“Because of CityLax, I’ve become more outgoing and opened up more than I ever thought I could. Now, I want to pursue lacrosse in college and beyond.”
Michelle Neira is a Senior Attack player from Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens. Michelle first joined the CityLax Fall Showcase team because she thought it would be the perfect way to practice and learn lacrosse from girls who were not on her team. “My favorite thing about CityLax,” she says,” is that I have a ton of friends from different schools and different backgrounds. On my school team, I’m a little more shy and reserved, but at CityLax, I’m a lot more outgoing. It’s definitely let me be out of my comfort zone.”
“Because of CityLax, I found opportunities to surround myself with positive people who I still look up to as mentors today.”
Do you recognize our newest Fall Boys Showcase Team coach Moner Mosa? That’s because Moner, now a graduate of Hofstra University’s business school and an Advanced Analytics Recruiter at Elliott Browne International, was once a CityLax athlete himself.
Standing in the frigid cold under the lights of the 2017 Pinstripe Bowl Half Time Ceremony, Isa Khan couldn’t help but laugh. At that moment, Isa was being recognized as a recipient of the prestigious MVP Scholar Athlete Award for his accomplishments as a student and a lacrosse player, something he had never imagined possible. In fact, his middle school soccer coach once told him and his teammate that they would never make it as athletes. Over four years later, Isa and that very teammate were standing together as they were honored with the PSAL’s highest award. Isa recalls that moment during the ceremony: “We saw each other and just started laughing, because there we were a few years later, both of us on the Yankee Stadium field, being honored for our athletic achievements. But looking back, I think that comment is what drove me to be a better athlete.”
“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.
Chelsea Ruebling has been playing lacrosse so long she claims she learned how to cradle before she could walk. Her father, Chuck Ruebling, a long-time family friend of the Levines and supporter of CityLax, ensured that Chelsea would be a life-long member of the lacrosse community. After playing at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Chelsea moved to Australia to pursue a career in investment banking. When she moved back to New York, she and her brother started an organization called “Go, Fight, Win!” which supports different lacrosse organizations and players through funding, equipment drives, and organizing clinics, camps, and showcase tournaments. Chelsea knows firsthand the important balance of fun and working hard to develop skills, and puts a great deal of focus on developing her players’ skills so that they can grow their passion for lacrosse.
“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.
“Because of CityLax, I’ve been able to explore myself as an athlete and learn what it’s like to be a part of a team.”
Loren Cantor is a junior goalie at Bard High School Early College in Manhattan. A tenacious athlete who is always curious to learn something new, Loren first discovered the sport from a poster promoting boys lacrosse. “I was in sixth grade at the time and didn’t know what it was, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of it,” Loren recalls. “I went home and researched the sport and found the Queen’s Club team. I remember expecting to play with the full pads and helmet, like the boys, and being surprised how different girls lacrosse is.”
“Because of CityLax, I’ve had a lot of educational opportunities open.”
Nick Norman is a senior at John Dewey High School and one of our CityLax Fall Team athletes. He’s fascinated by science and hopes to eventually go to medical school to be a doctor in the sports medicine field, but right now he’s focused on being a leader for his teammates, both on and off the field. Nick is a close defenseman and is the captain of both the wrestling and lacrosse teams, a position that he says he was cut out for. “It can be difficult sometimes to balance the responsibility that comes with being a captain and also being encouraging and keeping the spirit really positive, but it’s a fun challenge. I love it.”
“It meant a lot to me to have my teammates to lean on and to have the relationships that I was able to build through lacrosse.”
Jakub Iwon is the goalie for the CityLax-supported Murry Bergtraum Boys lacrosse team. Now a senior at Urban Assembly Maker (one of the four schools in the building that participate on the Murry Bergtraum team), this two-time captain has been the goalie since its establishment last year as a developmental program. While some people may be focused on the scoreboard to determine this season’s success, Jakub is interested in something else—“My goals are that we grow more as a team with each game, that we have more chemistry and communication throughout. We’re already looking better and better as the games progress, so I hope we continue to improve upon that.”