FLG Alumni Feature: Kevin Winkoff

FLG Lacrosse alum, Kevin Winkoff was a three sport varsity athlete at Cold Spring Harbor. Since graduating in 2018, Winkoff has made a name for himself among the Binghamton Bearcats’ Division I lacrosse program. The junior attacker appeared in all 13 games with 7 starts his freshman season before his sophomore season was prematurely cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Q: How did you get into the sport of lacrosse and how long have you been playing for?

A: I got into the sport of lacrosse through my family and hometown I grew up in. My father was a big time lacrosse player at Towson University. He had major passion for the game, and I believe that he had a big influence on me and my decisions in making lacrosse my main sport. I’m from a small town on Long Island, Cold Spring Harbor. The community really gathers around and supports the lacrosse program there and it was easy for to choose that path and be part of that program.

Q: What about Binghamton and its lacrosse program helped you decide it was the right school for you?

A: Binghamton is an amazing academic school that is financially fit for me and my family. The coaches reached out to me and made me feel like I was really wanted there so choosing to play for them was exciting. The guys on the team had great things to say and I felt comfortable choosing to commit here.

Q: What is your favorite part about playing lacrosse as a Bearcat?

A: My favorite part about being a Bearcat and playing for Binghamton University is the grit. We are known to be blue collar type of people and I know my teammates and coaches got my back. Specifically my favorite part is the teammates. It really is one big family that goes through a lot together, whether it’s bonding and listening to music in the locker room, lifting in weight room, or getting through tough times like playing in rain, snow, or sunshine.

Q: When you’re not on the lacrosse field, what are you likely to spend your time doing?

A: Like I stated earlier, Binghamton’s academics is no walk in the park. So when I’m not on the field I’m either in the library studying, getting work done or at the house hanging out with my teammates.

Q: In what ways did playing football and basketball in high school help your lacrosse game?

A: In high school I played football and basketball aside from lacrosse. Playing those sports was a great way to have a change of scenery and mix things up. Basketball was amazing for me because I loved the quick pace and helped me with my footwork.

Playing football was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. It opened my eyes in my love for physical contact which is a crucial aspect when you move on to play division one lacrosse. Also it really taught me the importance of teamwork, you can not be successful in the sport of football if your full unit isn’t on the same page, with the same goals, and the same mindset of giving up your body to make plays for your teammates to succeed.

Q: Have you always played attack/middle?What about this position has made you stick to it?

A: I’ve played attack and midfield my whole life, When I was in 5th grade I tried to play long pole but my father didn’t approve. But, it’s okay because I do love playing offense and being able to make plays to help my team win.

To me, being part of a successful offense is the most fun and exciting part of the game. The seconds after your team scores a goal is electric. The excitement that you feel when celebrating and huddling up with your teammates is something that will keep me on the offensive side of the ball the rest of my life.

Q: Are there any particular coaches or teammates that have taught you valuable lessons about lacrosse or life?

A: My mother and my high school coach, coach Bonn, taught the most valuable lessons for me in lacrosse. My mother never coached a game of lacrosse in her life. But she was the person I always talked to after practice and games and kept my head in straight. She was the person since day one that taught me to have fun with the game, and influenced me to play other sports so lacrosse didn’t feel like a job.

Lacrosse is a mental game above all else. If your head isn’t in the right place you can be the most gifted player and athlete on the field and still look like the worst. Coach Bonn taught me my most important lesson on the field, and it’s that the “little things matter”. Being a couple yards this way or that way, hitting the one more for the better shot, sprinting off the field instead of jogging, and many many more small details that add up and make the big picture get put together on game day.

Q: Lastly, what is your best/favorite sports memory?

A: My favorite sports memory was junior year semifinal game to go to the state championship in high school. We had an unbelievable team with players going to big time schools. That year I had a concussion and a fractured back which kept me out for the whole season. We were losing by a couple. Somehow I strung together a hat trick and played a great game to get us the win. After that we went on to win the state championship.

Although winning state was an amazing memory, that semifinal game was the most emotional for me. It was emotional because of what I went through that season. Overcoming the physical and mental obstacles that year was a huge achievement for me. And winning that game was the final chapter of that difficult portion of my life.


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