Young star Randy Staats, who has been rumoured to be heading to the pros in each of the past couple of National Lacrosse League entry drafts despite saying he was staying in school, has made it official. The Six Nations Arrows righty forward has committed to attend Syracuse University, just a hop, skip and a jump away from Onondaga Community College where he is currently attending. He will actually take this fall off from lacrosse while he wraps up his studies at OCC, Staats told IL Indoor, then will enrol at Syracuse next January and start playing for the Orange and studying communications. “Injuring my knee twice, I’ve learned that lacrosse may not always be there,” Staats said, referring to the two major injuries that forced him to miss the entire 2010 and 2011 Junior A seasons after putting up 95 points as a 16-year-old in 2009. “I want to have my education to fall back on.”
For any Arrows fans who are wondering about the summer, don’t worry: Staats says he also badly wants to win a Minto Cup. “I’ve been working so hard for it since 2008 and I haven’t even gone to one. This is my last year. I think we have a good chance. I want a Minto.”
Six Nations look like the favourites for the Ontario Championship this year. They have a strong core returning to the team, including some young players who have already established themselves as serious contributors at the Junior A level. They also have a big three of Staats, lefty forward Johnny Powless and goalie Warren Hill.
Whitby and Peterborough both figure to be strong as well, and while the defending Minto champion Orangeville Northmen lost 13 players to graduation and seem unlikely to be able to win the Ontario championship this year, they always manage to put together a solid team.
As far as the decision on college, it came down to a tough decision between Syracuse, Maryland and Hofstra, Staats said. All three offered full scholarships and he liked all three programs. In the end, a couple of factors played major roles. He has been living in the area for a couple of years while at OCC and feels like he has a family there now. It’s also closer for his family from home to travel to games.
And there’s the Jammer factor. Cody Jamieson is among the friends and sometimes teammates to have gone to Syracuse and Staats says he and other Orange grads like Sid Smith had nothing but good things to say about the school, the lacrosse program and the coaching staff.Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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