By Alexandra Bolton
High school is just the beginning of Colin MacIlvennie’s lacrosse career.
MacIlvennie, who lives in Maple Valley, signed a letter of intent to become a Terrapin, and will head to the east coast to join University of Maryland’s Division I men’s lacrosse team.
MacIlvennie is a senior at Eastside Catholic High School, where he joined the football team for his final year of high school athletics. It was a “one and done” decision for MacIlvennie, but a timely one.
The Crusaders are wrapping up a successful season which will culminate in their second consecutive appearance at the state title game. Whatever the outcome, MacIlvennie will refocus on his true passion and talent, lacrosse, when he travels with the West Coast Starz to a Florida tournament next weekend. The West Coast Starz is a premier club selecting from regional teams like the Seattle Starz, which MacIlvennie also plays for outside of the spring high school season.
Bored with baseball, MacIlvennie picked up lacrosse in fifth grade. He then made it onto a U15 Team Washington team in eighth grade, which helped him recognize his potential in the sport. Entering high school MacIlvennie gained more confidence, making varsity as a freshman. Though lacrosse may not be as popular as other sports in the area, MacIlvennie is proof that the opportunity to develop into a competitive player is still there.
“It’s not nearly as big as it is on the East coast, but it’s growing exponentially,” MacIlvennie said. “It’s really cool to see the growth of the sport throughout the state and see the talent level increase.”
MacIlvennie said playing at a high level in college lacrosse does not necessarily require qualities unique to the game.
“You just have to have the dedication to do it, like any other sport,” MacIlvennie said. “You have to be a good teammate, you have to be coachable, and you have to want to get better. Sometimes you don’t really have the determination or
motivation to get better, but you just always have to want to get better.”
MacIlvennie had a number of college lacrosse programs to decide between includinging Ohio State University, Penn State, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but committed to Maryland as a sophomore.
“It was a tough decision, but I really feel comfortable with my decision,” said MacIlvennie, citing a good business program among supporting reasons for his choice.
He recently signed his letter of intent and will receive a partial scholarship.
“The coaches at Maryland are so great. They’re like the best guys I’ve ever met,” MacIlvennie said. “The program is really traditional, and they have always been a top notch team. I’ve always really dreamt of playing with them.”
Since his recruitment, MacIlvennie had plenty of time to become familiar with the coastal transition, especially since he already has family in upstate New York.
“There is a big difference between west coast and east coast lacrosse, but I go back there and play with all the east coast guys every year, every summer and every fall, so I’ve kind of grown accustomed to how they play,” MacIlvennie said. “I don’t think it will be too big of a change, but I’m excited. I’m excited to see what happens. I’ve always wanted to do something big with my life athletically and academically, and I succeeded with Maryland.”
Alexandra Bolton is a 2009 Kentlake High graduate. Reach her at email@example.com.