FORT MILL — Two key players in Fort Mill’s 2014 boys state lacrosse championship signed college commitment papers Monday.
Seniors Mitch Russell and Ethan Gray both committed to play college lacrosse. Gray committed to North Greenville University and Russell committed to Duke University.
Highly recruited since his sophomore year, Russell finally turned his verbal commitment to Duke into a reality.
“It feels good to know it is set in stone,” he said. “I am ready to be there and I’m excited and ready to start working.”
He was heavily recruited by Ohio State, Georgetown, Yale, Harvard and North Carolina just to name a few schools, but picked the Blue Devils over them all.
“Duke was a combination of everything,” he said, back when he gave a verbal commitment during the summer before his junior year. “I have always watched them play since I was a little kid. They were high academically and I wanted to stay in the Carolinas.”
In his senior season, Russell scored 59 goals in 16 games, to go with his 60 assist. For his career, he scored an exact 200 goals and dished out an even more impressive 234 assist, both school records. He also scored 434 points in his four years on varsity, also a school record.
Russell is a three-time state Player of the Year and plans on majoring in business at Duke.
Gray committed to North Greenville over schools such as Belmont-Abbey College, Coker College and Limestone College.
“It’s a nice school and I liked their campus,” he said. “Everyone I met there is kind and it’s a big Christian atmosphere.”
One thing that makes Gray’s signing more impressive is that he has been playing lacrosse for just the past six years, four of those at Fort Mill High.
“All the effort and work I put into it, feels good to finally pay off,” he said.
In his senior season, Gray helped to lead Fort Mill to its second state championship in four years scoring 52 goals in 16 games, to go with 14 assist. Gray collected 93 goals over three varsity seasons and 113 total points.
Gray plans on majoring in business management.