When Reilly McDermott steps on the lacrosse field, he says he turns into a different person.The Marvin Ridge goalkeeper says it takes a different mindset to be at the top of your game at that position.“I think most goalkeepers would tell you they are a little bit crazy,” McDermott said. “When I step into the goal, I know I have to be the most intense person on the field, and be aware of everything going on and let my teammates know it. The goalkeeper not only sets the tone for the defense, but also can do the same thing for the offense by making a big stop or save and clearing the ball to start the next possession.”McDermott, 17, has been setting a strong tone for his team for the past three seasons. He started from day one for Coach John Dodd at Marvin Ridge as a freshman goalkeeper.Three seasons and 459 saves later, the left-handed senior has evolved into one of the team leaders and is recognized as one of the top players in the state. He’s a two-time all-state pick and a recent All-American selection by U.S. Lacrosse. McDermott had 156 saves last season, including 10 games with double-digit saves, stopping 67 percent of the shots on goal. He allowed just over 5 goals per game this season.“I was completely shocked when Coach Dodd announced that I was an All-American at the Marvin Ridge spring sports banquet,” McDermott said. “It’s a huge honor to be classified as an All-American and I take a lot of pride in earning that distinction. But now, I want to go out and prove that I can do it all again and be an all-state, all-American player again next year.”McDermott has verbally committed to play for coach Richie Meade at Furman, where he will play on the inaugural men’s lacrosse team, along with his Marvin Ridge teammates and best friends, twin brothers, Jason and Jonah Moore.“I’m ecstatic about getting the opportunity to go to a great university and play lacrosse,” McDermott said. “Coach Meade was definitely a huge factor in my final decision.”McDermott hasn’t forgotten where it all started, when he was formally introduced to the game by Dodd and then Marvin Ridge middle school coach John DeLucia shortly after moving to Charlotte from Pittsburgh.Dodd and DeLucia helped mold McDermott, who grew up playing baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. McDermott says his experience as a goalkeeper in hockey and catcher in baseball helped him early on.“Reilly really caught on quickly and has become a student of the game who works very hard on the mental and physical aspects,” Dodd said. “When you combine his athletic ability and quickness with mental toughness and dedication to the game, that is what has made him a great player today.”McDermott, who is 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, now plays year round – with his Marvin Ridge team in the spring, his Team Carolina club team in the fall and summer and his Polar Bear squad, made up of his high school teammates, in the winter.While there are sure to be many big contests at Furman, McDermott won’t take a minute of his final year at Marvin Ridge for granted.Dodd has named McDermott and both Moore twins the team captains for next season, so they can start leading now.McDermott, whose team had their best season this year going 16-3, while losing a 9-8 heartbreaker to Charlotte Catholic in the third round of the playoffs, says he hopes his final season with the Mavericks is his best.“It’s every player’s dream to win a state championship,” McDermott said. “I only have one more shot with a Marvin Ridge uniform on, and I’m going give it everything I got.”
Monday, Jul. 01, 2013
McDermott has personality to play in goal
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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