Kevin McDonough is equally accomplished in football and lacrosse.
The New Canaan High School senior and Long Island Sting standout earned all-state honors in both sports, and had the opportunity to play both at the next level.
But in the end, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound McDonough (shown in the photo above at left), a linebacker in football and defenseman in lacrosse, decided on lax.
He’ll play collegiately at the University of Pennsylvania, after spending a post-grad 2013 season in prep school.
McDonough, who played travel lacrosse for the Long Island Sting, is quick to point out his lacrosse future would not have been possible without his football experience.
“Football has helped me tremendously,” McDonough said. “It has made me physically stronger and tougher, and instilled in me a sense of teamwork and work ethic that’s pretty unique to the sport.”
Now, here’s more from Kevin on his college decision:
What were the main factors in your decision?
Penn is an unbelievable school with a great lacrosse program. … It just felt like the right fit. Additionally, (Head) Coach (Mike) Murphy is a really nice guy and a fantastic, defensive-minded coach. He’s also from New Canaan, which is cool. I am very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to play for him.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I also visited Princeton and Yale for lacrosse, and was considering several Division III schools for football.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Because I recently switched to defense from midfield, I think that stick skills are one of my strengths. I also am proud of my physicality, which I credit to my background in football.
What areas of your game do you think you need to improve on?
Being fairly new to the position, I’m — admittedly — not the most polished defenseman. First and foremost, I have to work on my positioning and communication.
How has playing football helped you develop as a lacrosse player?
Football has helped me tremendously. It has made me physically stronger and tougher, and instilled in me a sense of teamwork and work ethic that’s pretty unique to the sport. My football coach, Lou Marinelli, has also had a big influence on my growth as a person.
How would you size up New Canaan’s defense and goaltending heading into the season?
I’m really excited about our defense going into this year. I think we have the best goalie in the state in Tom Carey, as well as a deep and talented group of poles (including Eric Persky, who’s also committed to Penn). We all started last year and I think we improved greatly as the season progressed. And if one guy gets tired or injured, there are many capable guys who can step up.
* For more info on Kevin, check out his player profile by clicking here.
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Player’s perspective archive
* For a look at how schedules for teams from throughout the region for the 2012 season are shaping up, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread.