 points, both good for second on the team. Hat tricks became routine for the rising star – Ohio State, Stony Brook, Providence and Drexel all fell victim to three-goal performances.
“It felt great to put the ball in the net so much,” Yanes said. “My role that season was to score whenever I got the opportunity.”
While Yanes’ statistics went up, his grades followed a similar trajectory. He was honored as a Dean’s List student and a Fall 2018 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll member.
“It feels really good to do well in school,” Yanes said. “My parents are certainly really happy.”
While Yanes hit the books, he also had time to make lasting relationships with many of his teammates. As one of the few seniors on the team this season, he served as a role model, helping implement the Turnpike Toughness motto that the Pride follow.
This has been apparent in his final season. Yanes has provided guidance to a young team that has dealt with countless injuries. As a player who lost his freshman year to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Yanes can step into the shoes of his teammates and sympathize with their adversity.
“A lot of freshman have had to fill big holes this year,” Yanes said. “But when they get injured, I tell them that there are three more years of lacrosse left and to come back better than ever.”
In perhaps his best moment of the season, Yanes helped mount a historic comeback against their archrival, the University of Massachusetts (UMass). After a huge save by Bobby Casey, Yanes unleashed his inner-Superman and tallied a crucial diving goal that displayed his raw athleticism.
The Pride eventually completed the upset, defeating the Minutemen, 10-9, in overtime. Yanes’ play on the field and leadership on the sidelines was pivotal in the game.
“Hofstra-UMass is the best,” Yanes said. “You can ask my roommates, I literally had that game highlighted on my calendar. I am not a fan of UMass at all so winning was an awesome experience, especially with the alumni in the locker room.”
Two of his teammates that perhaps best exemplify Yanes’ leadership are Ryan Tierney and Casey. Tierney has amassed a spectacular 39 goals and 50 points on the season, while Casey has made 143 saves in 13 contests under Yanes’ guidance. Not just that, they have grown as people too.
“Tierney has blown through the bubble,” Yanes said. “Casey sees the ball really well and stops every shot 10 feet and out. Seeing both them grow is huge.”
On top of the lifelong friendships Yanes has fostered, he has also gained unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences during his time at Hofstra.
Yanes traveled to Netanya, Israel, to suit up for Team England in the 2018 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) Men’s World Championships. In eight games, Yanes recorded three goals and five points while picking up two ground balls.
“I was over in England for two months before even going to Israel,” Yanes said. “It was probably the best experience of my life.”
Through everything, Yanes has stayed true to himself and his teammates, always serving as a leader, especially for this young Hofstra squad.
Lacrosse may just be a game, but it allowed Yanes to form his identity as a genuinely good person. For that, he will eternally be grateful.
“I will tell my kids all the jokes I created with my teammates,” Yanes said. “I have become a better man, made so many friends and am excited to continue these great relationships.”
After four years of playing lacrosse at a top level, it is clear that Yanes’ life is on the rise, just like the plane he one day hopes to pilot.
“Next up, I want to get a job as a flight instructor and build my hours,” Yanes said. “In the next couple of years, hopefully you will see me flying for American or Delta Airlines.”
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics