Kyle Gifford knew what he was looking for in a college program. Namely, one that provided top-notch lacrosse and outstanding academics.
The senior defenseman at Darien High School (Conn.) found what he was looking for in Washington & Lee, a commitment first reported on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Gifford, a physical and aggressive defenseman, is also a starter on the Blue Wave’s football team.
On the lacrosse field, Gifford, a righty, is an outstanding position defenseman with strong communication skills.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I knew from the start that I wanted to play at a school that could provide a top-of-the-line education that also has a very competitive lacrosse program.
As an added bonus, I could not have asked for a better official visit.
I knew that I was looking for a place where I could contribute on the field as much as possible, no matter what role it is.
On top of that, (Washington & Lee Head) Coach (Gene) McCabe, (Assistant) Coach (Kevin) Kiley and (Assistant) Coach (Kevin) St. Laurent were very helpful and supportive during the recruiting process, and they made it clear that W&L is a program that is looking to remain as one of the top programs in Division III.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I was also considering Bowdoin, Colby, Amherst, Franklin & Marshall and Dartmouth, all of which I visited during my recruiting process.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
The aspects of my game that I would like to improve for my senior season and the next level are mostly footwork and my ability to push the ball in transition and create some offense.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse?
With Darien being such a lacrosse-oriented community, it was not very hard to find myself on the field at a young age. My dad actually got me started in first grade with Blue Wave Buddies and I have not looked back since.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I have been playing for (Darien Head) Coach (Jeff) Brameier and the CT Chargers for as long as I can remember.
This past summer, I went to the Baltimore Summer Kickoff, the Crab City Challenge, Best of the Best, New England Top 150, East Coast Lacrosse Camp (all-star),and National Invite 175.
Any final thoughts?
First of all I would like to thank Coach McCabe and his staff for making the process so easy and for making me feel 100 percent positive that Washington & Lee was where I belong.
Then I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to pursue lacrosse at the next level and for all of their support throughout the process.
I would also like to thank my high school and club coach, Jeff Brameier, for all of his help throughout the past few years, as well as Bobby Lutz and Jamie Hanford.
Finally, I would like to thank John Carolozzi for all of his help with training in the offseason.
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