Alumni dominate collegiate lacrosse, wrestling
Fame has once again struck the JC community, but this time it is alumni that have been awarded recognition in the world of sports. Brittany Dashiell, class of ‘09, Casey Ancarrow, class of ‘08, and Allyson Carey, class of ’08, have been placed on the Tewaaraton watch list, and Mathew Miller, class of ’11, has won the National Collegiate Wrestling Association Championship that took place in Daytona Beach, Florida, on the weekend of March 10-11.
The Tewaaraton Award is annually presented to the NCAA men’s and women’s lacrosse player of the year. The mission of the Tewaaraton Foundation is “to uphold the original purpose of the award and to provide scholarships to Native American high school seniors in the Iroquois Nation.” The award honors the nation’s top male and female collegiate lacrosse players.
Dashiell began playing lacrosse at the age of five. Due to her parents’ history as lacrosse players, Dashiell got into the game with her father as her coach during her earlier years.
“At JC, I played midfield for Coach Hughes and Porch. We won the IAAM ‘A’ Conference championship my sophomore and junior year. I had so much fun playing while I was there,” Dashiell said.
Dashiell currently plays as a midfielder, and her lacrosse career has evolved since her years at JC.
“Division I lacrosse is a lot different compared to high school. All the players on my team and the other D1 teams are the best players on their high school teams, so it’s a whole new level of lacrosse in college. It’s faster, more aggressive, and a lot of work. I love being a Gator and will always be proud to say I was a Patriot,” Dashiell said.
“I owe most of my achievements to my teammates, coaches, and parents. Throughout my career, I have learned so much and evolved so much as a player. My teammates push me every day in practice, my coaches are always teaching me something new, and my parents have supported me every second of every day,” Dashiell said.
Ancarrow also began playing lacrosse at a young age, beginning in the second grade. While at JC, Ancarrow played midfield for all four years of her high school career.
“I currently play attack for James Madison. Playing at JC prepared me extremely well to play in college. The transition from high school to college went smoothly for me because the level of competition had been so high,” Ancarrow said.
Ancarrow recognizes that even being placed on the Tewaarton watch list is a team effort. “I definitely owe all the coaches that I’ve had in my life to my success,” Ancarrow said.
Carey’s lacrosse career began in fourth grade, after seeing her friends from soccer beginning to play lacrosse.
“As a freshman at JC, we were not considered to be one of the top high school teams in the nation or state. We got better and better with each year. It was amazing to establish the program with that first championship my junior year. It was the icing on the cake to finish my high school career with an undefeated season,” Carey said.
“I play midfield for Vanderbilt and take the draw for them as well. College lax is extremely competitive and fast compared to high school lax, so my position is definitely more difficult now than it was in high school I would say,” Carey said.
“It is an honor to be on the list with so many amazing lacrosse players. My mom is one of my biggest fans and got in touch with me once she saw it online. It’s very excited to be chosen,” Carey said.
As for Miller, the story of his sports career is due to a few fortuitous mistakes.
“I started wrestling because my mother missed basketball sign up for the second year in a row. I was enrolled in wrestling to keep me occupied,” Miller said.
“[I] wasn’t too great at wrestling during junior league, the only two teams that even paid me mind was JC and Loyola. My career while attending JC was decent. Two times state champ, two times MIAA’s champ, national prep champ. [I had a] record 205-30, ranked 9th in the nation at 171. I have some regrets, [I] wish I could have done better,” Miller said.
Differing from the reactions of the Tewaaraton nominees, Miller came into his match confident of his victory.
“Yes I expected to win. You can’t go in thinking you are going to lose. The only thing that limits you is your own mind. What I wasn’t expecting was to win OW [Outstanding Wrestler] out of the whole tournament. I’m just thankful to God, my mom and dad for always being there, and my awesome coach, Lieutenant Grimes,” Miller said.
Miller plans to surpass his past win and go on to achieve his ultimate goal of winning a NCAA D1 Championship.
“I’m more focused since I left JC. I have great group wrestling practice partners who always challenge me, and I’m hoping when I set foot into the naval academy, I start making noise unlike high school where it took me two years to get the ball moving,” Miller said.
Grace Kim is the online chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com