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Though he is a freshman at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn., Ross Pridemore, who verbally committed last week to the University of Virginia, has already made his mark for a program south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
As an eighth-grader at St. Edward’s School in Vero Beach, Fla., the attackman led the varsity team in scoring with 47 goals and 27 assists, leading the squad to the district regular-season championship. Pridemore was named first-team all-district, all-area and all-region.
Pridemore has also excelled in the offseason. He was named MVP at Dick’s Sporting Goods Tournament of Champions last winter.
His verbal to Virginia was first reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound Pridemore is a righty finisher who has a combination of strength and skills. He is an adept dodger with a quick release and strong, accurate shot.
Pridemore, who plays travel for Sweetlax, is also a football standout at Taft (as a running back/linebacker) and an outstanding student with a 3.72 grade-point average.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Ross on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
UVa is a great academic school with a beautiful campus. Charlottesville is a great college town.
UVa has one of the top lacrosse programs in the country and I have a great relationship with (UVa Head) Coach (Dom) Starsia and (Associate) Coach (Marc) Van Arsdale.
I also liked how many great attackmen they have coached through the years.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Notre Dame, Duke, Harvard, Penn, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, UNC and Cornell.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I think one of my biggest strengths is that I am pretty versatile. I can play behind, up top or on the wings. I’m confident shooting outside or finishing around the goal.
I also like to set my teammates up by feeding off the dodge. I think my style of play is fairly aggressive when carrying the ball and I like the challenge of having the ball in my stick when the game is on the line.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
Pretty much everything. I need to get better with my off hand and keep building my speed, strength and endurance. I played varsity in eighth grade last year and that helped me improve a lot, but I have a long way to go to become the player I want to be.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I started throwing it around with my older brother Ben, my dad, and my two older sisters, Katy and Hannah, when I was 6. I have loved playing ever since and am trying to be as good as they all are. What we all laugh about is our youngest sister, Lydia, might turn out better than any of us.
I also still play football and played basketball and soccer for several years.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for Sweetlax in NY. I played in the Platinum Cup, Big 4 and Young Guns this past summer and had to miss the Sweetlax Invitational.
I hope to play in Legacy Showcase and Super 8, Big 4, FLG in 3D, and Philly Freshman Showcase this fall but I’m at boarding school now at Taft and I have a very busy schedule with school and football.
Any final thoughts?
Coach Mike Cummings in Savannah, GA, Coach Shriver and Coach Scharff at Boy’ Latin, Coach Ben Rubeor, Coach (Kevin) Martin who made it possible for me to play at Sweetlax and helped me so much during my recruitment and is the best club owner in the country, Coach Mayer and Hurdle in Baltimore, Coaches Greenfield and Scheffer at St. Edwards, Coach D’Annolfo for helping me so much to attend Taft and helping me with the recruiting process.
My brother and sisters for working with me to make me a better player and my Mom and Dad for everything they have done.
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