Recent School News
Alumni Athlete Spotlight: Derek VanderBrug '14
Posted 03/28/2018 09:55AM
Derek VanderBrug '14 is in his senior season at Calvin College and anchors the Knights Defensive Unit.
Derek VanderBrug '14 knows a lot about commitment and dedication. As a three-sport athlete during his time at LCA, he competed for twelve straight seasons of high school athletics and was awarded a Senior Athletic Award for that accomplishment. Those seasons of dedication would help prepare him for the world of college athletics.
Derek is currently in the middle of his senior lacrosse season at Calvin College. Since he arrived on the Grand Rapids campus, he has been a part of the formation of a new NCAA Division III program and has helped lay the foundations for the future of Calvin Lacrosse. While at LCA, Derek participated in soccer, wrestling, and lacrosse. He picked up lacrosse during his freshman year after being a lifelong baseball player. Derek seemed suited to the new sport as he enjoyed the competitiveness and physical nature of lacrosse. He worked hard and developed quickly into a strong and smart defender who would impose his will and sometimes pain on the opposition.
Derek VanderBrug '14 was a two-sport captain (Wrestling & Lacrosse) and won the Sportsmanship Award (Soccer, Wrestling) and Superior Dedication Award (Lacrosse) in his senior seasons. He was also awarded the prestigious, Senior Athletic Award - participating in three seasons over all four years of upper school.
His coaches noticed Derek's dedication and the way he competed whether on the field or wrestling mat. In his senior seasons, his soccer and wrestling coaches awarded him the team Sportsmanship Award and in his senior lacrosse season, Derek was awarded the team Superior Dedication Award. Those awards spoke to the way that Derek carried himself and competed everyday. During his senior wrestling season, he captained the team to an EIL Tournament championship and qualified for the NEPSAC Tournament. That championship would be the foundation for two consecutive league wrestling titles following Derek's graduation, but in some very real way, he and his classmates helped set the tone for the 2015 and 2016 teams.
Derek's fondest memory of LCA athletics was his senior wrestling season as the Lions defeated Concord at the Battle of Lexington & Concord and LCA swept Concord 5-0 after back to back years of losing the Colonial Red Drum. When he reflects upon his LCA athletic career, Derek recalls, "Through my entire athletic career I learned determination and dedication through the coaches and teammates I had the pleasure of playing under and alongside."
When asked about how his Faith in Christ impacts his athletic career, Derek replied, "My faith impacts my training and competition through the community in which I'm competing in as well as sportsmanship on and off the field. It also impacts me through using all my strengths and abilities to glorify Him."
Derek offers these great words of wisdom to LCA student-athletes aspiring to player collegiate athletics, "I would advise any students looking to play in college to continue to be students of the game. You will never reach a point in your life where you know everything - strive to be an active learner."
Derek will graduate from Calvin College in May with a bachelors degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice. He spent the recent fall semester in Honduras with Calvin College's Justice Studies program. Derek plans to serve the United States and has enlisted in the Massachusetts National Guard as an 11C indirect fire infantryman. Derek's goal is to become a police officer in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Derek VanderBrug '14 with his parents Chip (LCA Arts Faculty) & Wendy following the 2014 EIL Wrestling Tournament Championships. Derek finished 2nd in his weight class and captained his team to the tournament title.