St. Joe’s Lomax headed to LIU
HAMMONTON—For Chase Lomax, the decision to play football at St. Joseph Academy was an easy one. Choosing where to continue his career in college was a little more difficult.
Last month, Lomax, a senior guard and defensive end, announced that he will attend Long Island University (LIU) next fall, joining his brothers, Derek and Brad, as college football players.
All three Lomax brothers attended St. Joe, where each earned All-State honors as they led the Wildcats to multiple state championships.
“I always knew I was going to St. Joe,” Lomax said.
“From the time I was 12-years-old and my brother Derek was playing here [at St. Joseph], I knew I would be here, too,” Lomax said.
The end of the 2020 season ended the three brothers’ six-year run at St. Joe. Oldest brother Derek attended Lehigh University, while middle brother, Brad, currently plays at Salisbury University.
“I just built on what my brothers started,” Lomax said.
While Lomax always knew where he’d play high school football, there was plenty of uncertainty around where he would go to college.
Like many senior athletes, Lomax’ recruitment process was limited by pandemic restrictions.
Much of his contact with college coaches was done virtually, and there were no official visits to campuses.
Other than LIU, Sacred Heart University, Marist College and the University of Dayton were among the schools that sought Lomax.
His final decision came down to the relationship he built with LIU defensive line coach Lou Scala.
“I was attracted to LIU because of the rapport I have with Coach Scala. I think the campus is beautiful, not too far away, and it’s got a great reputation on and off the field,” Lomax said.
After earning honors on both sides of the line of scrimmage during his career, Lomax said he expects to be used at defensive end for the Sharks.
As for the recruiting process, Lomax admitted it was stressful.
“This recruiting process was really tough because I wasn’t allowed on campus to meet the team and coaches at each school. There’s no official visits and everything is virtual. I knew I connected with LIU as soon as we spoke. It felt comfortable,” Lomax said.
Lomax joined a strong program at St. Joseph, but knows there will be challenges at LIU, where the Sharks are in just their second season at the Division I [Football Championship Subdivision] level. The Sharks were 0-10 in 2019 and did not play this season due to the pandemic.
“It won’t be easy, but I just hope that in four years I can say I was part of building their program,” Lomax said.
Lomax wrapped up his career at St. Joe as one of the Wildcats most decorated players. He was a member of two state championship teams and recorded more than 140 tackles in his career.
“Some of my best memories at St. Joe were [playing at]MetLife Stadium in 2018 and winning the state championship with my brother, Brad. I also enjoyed beating Haddonfield in 2019 and Hammonton this year,” he said.
Lomax gave credit to his teammates and St. Joseph head coach Paul Sacco.
“Playing for Coach Sacco is a privilege. It’s something my brothers and I were lucky to experience. Coach teaches us more than just football. He teaches us discipline, work ethic and how to be a good teammate. When I was in third grade and Derek was a freshman, I couldn’t wait to play football at St. Joe,” Lomax said.