Area lacrosse player reflects on career at VMI

Trejan Cannon

Area lacrosse player reflects on career at VMI
April 20
16:29 2022

Trejan Cannon was a standout lacrosse player at Reynolds High School before heading off to play collegiately at Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Now that his career is wrapping up at VMI, Cannon opened up on his time with the Keydets.

Cannon was voted as a preseason All-Conference player and a captain for the team. He will graduate from VMI this spring semester; however, he will still have one year of eligibility left to play anywhere he would like.

Cannon reflects fondly on his career at VMI. Cannon says he was prepared for the jump in competition upon arriving at college, but says you have to feel it to believe it.

“It was exactly what I expected, especially when it came to teams such as High Point University, Richmond University, you know, these top tier teams,” said Cannon about the skill level of the players at the collegiate level. “For the most part, making that switch was pretty tough because I came in starting as a freshman but during the breaks, I was able to build my skill level up on my own and I was able to adapt pretty fast as well.”

Making the transition from high school to college is tough for most freshmen. For VMI students, they have the military component for an added responsibility. Cannon says all of the running and physical activity actually helped him on the lacrosse field.  

“From a training aspect, it actually helped. With all of the running and physical conditioning that we did, it definitely benefited me in the end. When it came to school, trying to balance all three as far as the military aspect, lacrosse and classes, it was pretty tough.”

Cannon has developed in a multitude of ways since stepping on campus. Growth is part of the college experience and Cannon has enjoyed the process, he said.

“Physically I graduated high school at 150 and I am finishing up at 190, so I have put on 40 pounds physically. But I would say all around I am definitely a lot faster and have more endurance,” he said about his physical growth. “When it comes to mental, the game was a lot faster as a freshman being new to this skill level. I had to slow the game down as I gradually progressed.”

Personal accolades are not something that Cannon strives for. He would rather have team success than individual success, so that’s where most of his focus lies when it comes to lacrosse.

“For me personally, not much, but I wanted to continue being that leader on the team and being there for the guys at the end of the day,” he said about his focus on the team. “Personal achievements are not the end all, be all. I want to be able to show guys that I am there for them at the end of the day. As a team I wanted to help be impactful to help the team to win more games.”

So far this season, Cannon feels he has performed well. He says he always feels there were improvements he could have made to improve the team’s chances of winning.

“To me, I don’t know why, maybe it’s my competitive mindset, but I can always do more. I would definitely say my senior year has been successful,” he stated. “I have noticed that during the semester that guys have come up to me and asked me for advice, especially coming from being such a reserved person my freshman year in college.

“Guys come to me for advice and see me as a leader and role model. It’s an amazing feeling honestly and just being there for guys and knowing guys are able to come to me, approach me and talk about anything is one of those great moments for me.”

Stepping on the field for the last time with the Keydets will be an emotional one for Cannon. When he thinks back on his college career on and off the field, he will miss things, but is happy for the next stage in his life.  

Cannon recently had the opportunity to play in front of some family and friends when VMI traveled to play High Point University on April 8. Unfortunately for Cannon and the Keydets, High Point won 16-5.

“It was a great feeling. I do wish I gave a better performance because we didn’t win that game,” he said. “It was the first time being close to home where family could see, and friends could come out and support. I wanted to show them how hard I have worked to get where I am now. I have such a big support system and people watching me.  

“It was an indescribable feeling to be honest. It really, from a mental aspect, it really gave me more of a reason to go even harder at the end of the day because I have my nephews, nieces and little cousins looking up to me, seeing that I am doing great things. I just want to show them that they can do it as well.”

Cannon has also been an inspiration for other young Black boys and girls who are interested in playing because of him. He is happy to be the reason other young African American children become attracted to the game of lacrosse. 

“Having my mom send me those messages where kids are saying they are doing lacrosse because of me. Me being that representation is like why not try to give even more to that,” Cannon said about inspiring Black kids to pick up the sport. “My little brother has also picked up the sport. It’s his first time playing this year and even wearing my number and says it’s because of me.

“With that in mind, I told myself I have another year, which I plan on using because of that representation. If I do get the chance to play at the next level, I will take it just to show there are more opportunities out here.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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