Junior John Fox (New Canaan, Conn.) is one of four captains on the 2020 team. The short-stick defensive midfielder has been one of UVA’s key defenders since 2018, appearing in 44 career games. Through six games in 2020 before the season was canceled Fox had five ground balls and four caused turnovers as UVA started out with a 4-2 record.
Q: What was it like preparing for Maryland one moment and then hearing the NCAA had canceled winter and spring championships?
Fox: It was shocking, that’s really the only word for it. There was not a lot of time to process anything. When we found out we were in a team meeting discussing how we would return in shape and ready to play when the suspension of our season was up. Just pure shock, which then turned into disappointment.
Q: Lars Tiffany took the team down to the practice field to scrimmage before word came out about the championships being canceled. What was the vibe like on the field?
Fox: The vibe was extremely positive. It was probably our best and most intense scrimmage of the year. Guys were flying around, making plays, big hits, talking trash, it was really awesome. Walking off the field, I thought to myself wow I really took this for granted, sort of an eye-opening experience. The cliché of you never know when it will be your last practice, couldn’t be more true.
Q: What did the coaching staff say to you and your teammates after the announcement was made?
Fox: The coaches were in shock too, there wasn’t much anyone can say. It stinks that it happened, but obviously we know this is bigger than a lacrosse season and have to accept it and adapt.
Q: What has the team’s camaraderie been like in the wake of losing the season and even now a few weeks later?
Fox: I think guys are getting settled into this strange time at home, but there is a lot of contact and just an overall sense of missing each other.
Q: What has this experience been like for you?
Fox: This has been a really interesting experience for me and I think everyone. It is definitely eye opening, and makes you think a lot. How you never really know how good you have it until it’s gone. There’s nothing better than being a student-athlete at UVA. I think this experience will really help everyone when we return to campus to never take it for granted whether that’s practices, lifts, film sessions, hanging out with your teammates, bus trips, etc. We miss it all.
Q: As a captain, how have you been able to keep in contact with the team with everyone being at home?
Fox: It’s been interesting, I think giving guys some time to settle in and really digest what is happening has been nice. More checking in, seeing how guys are doing, and just being a teammate at the moment. But soon we will try to make the most of the time and become better lacrosse players.
Q: What is your routine like at this time? Walk us through a normal day.
Fox: My routine hasn’t changed much honestly. Wake up, eat breakfast, “go” to class, all my classes are in the morning before when we would have practice, so I finish around 1 p.m. Then use the time we would be practicing for lifting, running, shooting, footwork drills, whatever it may be that day. Then eat dinner, do some homework, hang out with family, maybe play some video games with my older brother who is working from home or watch a movie. It’s essentially the same at school, just the setting and contents of who I’m with and with whom I am doing it with has changed.
Q: How do you create a routine while being at home?
Fox: Someone told me to create a list of things I want to get done, whether that’s long term or short-term goals. So, I have been slowly checking those off, but with schoolwork and working out, creating a routine is not that hard.
Q: Have you been binge-watching any shows or movies, if so – what has been your favorite?
Fox: I’m not a huge show guy, but I have watched some movies. Fast and Furious is my favorite series, so I have watched a couple and they never get old.
Q: How do you stay motivated to train on your own?
Fox: The nature of being a Division I athlete. I also think it’s helpful to turn this negative situation and do everything you can to make it positive.
Q: How has this impacted your hometown of New Canaan, Conn.?
Fox: Being just outside of New York City, the epicenter in our country for the virus right now it has been incredibly impacted. I live minutes from teammates Michael Kraus and Jackson Appelt and haven’t seen them one time since we got back. There are over 20 cases in New Canaan right now, so it is definitely scary being here.
Q: Do you have a message you would like to share with UVA fans during this time?
Fox: Never take Virginia Lacrosse for granted as a fan or as a player because it is truly special.
Q: To close, now that you are at home, what has been your go-to meal?
Fox: Anything home cooked by my mom, at school that’s something you really miss.
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