“It was great learning from the college players how they got there and how they balance playing lacrosse at the same time, because that’s definitely something that I want to do.”
Coming from a family with roots in Maryland, Ian Kenny began playing lacrosse at a young age. His father, who had always been a fan of the sport but had never played, gifted Ian a lacrosse stick for his birthday; Ian hasn’t stopped playing ever since.
“When my family moved to Brooklyn, I joined Brooklyn lacrosse, but I was looking for a way to practice during the rest of the year. That’s how I found CityLax, through the off-season programming. My first time at the Winter Clinics was also my first time going up against other kids in the PSAL, so it was a really different and challenging experience.”
Part of what makes Ian such a stronger player is also why he loves the sport; he explains, “I like competing and working hard to get better. Lacrosse isn’t a game where you can just walk out and be the best player out there. You have to put in the effort” He is a dedicated player, participating regularly in the Winter Clinics program and always finding more time to play. His best advice for younger players is to keep playing—“It’s all about having fun and getting better,” he says, “So keep playing!”
All of Ian’s hard work prepared him to lead his team at Midwood High School to the PSAL Championships. “It was a lot of pressure,” says Ian, “But I knew we were going to win, because we came too far to lose and I trusted my team. We played as hard as we could.” And it paid off—Ian finished the game with 4 goals, securing Midwood’s win.
At this year’s CityLax Summer Camp Hosted by Big Apple, Ian says he learned more than just lacrosse skills—he was able to learn about the path to college from the college players who were guest coaches at the camp. “I want to a be a vet or a doctor, so I definitely want to go to college. It was great learning from the college players how they got there and how they balance playing lacrosse at the same time, because that’s definitely something that I want to do.”
To the donors and volunteers, Ian has one thing to say: “Thank you. Thank you for helping me get better, for providing college players to help, and for giving me opportunities to play more.”
“I feel like my experience at NorthStar has made me a better player and I’ll be able to bring what I’ve learned home and make my team stronger.”
Carly Fine, a junior at Bayside High School in Queens, was one of two selected student-athletes to attend the elite NorthStar Invitational camp this summer. She started playing attack her freshman year and has slowly transitioned to become a strong midfield player who stands out on the field not just for her skills, but also for her character and commitment. Carly explains, “I feel like my experience at NorthStar has made me a better player and I’ll be able to bring what I’ve learned home and explain to my teammates different perspectives of lacrosse, which will make my team stronger.”
Carly also attended the inaugural CityLax Summer Camp hosted by Big Apple in July as part of a continued effort to improve her game. “The CityLax Summer Camp was a lot of fun and I was able to build myself up and strengthen my skills through the practice and drills everyday,” says Carly. “I also got to play with girls from different teams that I played against during the spring, which was cool.” While there, Carly also learned about the college application process, which helped her to visualize her dreams of going to college and becoming a nurse practitioner.
“Practice every day. You can’t just practice one day, you need to practice a lot if you want to get better”
Joshua Dyer is a recent graduate of Christopher Columbus High School. Hailing from the Bronx, Joshua is excited to make the move to New Rochelle and begin his freshman year at Monroe College this fall. He intends to study Human Services at Monroe and be able to explore all of the opportunities that the school has to offer.
Joshua is a long stick defender and a major asset to his team, on and off of the field. Safe to say, he is the team’s “hype man.” Constantly cheering on his teammates and making sure that everyone is focused, Joshua likes to keep his teammates on their toes.
Joshua started playing lacrosse during his sophomore year. He started playing because he was injured while playing football and missed out on most of the season. By the time lacrosse season rolled around, he was on the road to recovery and decided to join the lacrosse team. Joshua has said that joining the lacrosse team has not only given him copious opportunities but also the boost of confidence that he needed to balance playing two sports.
Joshua enjoys the competitive nature of lacrosse, even though he claims to get a little “hot-headed” when the competition gets tough. As a team captain, Joshua says that his leadership skills have translated into his ability to play on the field. He is a very vocal and personable player, willing to help out his teammates when needed. “Since I enjoy the competition so much, I like to take every advantage that I am given,” Joshua says. Running to every ground ball, defending the ball down the field, and being an outlet for his teammates, Joshua is a driven player.
“Don’t give up on a goal. Set a goal and don’t give up on it,” Joshua emphasizes. Failure is not an option in Joshua’s mind. He believes that with determination and hard work, no one should give up on their goals.
In his down time, Joshua enjoys working out and physically preparing himself for football and lacrosse seasons. As a two-sport athlete, it is important that Joshua stay in the best shape as possible in order to keep up with the pace of both games. Although Monroe does not have a lacrosse team, Joshua hopes to walk on to the football and rugby teams, to keep his athletic ability on par.
“Practice every day. You can’t just practice one day, you need to practice a lot if you want to get better,” Joshua adds. He believes that with constant practice, improvement will set in.
This past season, Joshua was one out of the two students chosen from Christopher Columbus to be named 1st Team All Division in the PSAL Boys A Division. Being able to receive such an honor has given him the confidence and the reassurance that praise comes with hard work.
This past winter, Joshua attended the CityLax Winter PSAL Clinics at Christopher Columbus High School. These clinics gave him the opportunity to play with his teammates as well as other players, and fine tune some of his skills before the season began. “They have it every year and that’s where I got better and built my confidence in the sport,” Joshua says.
With a new chapter in his life beginning soon, Joshua has seen his potential and level of confidence increase, not only in lacrosse but in school. He hopes to continue on that path of improvement, on and off the field, as he heads off to Monroe in just a couple months.
“To me, lacrosse is a brotherhood. It’s a game that brings out the best of me and everyone else on the team and cements friendships that I know I will have for my whole life.”
Andrew Strott started playing lacrosse because both his father and grandfather played at the collegiate level. He aspires to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, hoping to play in college after graduating from high school. As a rising junior at Hunter College High School, Andrew enjoys playing for the team as a midfielder. Since he started in 5th grade, Andrew has seen a major improvement in his skills and ability.
What Andrew enjoys most about being apart of the team at Hunter is the team atmosphere and being able to work with people of all different levels of experience. “To me, lacrosse is a brotherhood. It’s a game that brings out the best of me and everyone else on the team and cements friendships that I know I will have for my whole life.” Andrew emphasizes the fact that working together off the field can translate into what happens on the field. If he and his teammates can work together as a cohesive unit on and off of the field, they are more likely to create stronger bonds and connections. “My team relies so much on the atmosphere and ability to work together; we build strong connections on the field so that we can play together,” states Andrew.
Andrew says that throughout his years of playing lacrosse thus far, his stick skills are the most important. He says that without persistence and practice, you are not likely to improve. “The more you work on your stick skills, the more you are willing to improve and to get better.”
Andrew describes himself as a very dedicated and driven player, taking advantage of any opportunity that is thrown his way. “Be aggressive,” he has always been told, and lives by whenever he plays. “Lacrosse is such a physical sport and it is important to be aggressive.” He fights for every ground ball, redefends down the field, and when the opportunity to shoot becomes possible, he takes his chances. “I am not selfish with the ball. I am always determined to help out on the field, and will always be somewhere if possible or needed.” As a team player, Andrew is always willing to help out his teammates.
In his free time, Andrew can be found playing sports like soccer or basketball with his younger siblings or cooking. “I like cooking with my mom who is the “head of the kitchen” so I’m more of a sous-chef by making the salads and sides dishes and prepping the main dish before she gets home from work.” Andrew’s favorite things to cook include korean BBQ-style chicken wings or other Korean dishes like bibimbap, bulgogi, and kalbi.
In school, Andrew’s favorite subject is Spanish. He chose to take up the language because he saw it as a gateway into embracing a culture that is so widespread in New York City, today. “I wanted to learn Spanish because it is so prevalent in New York City today, with all of the diversity. I find it so interesting to learn about a whole other culture and their language.”
CityLax has opened Andrew’s eyes to a community of people with similar interests and levels of enthusiasm for lacrosse. His involvement has ranged from participating in the Fall Boys Showcase Team that played in the November Hofstra Tournament to attending the pick-up sessions at Pier 40. He hopes to continue being involved with CityLax in the coming fall, as well. This summer he also participated in the CityLax Summer Camp hosted by Big Apple, which he said was “an awesome experience and really helped me fine tune a lot of my skills.”
Andrew enjoys seeing the gathering of people from all different boroughs to come together and play lacrosse. “I loved meeting players from all of the boroughs, and it was cool to see how lacrosse was coming from all different parts of the city.” As lacrosse has started to spread throughout New York City, Andrew has loved to watch it grow. He also adds, “I’m pretty sure we will win the PSAL championships next year.”