ANDOVER — Mark Witt has earn strong reviews for his play the last three seasons at Phillips Andover and at some major invitational tourneys like the Under Armour All-American Tourney in Baltimore.
Never afraid of the bright lights, Witt gave theater a try for the first time his junior year and impressed as an Arabian Dancer in “The Nutcracker.”
At 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, he didn’t exactly blend in, but he loved it.
Is he a good dancer?
“No, no, no,” he said with a laugh. “It took a fair amount of guts. I had never performed on stage before. I look back and thought, ‘Man, I wish I got more stage time.’”
Earning a starring role has never a problem in his lacrosse career.
Witt, who is entering his senior year, has started the last two seasons and lettered as a freshman for the Big Blue. He was elected a tri-captain for next spring and was one of three Big Blue players named All-Region.
There was little doubt he’d end up at Phillips. His dad, Jerry Witt (PA ‘83), was the youngest of four brothers who all attended their hometown prep school. He followed Mike (PA ‘77), Chris (PA ‘80) and Tom (PA ‘82).
Mark’s older brother, John, was a golf captain at Phillips and now plays club golf at Georgetown. Their sister, Annika, is headed to Phillips in the fall and she, too, plays lacrosse.
Another Witt cousin just graduated from the prestigious prep school and another is a rising senior there.
Sets bar high
Mark, who plays defense and longstick midfield, has heard from a lot of colleges for lacrosse and is keeping his options open. He has a passion for science and sets the bar high in the classroom.
You could hear a bit of disappointment in his voice about his SATs. He scored “just” 1,460, a score most would consider superb.
Witt also plays football for Phillips. Growing up, he showed talent in lacrosse and on the baseball diamond but eventually had to choose among the two spring sports.
He said, “Lacrosse I find much more fun. It’s much faster, much less waiting around, much more exciting.”
The pressure of the big offseason tourneys can be more nerve-racking than dancing in front of a packed crowd at your school play.
“It’s in the back of my mind: who’s watching?” said Witt, who scored three goals this spring. “You’re thinking about every small detail. But I just try to go out there and have fun.”
BRAINS AND BRAWN
Electrical engineer Jerry Witt, 54, is not only bright, with degrees from Phillips, RPI and Stanford, but he’s fit. The father of Phillips lacrosse star Mark Witt was honored in 2015 for being the first person to finish the grueling Andover Outdoor Challenge, a series of physically taxing activities that are done entirely within the town.
It involved hiking, canoeing, biking, swimming and snowshoeing.