---- — Alex Marshall is entering just his sophomore year at Andover High but he already is all done with all that long, difficult and painstaking process known as finding the right college.
Marshall has verbally committed to play lacrosse at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The 6-6, 220-pounder was a defender on the Andover High varsity lacrosse squad this past spring, being named a MVC All-Star. He also plays defensive end and tight end on the varsity football team and center on the Golden Warriors varsity basketball squad.
“After looking over most of my options from Virginia, Maryland, (Johns) Hopkins and Duke, I thought North Carolina was the best option for me academically and athletically,” said Marshall who plans to study business.
You’d think it would be difficult for a three-sport athlete to decide which sport to play in college before even beginning sophomore year of high school. But the decision wasn’t tough for Marshall.
“I got a couple of (looks) for football as well but I felt that lacrosse was my favorite sport and I’m passionate about it and that’s what I want to play,” he said, adding those football looks were from Boston College and Penn State.
When Marshall was 13 he played on U15 lacrosse teams so competing on varsity against older high schoolers wasn’t too difficult for him this past year.
Marshall’s doctor has projected that he’ll grow to 6-8. His mother is 5-9 and his dad is 5-10.
“I’m trying to start to my focus on football now but I’ve been practicing (lacrosse) every day: my footwork, stick work and stick handling,” he said. “I have a lacrosse rebounder and I just go outside and play on that. I’m just trying to get everything better and trying to improve every day.”
Marshall is a member of the club lacrosse team Laxachusetts. Playing club helped him get recruited at such a young age.
“The tournaments that they go to our top-of-the-line, very elite tournaments,” he said. “And that’s what got me the most exposure.”
Is the competition at those tournaments more difficult than that in high school?
“It’s really all different because when I’m playing the AAU lacrosse on Laxachusetts, it’s playing kids all my age,” he said. “It’s very elite competition. You’re playing teams from Long Island, Maryland, California, all over — so only the best of the best. So they’re good but at Andover you’re playing kids who can be 17 and 18 years old. So they are stronger, they’re fast. So I would say the competition is a little bit higher at Andover but there’s really good competition over at Laxachusetts as well.”
When a young kid, Marshall found his older brother’s lacrosse stick in the backyard one day and just started playing with it.
“I just started tossing around the lacrosse ball and then I heard there was a team starting in Andover and I got on that and I’ve loved lacrosse ever since,” he said. “It’s been my favorite sport ever since.”
Marshall not only loves playing, but also watching it. He went to the Division 1 Final Four at Gillette Stadium last year.
“And then I record a lot of college lacrosse and Major League Lacrosse on my TV,” he said.
Follow Eagle-Tribune sports reporter Christopher Smith on Twitter @SmittyOnMLB