By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Intern
(September 18, 2013) – All-American Michael Rexrode has verbally committed to play DI lacrosse for Rutgers University beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year.
“It has always been a dream of mine to play a Division I sport in college, and Rutgers presents the best opportunity for me to do so,” said Rexrode who will play defense for the Scarlet Knights. “Rutgers offers a great engineering program and the athletic facilities are state of the art. Also, there is a great support system specifically in place to help student athletes. To add to all of that, the campus is a beautiful place.”
One of the Dulles District’s 2013 co-players of the year as well as a 1st team all-region selection, Rexrode helped solidify a defense that led Loudoun County High School to an undefeated regular season, finishing 16-0 and securing a Dulles District Championship, before falling to Woodgove in the AA Northern Region sectional semifinal.
“I expect our team to continue our success from last year,” said the 6-foot senior. “Coach Dave Colangelo is a great coach and I have faith that he will continue to build our team off of last season. Of course, after having a season like that, we are on the radar of every team in the district.”
Rexrode, who was selected as one of the three Raiders on the Cheers Sports and Viva Loudoun 2013 All-Loudoun Team, notes that Loudoun County might have “slipped under the radar” last year but they will have a bull’s-eye on its backs in 2014.
“If we can step up to the challenge, I feel we will continue down a path toward success,” said Rexrode who plays club lacrosse for SMS Elite. “I played well last season but I will push myself to improve my game and improve upon weaknesses. There is always someone out there working just as hard as I am and come game time they are out there to beat me. I have to be prepared to take on that challenge.”
Another challenge awaits Rexrode as he prepares to play lacrosse at the next level in New Brunswick, NJ.
“Rutgers will be joining the Big 10, which gives me the opportunity to play in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation,” Rexrode said.
In 2015, the Big 10 will institute both men’s and women’s lacrosse programs for the first time. Perennial lacrosse powerhouse Johns Hopkins University will play in the Big 10 as a sport affiliate member.
“Rutgers University recently took on a new head coach who will be beginning his second season this upcoming spring, and he has indicated that he has every intention of staying for some time,” the Leesburg-native said. “To me, that means that I have the opportunity to help build the program in the direction that coach Brian Brecht wants to take it.”
With a new coaching staff in place, a conference change and the recruiting of one of Northern Virginia’s best stars, Rexrode says Rutgers has big plans for the future.
“[Assistant] coach Byron Collins has made a note to tell me that their goal is to get to the Final Four, and I have every intention of contributing to the trip to the Final Four,” Rexrode said. “I expect Rutgers to develop into a very successful program in the coming years.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete.