Nicholas Hartell won’t be visiting every city in Steve Miller’s Rock’n Me song, but he will be awfully close.
The 16-year-old will embark on a month and a half long tour of the U.S. as he plays field lacrosse in front of the top 100 National Collegiate Athletic Association schools in several different showcase tournaments.
“I’m really excited. It’s going to be a lot of travel, but that doesn’t bother me,” said Hartell.
Hartell started playing box lacrosse four years ago before transitioning to field lacrosse two years later.
“I like field lacrosse better. It is a lot more open, more room for individual plays and the game is slower which allows me to think more,” said Hartell.
Hartell is a roaming midfielder who stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 185 pounds.
“Nick is a very agile player. He has great mobility and a hard shot from the outside. He is a skilled player that plays on the edge,” said former Legends’ coach Wes Landels.
Landels coached Hartell most recently at the last season with the Legends and with the North Okanagan Bandits at Best of West Tournament in late February in Las Vegas.
Hartell’s stats echoed his coach’s testaments. Hartell sniped nine goals and 10 points in 12 games last fall for the Legends while racking up 26 penalty minutes.
Hartell headed to Seattle Friday where he practised with the West Coast Starz, the Seattle Starz and the High Rollers. All three teams are affiliated with Adrenaline Lacrosse. Hartell made it as a midfielder last January after a series of tryouts in Seattle.
Adrenaline Lacrosse is an organization that creates teams of elite players from the western U.S. and Canada and exposes them in tournaments out east. The Eastern seaboard is a hotbed for college lacrosse. The High Rollers have a 75 per cent college placement success rate.
“I think he will do well. He is going to learns lots, the level competition is way different down there. It will be good for him,” said Landels.
After a few practices, he will begin collecting frequent flyer miles as he plays in two to four-day tournaments in Denver, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Philadelphia (twice), Seattle and Boston.
The Duke Blue Devils of Durham, N.C. recently repeated as NCAA champions in field lacrosse and will be one of the schools checking out North America’s up and coming talent.
“I would like to go to Duke or a UNC (Univeristy of North Carolina), that’s the dream. I am just aiming for universities in the States if I can,” said Hartell.
“This is what you need to do if you want to go to these big programs, it is all about exposure. He’s got great support from his family and he is a talented kid. He should have a pretty good showing down there,” said Landels.
The midfielder is still a few years from battling for NCAA supremacy, as he is wrapping up Grade 11 at Kalamalka with plans to transfer to Eastlake high school in Sammamish, Wash. There he will work under coach Chris O’Dougherty, who is also a coach with Adrenaline Lacrosse.