Phillips junior Austin Gaiss of North Andover grew up a huge Michigan fan. But his allegiances have shifted to Notre Dame after committing there to play lacrosse.
“Growing up my dad raised us as avid Michigan fans,” Gaiss said. “So every time Michigan played Notre Dame I was always rooting for Michigan. My brother (Ryan) actually now goes to Michigan. So we’ll have a nice in-family rivalry there. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
Gaiss, a three-year varsity player, has developed into an important part of both Phillips’ offense and defense as a starting midfielder. He had two goals in Phillips’ first win, a 10-5 victory over New Hampton.
And he certainly is looking forward to playing with the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is 9-2 so far this spring and is ranked in the top five in the Division 1 USILA Coaches poll, the Inside Lacrosse poll and the NCAA men’s lacrosse RPI poll.
“I’ve been watching them on TV and online when I can,” Gaiss said. “I have a sister (Kaitlin) who’s a senior down on the women’s team at Duke and Notre Dame’s season opener was down at Duke. My sister’s team had two games that weekend so I flew down with my dad and I got to catch a game (between the Duke and Notre Dame men).”
Gaiss, whose father grew up in Michigan and whose mother is from Nebraska, said playing Division 1 lacrosse has been his longtime goal.
“Going through the whole recruiting process, my main goal was to end up at a school that was not only strong lacrosse-wise but also academically,” Gaiss said. “I’ve always wanted to go into business as well. When I was looking at schools, the Ivys kept popping up, Michigan, Notre Dame.”