There were several times in Michael O’Brien’s Charlotte Catholic lacrosse career where he wondered if he had played his last game in a Cougar uniform.
O’Brien broke his right ankle just before tryouts his freshman, then tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in right knee seven games into his sophomore season. Then, before his junior season, he tore the ACL in his right knee.
However, O’Brien refused to give up, and finally had a healthy season as a senior, which he ends as 2016 Charlotte Observer player of the year. .
The Charlotte Catholic long stick midfielder had 62 groundballs, 35 takeaways and 10 goals, earning All-American and first-team all-state honors for his efforts.
O’Brien has signed with Mercer University.
▪ John Dodd and his Marvin Ridge lacrosse team were 9-7 going into the 1A/2A/3A playoffs this year.
But Dodd, the Charlotte Observer boys’ lacrosse coach of the year, saw his team get hot in the playoffs. Marvin Ridge won its final five games to claim the N.C. 1A/2A/3A state title.
Marvin Ridge beat Carrboro 16-3 to claim their first state title in three tries.
2016 Charlotte Observer Boys Lacrosse Team
Peter Pittroff, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.: All-American, all-state pick; Dennison University signee had 81 goals, 54 assists this season; CISAA conference player of the year.
Jackson Harris, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: Mercer signee, second team all-state selection had 32 goals, 26 assists this season.
Eric Dickinson, Myers Park, Sr.: Furman signee had 67 goals, 28 assists this season.
Cameron Renner, Marvin Ridge, So.: 1A/2A/3A state championship games’ most valuable player (MVP) had five goals, four assists in the finals; 48 goals, 38 assists this season, 2nd-team, all-state pick.
Jake Hogan, Lake Norman, Sr.: Conference 10 offensive player of the year, 3rd-team all-state pick led Wildcats with 42 goals.
Hunter Fassanaro, Weddington, Jr.: 3rd-team all-state attacker led the Warriors with 53 goals this season.
Camden Porta, Marvin Ridge, Sr.: All-American, first-team all-state selection had 39 goals, 19 assists, 149 groundballs, while winning 75 percent of his faceoffs.
Cory Van Ginhoven, Butler, Sr.: All-American, first-team, all-state pick; Stony Brook University signee led Bulldogs with 80 goals, 20 assists.
Robbie Wallon, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: Conference 11 offensive player of the year, 3rd-team all-state pick led Cougars with 38 goals.
Alex Helms, Weddington, Jr.: Conference 12 offensive player of the year, 2nd-team all-state pick had 29 goals, 30 assists this season.
Gage Pulliam, Fort Mill, Sr.: All-American, all-state pick had 209 groundballs, 54 takeaways, winning 74 percent of his faceoffs.
Jake Sawicki, Lake Norman, Sr.: Wildcats’ 2nd-team, all-state midfielder helped control offense with 24 goals, 20 assists.
Long Stick Midfielders
Michael O’Brien, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: Mercer signee, All-American, first-team all-state pick overcame multiple injuries to have a senior season to remember: 62 groundballs, 35 takeaways, 10 goals.
Logan Benson, Lake Norman Charter, Sr.: 2nd-team all-state selection, Emerson College signee led Knights with 73 groundballs.
Tucker Doherty, Lake Norman, Sr.: All-American, first-team all-state selection, Bellarmine University (KY) signee a lockdown defender for Wildcats, also scored six goals.
Zach Strassner, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: All-American, first-team all-state defender, University of Delaware signee was Conference 11 defensive player of the year.
John Donohue, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.: Colgate University signee, an All-American, all-state pick had 66 groundballs, 16 takeaways this season.
Nick Piselli, Community School of Davidson, Jr.: Colgate signee, All-American, second-team all-state selection led tough, Spartan defense.
Ben Davidson, Fort Mill, Sr.: University of Tampa signee a three-time S.C. all-state pick, Upper State defensive player of the year had 71 groundballs.
Grant Portwood, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.: All-American, all-state goalkeeper saved 58 percent of the shots on goals.
Jack Sagraves, Weddington, Sr.: Conference 12 defensive player of the year, third-team, all-state pick saved 60 percent of the shots on goals for Warriors.
Jack Fletcher, Providence Day, Jr.; Conrad Song, Charlotte Latin, Jr.; Jack Morelock, Providence, Sr.; Isaac Abee, Independence, Sr.; Griffin Bailey, Clover, Jr. (also midfield)
Hunter Sheridan, Charlotte Latin, Sr.; Zak Butz, Charlotte Catholic, Sr.; Reece Beck, Community School of Davidson, Jr.; Josh Cobbina, Fort Mill, Sr.; Ryan Elliott, Ardrey Kell, Sr.; William Barnes, Myers Park, Jr.; Davis Nelson, Cannon School, Sr./Reed Baker, Providence Day, Sr.
Long Stick Midfielder
Wesley Bates, Ardrey Kell, Jr.
Jake Donofrio, Weddington, Jr.; Matt Beltrondo, Charlotte Catholic, Jr.; Matt Russell, Fort Mill, Sr.; Coby Kurtz, Marvin Ridge, Jr.; Tyler Stapleton, Marvin Ridge, Sr.; Luca Katz, Charlotte Country Day, Jr.
Fisher Schiemer, Lake Norman, Sr.; Campbell Stack, Charlotte Country Day, Sr.
Note: All-Americans chosen by U.S. Lacrosse.