Hammer Time: Faceoff Specialist Alec Stathakis Brings the Thunder


 This article appears in the December edition US Lacrosse Magazine. Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

You can’t teach speed and you can’t teach size. When it comes to the faceoff specialists vying for spots on the U.S. U19 team, coach Nick Myers has at his disposal a blend of both.

Conor Calderone and Jake Naso are the lightning to Alec Stathakis’ thunder.

“It’s really intriguing to have that combination,” Myers said. “Calderone and Naso are really fast, quick, a little undersized, but man they are so talented. Alec is more of the hammer. He’s bigger and stronger, plus 30 pounds on those guys.”

That’s the beauty of the faceoff position and, really, lacrosse. You could be a 5-foot-7, 175-pound surgeon like TD Ierlan or a 6-foot, 215-pound bruiser like Alex Woodall.

Stathakis, the Denver freshman ranked by Inside Lacrosse as the No. 1 faceoff prospect (and No. 4 overall) in his recruiting class, looks a lot like the latter. He torched his high school competition by winning 85 percent of his faceoffs as a senior at the nationally renowned Culver Academy in Indiana.

“I try to work out about every day, if not six days a week,” said Stathakis, who sat out the fall while recovering from shoulder surgery. “Being a bigger guy helps with this position when you get into the 50-50 grinds, especially.”

Stathakis, also a high school football linebacker and running back, is a sight to behold in the weight room. He benches 315 pounds and can squat four sets of 365. His straight-bar deadlift max is 505.

And even though he’s being heralded as the second coming of Trevor Baptiste at Denver, Stathakis remains unfazed. He has embraced the “humble warrior” concept Myers instilled during U.S. tryouts over the summer.

“I love that,” Stathakis said. “Be grateful you’re here and bust your [butt]. … It’s awesome to get compared to the best faceoff guy to play the game, but now it’s time to prove myself.”

Alec Stathakis

Hometown: Northville, Mich.

High School: Culver Academy (Ind.)

College: Denver ('23)

Vitals: 5’11”, 225 lbs

Bench: 315 lbs

Squat: 365 lbs

Deadlift: 505 lbs

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