Patton senior Dylan Lail will continue his lacrosse career at the collegiate level, signing Monday to play for Lees-McRae College starting next spring.
Lail has been one of the Panthers’ leading defenders on the lacrosse field over the course of the past three seasons. He also has played basketball and golf while at PHS.
“The big thing was I loved the academics they had (at Lees-McRae),” said Lail, who plans to major in business administration and marketing. “That was a big deal. And I loved the team, loved the program and I loved the facilities. The field is brand-new, which is nice.
“I see (myself) fitting in pretty good,” Lail said. “They like to rotate their players a lot. I think I’ll get into good shape this summer because they’ve given me a good workout plan. I’ll be ready to go up there next year.”
Patton head coach Eric Shehan thinks that good fit could translate to immediate playing time.
“I think he’s going to be a huge fit,” Shehan said. “I watched (Lees-McRae) play this year, and they needed a few more defensemen. His stick skills and his ability to move and slide for the double teams will help him out greatly.
“He’s a six-foot-pole defender. He’ll play defense the whole time. I see him getting playing time his freshman year.”
Lail said his favorite moments of playing lacrosse have been bonding with his teammates during rides to games while listening to music. His coach appreciates his intangibles and what Lail has done to promote the PHS lax program.
“He’s brought leadership,” Shehan said. “His skills from the basketball court have transferred over to his defense in lacrosse. It’s shown a lot of players that you can play more than one sport and that the athletic ability transfers over. I think it will bring some more basketball players to us and help us get better.”
The Bobcats are coached by Brad Dunn, who is an LMC alum heading toward his fifth season, and went 1-11 overall this spring, including 1-5 in NCAA Division II’s Conference Carolinas.
Justin Epley is a sports writer for The News Herald. He can be reached at email@example.com.