The lacrosse world is well-aware that the state of Virginia is home to some of the highest quality lacrosse programs in the country across all divisions. Division III Bridgewater College is in it’s 4th year, but well on it’s way to joining this level of success. The Eagles are led by Coach Mic Grant, who is no stranger to building a program from the start.
Prior to starting the Bridgewater program, Coach Grant built Marywood University from the ground up as a head coach. Throughout his successful tenure with Marywood, he won the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Coach of the Year along with earning the program’s first ECAC tournament bid.
Coach Grant and the Bridgewater Eagles went 6-11 this past year with a 5-6 record on their home field. He is set to begin his 4th year with Bridgewater College this upcoming season.
Grant’s approach to the game is one that rewards hard work and a balanced mindset. We were fortunate enough to sit down with the up and coming program’s head coach.
What advice do you have for players interested in Division III schools?
Don’t be misled by the fact that it’s Division III. There’s a lot of high quality players that play at the Division III level, certainly so at Bridgewater and our conference, which is the ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference). Don’t be turned off by the Division III label, make sure you look at the school, look at the conference and make sure it has the right academics for you and see if you can jump in and make an immediate impact on the team.
What is the best way for players to get on your recruiting radar?
The best way is to reach out to us whether it be through call or email. We always appreciate it when potential recruits ask about the school and let us know what tournaments they’re attending throughout the year. A link to a highlight clip, game footage is always helpful as well. Just initiate the contact as once we get an email or call, we always follow up and try to do our best to see players throughout the year.
What importance do you place on a highlight tape?
The highlight tape is a great icebreaker but we don’t put a lot of emphasis on it. We tell our recruits at Bridgewater to send us your game film against one of your better opponent so that we can see all aspects of the game. Through this, we can then see riding, clearing, hustling, basically all the components of a game that can help us learn about the player. The highlight tape is a great icebreaker but we don’t put a lot of emphasis on it.
What type of players do you primarily look for, a raw athlete or refined lacrosse player?
We look for the well-rounded player as our initial look in recruiting is for players who are Division I caliber players who maybe don’t want the overwhelming task of being a Division I player. We look for someone who wants to get a good education, compete at the highest Division III level, wants to have a college life, wants to study abroad or might want to establish connections and work internships. Good character is vital as players who work hard off the field is equally, if not more important than how hard they work on the field.
What areas of player development would you recommend players focus on to elevate their game?
I would say fundamentals. We’ve gotten away from kids being fundamentally sound with all these new recruiting camps and things like that. Kids are constantly trying to do things outside of their abilities without sticking to the basics. On offense I’d say that players should really focus on being a multi-threat with both hands, while on defense players should focus on having really good feet. Also, any goalie should be a great communicator first and foremost. Really focus on the fundamentals and make sure they’re as sharp as they can be by the time you hit college as they certainly will get more refined during college. There are so many good teams and good programs out there that the window for an incoming player isn’t as great as some kids believe at times, and having quality fundamentals can really set a player apart.
What is special about playing at Bridgewater College?
You get to play at one of the premier conferences in Division III and play against Top 20 teams weekly usually. At Bridgewater we’re an athletic school as one-third of the student body are varsity athletes and we take a lot of pride in athletics and facilities. We look to provide the best possible experience in the course of 4 years for all students. We do have flexibility as some Division III programs you must scrape to get by with fundraising or travel, but at Bridgewater we’re very fortunate to not have to worry about that due to our focus on athletics.
Are there any last pieces of advice for players and families you’d like to share?
Don’t be afraid to look at Division III schools where you can make an impact. Look at a school where you can get a great education and be an impact player and really enjoy your experience.
ConnectLAX is a third party recruiting service and not affiliated with or endorsed by Mic Grant or Bridgewater College.