Andrew West, a standout goaltender for the Blue Wave last season, is a freshman at Cornell.
And two current juniors are on the way – West’s brother, midfielder Henry West, and now, defenseman Tony Britton, who has verbally committed to coach Ben DeLuca’s Big Red.
Britton’s path to Division I lacrosse is especially interesting, considering that no too long ago he thought his future at the next level would be in baseball — not lax.
That’s among the topics we discussed, along with joining the West brothers as Big Red players, in this Q & A on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Cornell?
Cornell has a great combination of academics and lacrosse. It’s a place that I really saw myself being able to fit in after I spent the night and had time to spend with the other players on the lacrosse team.
I wanted a school that had a chance to compete for a national championship and obviously Cornell is a contender each year. The coaches, DeLuca, (Matt) Rewkowski and (Paul) Richards, made me feel very at home while I was up at Cornell for my visit.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Notre Dame, Lehigh, Maryland and Dartmouth, and I visited all those schools.
What adjustments do you think you will need to make to play at the next level?
My stick stills as well as team defense and I must improve my communication with the rest of the Darien defense. The other defensemen get annoyed with me when I don’t talk.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My footwork. I can keep up with almost anybody that I defend. I also think that I am good in transition, I like to clear the ball and bring it down the field to an attackman.
What players have you looked up to as you have moved up through the varsity ranks?
The players that I have looked up to as I have moved up the varsity ranks were Andrew West and George Benitez last season as well as Eric Parnon, one of the captains of our team this year, who really helps me a lot with understanding key defensive schemes.
When did you first realize you had the potential to play at the college level?
I honestly thought that I would play baseball in college but Case Matheis got me started playing the game in eighth grade and I never thought that I would have had the potential to play collegiately especially Division I lacrosse. But I realized that I would probably get recruited after my freshman season in high school.
Can you talk about the fact you will be joining two other Darien players, Andrew West and Henry West, at Cornell?
The opportunity to play with the West brothers in college is a great thing because Andrew is a guy that I could go to if I didn’t understand something and he was just a fun guy to talk to and spend time with. I think that Andrew is a very dedicated player and more importantly a great leader. On the other hand, Henry has been a good friend for a while. He is a stud on the field and is someone who you certainly want on your team. He is so versatile because he can play any offensive position on the field and he can play outstanding short-stick defense on other midfielders. And that’s not all. He is also awesome from the faceoff X. So it’s going to be fun to reunite with those guys at Cornell.
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