Jackson Glenn said he received a navy blue Syracuse University sweatshirt on his 10th birthday.
The Century High School senior always dreamed of attending Syracuse, and that dates as far back as kindergarten. He played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse until his freshman year, but put a halt on basketball and lacrosse to focus solely on soccer.
However, his initial interest in Syracuse stemmed from following the Orange men’s lacrosse team at an early age.
Glenn plays for the Bowie-based Maryland United FC club soccer team that practices in the evening three days a week and he did so while balancing his high school season at Century. Glenn attended the Boys Elite Clubs National League Tournament in Sanford, Florida with his club team last December and said it is one of the biggest recruiting tournaments nationwide.
Syracuse reached out to Glenn after the tournament, he said, and he was sold.
“I was waiting after that tournament to make my final decision and I didn’t really have anything completely final yet,” Glenn said. “After that tournament, I had a lot of options open and Syracuse reached out … I forgot all about it, but when they reached out, it brought all those memories back.”
Glenn has been a member of the Knights’ varsity soccer team since he was a sophomore but didn’t make an immediate impact until last season. The Knights went 15-4 (4-2 in Carroll County Athletic League play) and defeated La Plata 1-0 to capture the Class 2A state title, their second in program history.
Glenn, a Times first-team all-county pick, notched 10 goals and six assists as a senior captain.
“It was amazing,” Glenn said. “We were seen as the team that wasn’t that strong from everyone else around the county. We graduated a lot and with a new coach, I think the expectations were low but being able to have that final season and prove everyone wrong to make it all the way was amazing.”
Glenn was a prolific part of Century’s playoff run and he gave first-year coach Trey Howes a few memories he won’t soon forget.
Glenn converted a penalty kick with 10 minutes to play in the first half of the Knights’ 2A West Region 1 final Oct. 29 against county champion Liberty, a moment Howes said gave the team all the momentum they needed, especially after it had a goal taken back earlier in the game.
“After that, everybody was relaxed,” Howes said. “They kept their foot on the gas and he really set the tone with that.”
Three days later, Glenn scored a pair of goals to help the Knights blank Lansdowne 5-0 and advance to the 2A state semifinal against Oakdale. The Knights let up an early goal, but Glenn tied the game 1-1 in the second half to send the match into overtime.
The Knights defeated the Bears in eight rounds of penalty kicks to get to the final.
“He’s a once-in-a-generation kid, and his work ethic is just great on and off the field,” Howes said. “That’s something that isn’t seen all the time .. He was our engine this year, everything started with him. The kids looked up to him and he was the guy at the beginning of the year we needed to get to this point.
“He’s such a great kid with a great family and he will do amazing things at Syracuse. We as a program, as a staff and as a school are thrilled that he’s got that opportunity.”
Howes said the Knights were tense when they first arrived at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex ahead of the state final Nov. 15. Some of the players were so nervous, the coach said, they were brought to tears in the locker room before the game.
Glenn went around the room to console every player and Howes said that was a prime example of how his senior’s character spoke for itself.
“Nothing was ever too much for him,” Howes said. “He always plays within the moment and when I saw that, I thought, ‘Oh my god, we’re going to miss that so much.’ A lot of the kids look up to guys like ‘Jack’ because he got those guys through that moment and once the whistle blew, it was just another game.”
Howes said Glenn’s versatility makes him such a skilled player, capable of playing at a high-caliber Division I program such as Syracuse. Glenn thanked Howes, former Century coach Scott Booker, and club coach Colin Herriot for the roles they played in his success.