GARDINER — The end of the school year is simply the beginning for Gardiner Area High School’s Jake Truman.

For many high school athletes, the competition level in the spring sports season builds gradually before reaching its apex in the playoffs, but that is not the case for Truman.

A standout defenseman for the Gardiner boys lacrosse team this past spring, the soon-to-be senior helped lead the Tigers to an 8-4 record during the regular season before they bowed out to eventual Eastern Class B champ Yarmouth in the opening round of the playoffs.

“Jake — and I’m a little impartial — is probably one of the most dominant defenders around,” Gardiner head coach K.C. Johnson said. “He was thrust into playing some midfield for me but I think it actually helped him tremendously. He’s one of the of the most dominant players around in the area and one of the top in the state for his age group.”

When one season ended for Truman though, the next began.

Truman plays for 207 Lacrosse, which has a number of travel teams for various age groups. Truman plays on a team comprised of high school players set to graduate in 2015 throughout Maine — mostly from the southern part of the state.

“I do so much more in the summer than I do in the season,” Truman said. “(It is) a lot higher level than high school. Here you have kids dedicated to playing in the offseason.”

This past weekend Truman and his 207 Lacrosse teammates captured the championship at the 6th Annual Bryant Bulldog Classic held at Bryant College in Smithfield, RI.

The Mainers won all three games decidedly by double digits on Saturday but faced more resistance on Sunday. 207 Lacrosse opened by beating the Westchester Warriors (NY) 9-6 in the opener and then downed the Mahopac Titans (NY) 8-7 in overtime to claim the title.

“It was very well run,” Truman said. “I think there were six fields, one turf and the rest all grass. They had it organized well with scoring tables and stuff like that.”

Truman also said in addition to his team’s strong performance, having fellow Tiger Josh Caldwell — who is also on the travel team — there made the trip that much more enjoyable.

“It’s great,” Truman said. “Having the two of us there to represent northern and central Maine is so much fun. It lets everyone know there’s still lacrosse up there.”

This week Truman will be representing more than just the Central Maine area — he’ll be representing all of New England.

After a series of tryouts throughout the region, Truman was selected as one of 25 participants to represent New England at the Brine National Lacrosse Classic, which began Monday and concludes Thursday at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD.

“I’m hoping to get good college attention and let people know there is lacrosse in Maine, more than just the hot bed areas like Maryland and upstate New York,” Truman said of what he expected going into the tournament. “…I’m just expecting to play a lot and keep my game going and stay healthy.”

Like many who play in the Brine NLC, Truman is hoping to play lacrosse in college.

“(I’m) Looking at (Division) III,” he said, “mostly because I want to go for mechanical engineering.”

Truman said it is a more realistic goal to play D-III given the heavy academic load that comes with his intended major and listed Bridgewater College in Virginia as a school at which he is looking.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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