Former Reynolds standout recalls freshman year

Trejan Cannon was a standout player for the Demons and is now heading into his sophomore year at VMI.

Former Reynolds standout recalls freshman year
August 01
01:10 2019

Trejan Cannon was a star lacrosse player for Reynolds High School before making his way to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) to further his career athletically and academically. His freshman year presented some ups and downs, but he learned valuable lessons on and off the field that will serve him well as he matriculates through college.

Heading off to college is hard enough for any kid, but the additional military aspect that VMI presented added an additional challenge for Cannon, but he was up to the test. He quickly realized the difference between high school and college.

“Going to VMI I had to learn time management and having to learn that skill was definitely a big change for me,” said Cannon. “As a freshman, they have the rat line plus the military stuff, then adding lacrosse on top of that was a tough transition for me.

“I just had to manage my time well. Having workouts at 5 a.m. in the morning before classes and then after class having practice, and then after practice you have to try and find time to do homework. Sometimes I would be up until one or two in the morning, then get about three hours of sleep and then I’m back at it the next day.”

Cannon was pleased with how his freshman year turned out on the field, but felt he had room to improve in the classroom. The first semester took its toll on him, but he rebounded well in his second semester.

“All of the traditions VMI has really took its toll on me, because I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “Academically, my freshman year wasn’t the best, but next year it will be better, because your freshman year is the hardest year you will have there.”

The military aspect of the college was not hard for Cannon to adjust to, he said. It was not the physical component that was very difficult, but rather the mental aspect.

On the field, Cannon displayed his athleticism, which allowed him to play in every game this season. His play led to him being named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman Honorable Mention Team.

“Just to have that recognition, especially at a school like VMI not being a big school on the D1 level, is just amazing,” Cannon said about being named to the All-Freshman team.  

His high level of play as a freshman was somewhat of a surprise for Cannon. His original plan was to attend Guilford College, but once the offer came in from VMI, he jumped at the chance, but knew his game would have to evolve as well.

“Building that confidence the first few weeks there and then playing with those guys made me realize that I can actually play with these guys,” Cannon said about playing at VMI. “It forced me to take my game to the next level.”

Having the ability to forget about mistakes and move on to the next play was a valuable lesson Cannon learned from head coach Jim O’Neill. He feels that mentality got him through a lot of the season this year.

Heading into his sophomore year, Cannon plans to build upon the foundation he has already laid on the field, along with in the classroom.

“Sophmore year, I want to basically do the same thing I did freshman year on the field, which is to come out and play as hard as I can and hopefully I can see some progress in my game,” he said. “Academically-wise, I want to finish with a 4.0 and that’s the goal. I am going to be studying harder than usual to accomplish that.”

Cannon was used primarily on the defensive end last season, but says he will play more offense this upcoming season. 

Cannon wants to inspire more African American youth to pick up the game of lacrosse. 

“I want to show kids that there are more opportunities out there besides football and basketball,” he said.  “There’s lacrosse, tennis, golf or even baseball that have opportunities for kids.”

Future goals for Cannon include being an All-American and possibly even playing professionally. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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