Jacob Pruitt

Jacob Pruitt — Forsyth Country Day (Dan Kibler/Special to the Journal)

Jacob Pruitt has played lacrosse for Forsyth Country Day since the seventh grade, and he’s a four-year varsity starter.

Coach Marc Winbush shakes his head when he thinks about how good Pruitt is now. Yet, he also knows that Pruitt could be even better.

“I wish he had played for a club team,” Winbush said. “I tell him all the time.”

Lacrosse is Pruitt’s favorite team sport, but it’s still a distant second to his real love, fishing. Pruitt, an 18-year-old senior, fishes at Lake Norman near his home in Mooresville, and he fishes in the backwaters and ocean around Isle of Palms, S.C., every chance he gets.

“Lacrosse is the only sport I play, and I don’t play club because I’m fishing all summer, at Lake Norman or out in the ocean at the beach,” he said. “I’ve fished inshore my whole life, but I’ve only fished offshore since we got our boat.”

The catch Pruitt is most proud of is either a sailfish or a 40-pound wahoo. Two weeks ago, he said an offshore trip produced nine black fin tuna in the 25-pound class, which is enough to feed the lacrosse team several meals.

During his high school career, Pruitt, a team co-captain, has established himself as a fierce defensive presence. In spite of his lean build, opponents aren’t able to bully him around physically.

“People think they’re going to run over him, but he’s very strong,” Winbush said.

Pruitt, who plans to attend Auburn University, took up lacrosse, in part, because older brother Weston, a senior at the University of Virginia, played for the Furies, who are the defending NCISAA Class 3-A state champions.

“Weston played defense, and I’d rather play attack and midfield,” Pruitt said. “But I really like being able to play defense and be very aggressive. Lacrosse is truly a mind game. I love the intensity. It’s always fast. There’s never any rest and it can wear you out.”

Dan Kibler