Oct 19th, 2012 | Mild, Soft-spoken Yet Commanding Vocal Leader
by Samuel Perley
When you first meet Spencer Wims it’s easy to get the impression he is a soft-spoken and rather mild-mannered individual, which for the most part is true. Off the lacrosse field, that is. Because once the 6’2” former Limestone College standout All-American steps over the line on game day, a commanding presence and vocal leadership takes over.
Born in Denver, CO but raised in Waltham, MA, Wims first got involved with the sport in middle school at the urging of his basketball coach who was friends with the school’s lacrosse coach. In addition to playing lacrosse at Waltham High, Wims also played wide receiver, free safety and cornerback on the school’s football team in addition to playing forward on the basketball team. After graduating from Waltham in 2005, Wims spent a year at Bridgton Academy in Maine before settling on perennial Division II lacrosse powerhouse, Limestone College in Gaffney, SC where he made the decision to focus solely on lacrosse.
Despite being a freshman in a program that was bringing in as many as thirty talented players in each year’s recruiting class, Wims’ position of defenseman only returned two starters which left an open spot available. Wims was available to capitalize on the opportunity and won the starting spot leading to an impressive streak of starting every game during his tenure at Limestone.
While Wims was at Limestone, the Saints were consistently a top-ranked team in the nation and reached the NCAA Final Four in all four of his seasons. Wims also lettered each year of his career at Limestone and was named to USILA First-Team All-American team in 2009 and 2011. Additionally, Wims was also named the Limestone College Men’s Athlete of the Year in 2011 after leading the Saints to a 15-2 record.
Longtime teammate and friend, Thomas Langan, has played with Wims for the entirety of their careers at Limestone and the Charlotte Copperheads and the two have additionally lived together for almost five years. Despite being rather soft-spoken off the field, Wims has a reputation for taking vocal control once he steps on the field. “Spencer knows a tremendous amount about team defense. He’s a commanding voice out there” says Langan. “In college, I occasionally got caught on the defensive side of the field and he’d be behind me barking what’s what. Wims made it so easy as if all I had to do was be one of his chess pieces” he added.
After graduating in 2011, Wims continued to play lacrosse in local leagues before getting a call from the Charlotte Copperheads in the fall of 2011. Wims showed up at the initial workout and made an immediate impression on the coaching staff. “Spencer has a great attitude and work ethic. He literally gets better every week,” says head coach Tom Ryan. Ryan was ultimately impressed enough to offer Wims a roster spot with the Copperheads.
Wims joined the indoor team but soon found himself also competing for a spot outdoors with the MLL’s Charlotte Hounds which he ultimately ended up landing for five games during the summer of 2012. Mike Cerino, Wims’ coach at Limestone, currently serves as the head coach of the Hounds and J.B. Clarke, the current head coach at Limestone, is the Hounds’ assistant coach. Currently the assistant head lacrosse coach at Belmont Abbey College, Wims plans on rejoining the Hounds for the 2013 season.
“It was great being part of the Hounds” said Wims. “It really hit me the first time coach took attendance. He started calling out names like [Matt] Danowski, [Billy] Bitter, [Stephen] Berger and [Adam] Ghitelman and you realize you’re in the pros and not in college anymore” he added.
Wims still spends some of his free time on the basketball court and occasionally balls it up with his 6’8” basketball-playing brother, Jesse who is still only 15. Wims also enjoys spending time with his Great Dane, Apollo, and overall just relaxing away from lacrosse and coaching when he gets the chance. Ultimately, Wims plans to stay involved in and around the sport in some capacity whether it is playing or coaching and undoubtedly combining his soft-spoken demeanor with his authoritative leadership skills that have ultimately come to define him during his outstanding lacrosse career.