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The 2014 Suffolk County (NY) League 1 rookie of the year has made his college choice.
Matt Ilchuk of Bay Shore High School committed to Lehigh University late last week, a decision first reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 6-foot, 160-pound Ilchuk also earned first-team all-division in Suffolk Division 1 in football this past fall as a wide receiver and cornerback. He also enjoys surfing and pond hockey.
Ilchuk is a natural righty who plays well with both hands. In fact, started at lefty attack for most of his freshman year.
He also played in the Long Island Showcase Rising Sophomore Top 20 game in June.
Now, here’a a Q&A with Matt on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I wanted to go to the best school I could where I felt I could be successful academically, and I wanted to be part of a top lacrosse program. Lehigh offers both those things.
When I visited, I loved the campus, and (Lehigh Head) Coach (Kevin) Cassese and the coaching staff were great and made me feel welcome right away. I’m really excited to play for them and be part of their program.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I took my time with my search. I visited a lot of schools, and at the end, I also considered Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, UPenn, Stony Brook, High Point, Rutgers, Siena and Duke.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I’m two-handed and I have good stick skills. I like being a feeder and I see the field well, and during my visits some coaches have told me that they see me as a “quarterback” type of player playing from X.
I’m more quick than strong, but I’m working on getting bigger and stronger and becoming a better dodger.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I started playing Bay Shore PAL lacrosse in first grade.
Growing up, I also played PAL football, travel soccer, basketball, volleyball and baseball.
I’ve played varsity football the past two years, and I started playing varsity lacrosse during the playoffs when I was in eighth grade.
I also surf year-round and play as much pond hockey as I can in the winter.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for True Blue Lacrosse on the 2017 Blue team. We’ve played in the MadLax and Young Gunz tournaments down in Maryland, and last summer we made it to the finals of the National 175 Best of the Best Tournament.
I recently received an invite to the Maverick Showtime Showcase for this coming summer.
Through Bay Shore HS, I went to the Under Armour All-America tryouts and played in the LI Showcase Rising Sophomore Top 20 Game.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you get to this point?
I want to thank my high school coach, (Bay Shore Head) Coach (Tim) Cox. He’s given me so many opportunities on the field.
He brought me up to play JV in seventh grade, I got to play in varsity playoff games in eighth grade, and he gave me a chance to start as a ninth-grader.
It’s made me a better player. He also spent so much time with me on the recruiting process and gave me great advice.
All of the lacrosse coaches, and Coach Blatter and the football coaches at Bay Shore have given me a chance to challenge myself and become a better athlete.
I also want to thank my True Blue coaches, Coach Catalanotti, Coach Hall, and Coach Pescatelli, and my first travel coach Chris Padden. They have taught me a lot about the game.
I’d also like to thank my family for all of their support.
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