BY MICHAEL KELLY
NISKAYUNA — He’s played in the event’s underclass games each of the past two years, but Lucas Quinn knows there’s something extra special about taking his turn playing in the Under Armour All-American Lacrosse Game.
“To end your high school career like this,” Quinn said, “it’s the goal for most players.”
It’s a fitting end for Quinn, one of the top boys’ lacrosse players in the history of Section II. The Niskayuna High School graduate will play in Saturday’s senior all-star game at Towson University in Baltimore as part of the North squad. Adding to the accomplishment, Quinn — Niskayuna’s all-time leading scorer with 342 career points — was picked to play in the game during the first wave of announced selections.
“That was pretty cool,” said Quinn, a two-time U.S. Lacrosse All-American who scored 68 goals and registered 44 assists as a senior midfielder. “I remember I got that call from Inside Lacrosse during school a couple months ago.”
Through high school, club and showcase action, the Syracuse-bound Quinn said he’s met nearly all of the participants in this year’s All-American contest. He’s made friendships with several of them, but said that won’t deter him from playing his hardest in the exhibition.
“It’s an all-star game,” Quinn said, “but these kids are all going to go really hard — and I am as well.”
In the matchup, Quinn will play against a pair of his future Syracuse teammates in attackman Owen Seebold and midfielder Tucker Dordevic. Meanwhile, one of Quinn’s teammates on the North team at the Under Armour All-American game will be Tehoka Nanticoke, who will play for UAlbany.
Both Quinn and Nanticoke are considered to be top prospects capable of stepping in for their college teams right away next spring.
“He’s one of the few guys I don’t know at all, but I’m excited to play with him,” Quinn said of Nanticoke. “I’ve heard all about him.”
The multi-day Under Armour event, and the accompanying camaraderie of it, is a welcome change for Quinn, who will spend most of his summer working out on his own.
He joked immediately after Niskayuna’s loss in the Class B state quarterfinals how he’d quickly became an alumnus of the program, but adjusting to that status will take time.
He said it’s been “definitely weird” not playing for his club team — the Albany Power — as he has every summer since he was a middle-schooler.
“It’s more just working on stuff for myself [this summer], working out on my own,” Quinn said.
When possible, Quinn said he will work out this summer with future teammate Stephen Rehfuss, a Shaker High School product who played this season as a redshirt freshman for Syracuse. Rehfuss, an attackman, scored 17 of his 25 points during the final seven games of the Orange’s 16-game season.
“He broke out, for sure,” Quinn said of Rehfuss, who was a senior on the Shaker team that Niskayuna and Quinn defeated in the 2015 Section II Class A title game on the Silver Warriors’ way to their program’s first-ever state championship. Rehfuss starred in that championship defeat with two goals and five assists.
This summer, Quinn said his top priority is making sure his body is capable of taking on the next level. Throughout his high school career, Quinn built up his 5-foot-9 frame to an impressive 185 pounds.
“But I think one big thing for me is the running, the speed,” Quinn said. “That’s going to be a pretty big adjustment because that’s the biggest change at the next level.”
Quinn committed to Syracuse as a high school freshman before ever playing a varsity game for Niskayuna. He reports to Syracuse in late August and said he’s ready to get going with the next chapter of his career.
“It’s definitely still exciting,” Quinn said. “I’ve been waiting over three years now for this and it’s only a couple months away.”