written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Trey Wilkes is one of Frederick County’s own. He was born here and raised in Ijamsville from the age of two. In 2009, he graduated from Urbana High School where he played football and lacrosse. He went on to play lacrosse at Ohio State University.
“When I set foot on campus there, I immediately found a new home.” In addition to making deep friendships, he had the full support of a great coaching staff. “They taught me more than just lacrosse. They taught me how to be a man.”
His team made it to the Elite 8 in his senior year. “That was really exciting for me just being a kid from Frederick County.” There were sixteen guys from Maryland on the team in his Freshman year and Trey was the only public school kid.
After college, he spent a few years in medical sales with Stryker Orthopaedics. He candidly admits that he wanted to “go sell and make money” at that time in his life. But, then, “I learned quickly that’s not who I was.”
He continues, “I am the person I am today because of the game of lacrosse — because of the people I’ve met through the game, the struggles, the obstacles and the lessons I’ve learned.”
Trey currently lives in Baltimore and spends most of his days in Frederick. He’s now a Coach and Director at Frederick’s Lax Factory.
The Benefits of Signing Up At Lax Factory
* Comprehensive Lacrosse Environment — Well Rounded Players
* Emphasis On Importance of Academics — Minimum 3.0 GPA Required!
* Community Leadership — Building Character
* Player Development – More Practice Than Any Other Md Lacrosse Club!
* Preparation For Advancing To Next Level
The Road To Becoming A Coach/Director At The Lax Factory
The Lax Factory was started by Josh Funk about six years ago with two groups of boys from grades 6, 7 and 8. He included a small group of kids that Trey was working with in his back yard. At the end of the first year, he brought Trey on as a coach for the oldest group.
New teams were steadily being added and the lacrosse camp was quickly growing. In July, 2015, Trey was offered the position of Director so Josh could keep his primary focus on his Rehab 2 Perform business. “I took a chance. It was the best chance I ever took! It’s been a crazy year but an awesome year!”
The Biggest Challenge For Trey As An Entrepreneur And Director of Lax Factory
Trey shares that he thought it was all going to be a breeze. He was well equipped with ‘people skills’ and enjoyed speaking to audiences, meeting new people and helping them out.
He recalls thinking “This is going to be easy. I’m the Director of Lax Factory. I’m going to teach kids how to play lacrosse, help them get to college and hopefully teach them to be better people along the way.
“The business side has definitely been a challenge for me over the last year. I think I’ve become better but there’s room to grow. It’s definitely been a huge challenge.
“It’s learning how to run a business while running a business at the same time. It’s the little things like learning how to put together a budget, what to include in a newsletter, how to set up payment links and follow up on payments.”
Advice Trey Would Give Himself If He Could Start Over
Trey confesses to struggling with OCD tendencies to this day. “I’ve got to do everything on my own, my way — if it’s not my way, it’s wrong!” But he’s learning that it’s okay to allocate tasks to other people.
“I have a lot of wonderful parents in my program that have a little free time and are willing to help.” He sees the practical side of accepting offers of help that can free him up so he can concentrate his own efforts on growing Lax Factory and especially growing the game of lacrosse across Western Maryland.
“There are people out there who can do things a lot better than you can — let them do it! Let them run with it!”
A Sign That Lax Factory Is Making A Difference
“West Maryland lacrosse, in general, is years behind Baltimore, DC and other areas of the country. There’s always been one, two, or three guys at most per graduation year in our area who goes on to play college lacrosse.”
He proudly adds, “Our first class had eighteen guys commit to go play college lacrosse and are currently playing right now. We have guys at Ohio State, UMBC, Wingate, VMI, Queens University in Charlotte, Florida Tech — it’s been great!”
Trey says that was the mission from the start. “Let’s teach these young boys to be young men, be accountable for themselves, work to achieve a goal and get them to that next level and help them achieve their dream of playing college lacrosse.
“We can do this. We’ve got the people in our community — the players, the parents, the coaches. We’ve got the system. We can make a difference. These kids are going to go do something that they may have not had the opportunity to do without Josh or myself or the people around us.”
Trey goes on to note what individual leadership is really all about when it comes to his lacrosse players. “Being a leader is not always that guy or girl in the middle of a huddle hootin’ and hollerin’ — it may be that person on the sideline picking up a teammate when they’re down or that classmate that sees a peer struggling and pulling them aside to help them out.”
Trey Shares Two Quotes That He Uses Every Day
[It is what it is.]
The quote sits on a magnet on the fridge. It was what his sister said to the crying family members who stood at her hospital bedside after her third ACL tear from playing lacrosse. She was a teenager at the time.
[The next play.]
“You’ve got to have a short-term memory. You can’t worry about the plays that happened previously. You have to worry about the next one. You have to focus your energy on what comes next.”
It applies to life. “You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to lose. Bad things are going to happen. But, what are you going to do next?”
Get in touch with Trey to learn more about Lax Factory. And, get in touch if you have any questions at all about lacrosse. For Trey, it’s all about advancing the game and he’ll be happy to give you the answers.
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #075: Eric Verdi Interviews Trey Wilkes