VA, PA athletes enroll at AACC


Photo courtesy of Anthony Bellotte

Second-year AACC Men’s Lacrosse player Nick Karnes earns All-American honors from the National Junior College Athletic Association for his play last season.

Brady Reilly, Sports Co-Editor

It isn’t uncommon for athletes to transfer to AACC from states outside of Maryland.

Of the 295 students attending AACC from different states, two are playing for AACC sports teams: Men’s Lacrosse players Nick Karnes, from Catherine, Virginia, and Joel Rodriguez, from McGaheysville, Virginia.

Rodriguez, a first-year FOGO (faceoff get off) studying criminal justice, said he chose AACC over other schools for financial and competitive reasons.

“I was recruited to play at an upcoming program in Pennsylvania,” Rodriguez said. “Later on, I was told by a friend that I should play at AACC, and that I would be a good contributor for them.”

Rodriguez spent time at Keystone College in Pennsylvania before coming to AACC this fall.

“I decided to take a shot at it, and now here I am,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said AACC has a better team than his hometown community college.
“Maryland Lax has more talent,” he said. “The game is quicker, and the players are bigger and stronger here.”

Rodriguez had high praise for his teammates and new team, saying, “There’s so many talented athletes on this team that I am pretty sure we will win it all, if we do everything right.”

Men’s Lacrosse coach Joe Stanilaus explained the player’s decision to join the Riverhawks. “Joel reached out about joining us after his time at Keystone,” he said.

Stanilaus called the first-year player “both coachable and available. … He is a very strong athlete.”

Stanilaus also said Rodriguez is “meshing quite well,” given that he’s from out of state and new to the area.

“My goal is to find great people and make them great athletes,” Stanilaus said.
He said he is open to having players from out of state.

“As a spring sport, we can offer scholarships in the spring,” Stanilaus said. “When we get there, [Rodriguez] certainly [will] be in that conversation.”