Men’s lacrosse graduate transfer Charlie Bertrand (Baldwinsville, N.Y.) is set to play in his first game in a Virginia uniform on Saturday against Towson. Bertrand, an attackman, is a two-time NCAA DII National Player of the Year after helping Merrimack College to the 2018 and 2019 NCAA titles. He brings amassed 274 career points (210-64-274) prior to joining the Cavaliers’ squad.
Q: It is game week for the first time since early March. What type of emotions are you feeling with the opportunity to play in a real game this Saturday?
Bertrand: Grateful. There is a lot of excitement and energy focused for this weekend, but I am truly thankful for the opportunity to play again after all that has occurred in the past year.
Q: You are a graduate transfer from Merrimack College, despite challenges of navigating the pandemic, how has the transition to UVA and Charlottesville been like for you?
Bertrand: It’s been a smooth transition thanks to the guys on the team that welcomed me in from day one. Both on and off the field, the staff at UVA has been very supportive.
Q: You are working on a master’s degree in commerce, how has juggling a new lacrosse program and such intricate graduate course of study been like?
Bertrand: Grad school is no joke, but I am seriously enjoying the commerce program. Fortunately, studying mechanical engineering at Merrimack, along with the culture of the lacrosse program there, prepared me to take on this new challenge.
Q: What are your plans after college?
Bertrand: I recently accepted a mechanical engineer position at Raytheon Technologies in Massachusetts. I hope to stay involved in lacrosse and play as long as I can.
Q: A lot of lacrosse players and fans cite Klöckner Stadium as one the best college lacrosse venues for players and spectators. You get to close out your college career with Klöckner Stadium as your home venue and Saturday will be your first game there. What are your thoughts about getting the Klöckner experience?
Bertrand: There is something to be said about the long history of success for UVA Lacrosse. The opportunity to play at Klöckner and help continue the success of this program is extremely exciting.
Q: You have a college career with two national titles, a lot of accolades and a lot of points scored. You have played with some very good lacrosse players. Who are some of the players on this UVA team that have stood out to you, offensively or defensively?
Bertrand: It’s no surprise that players like Matt Moore, Jared Conners and Alex Rode stand out on the field, but I think it’s a disservice not to mention the team as a whole. Every player on the team makes plays every day and challenges each other to get better.
Q: Is there a Cavalier on this team that many people haven’t heard about that could make a big impact on the 2021 season?
Bertrand: Connor Shellenberger. If you don’t know his name yet, you will soon.
Q: You hail from Baldwinsville, N.Y., which is north-west of Syracuse, while head coach Lars Tiffany is from Lafayette, which is just south of Syracuse. Has it been easy to bond over your upstate New York roots?
Bertrand: The upstate New York roots certainly created a natural connection with Coach Tiffany in the recruiting process. Growing up in that area creates a sense of pride in the lacrosse community.
Q: Describe Coach Tiffany in one word?
Q: Who is the funniest guy on the team?
Bertrand: Petey LaSalla
Q: Who inspired or encouraged you the most athletically growing up?
Bertrand: My Family
Q: Who do you think will win the Super Bowl on Sunday?
Bertrand: The Bucs. Greatness will prevail in Tom Brady.
Q: To close, what is your go-to meal?
Bertrand: Chicken Riggies, a hometown specialty.