“The game has definitely taken me places I never thought I’d go,” said NCAA Division I scholarship student Patrick Fogarty.
An Orillia lacrosse player has won the right to dress for the Ontario U15 team in Florida next weekend.
Patrick Fogarty High School Ethan Hardy has only been playing lacrosse for five years, but he’s already on his way to playing at the top level.
“When we moved to Aurelia, all the kids they talked about were lacrosse experiences,” Hardy explained. “I asked my dad if I could try it out, and it all started from there.”
Born in Barrie and raised in Poulsover, Hardy had a catch-up when his professional lacrosse career took off.
“The other kids played their whole lives and were way ahead of me,” he said. “I’ve always had confidence in myself, which really helped me excel.”
Hardy, 15, who plays box and field lacrosse, says he lives and breathes the sport. His passion for the game caught the attention of coaches and scouts across the county.
“I went to the Team Ontario Trials in September and had a really good experience throughout the trial,” he said. “I was very confident and had a good attitude and I think he catches up with the coaches.”
Despite his confidence, Hardy admits he was pleasantly surprised by the make-up of the team.
“I was excited,” he said. “It is an honor to play for the county and represent Aurelia.”
Hardy hopes his success will inspire other young players in his hometown.
“I hope this encourages others to try out for Team Ontario,” he said. “I want more people in Aurelia to make this possible.”
Hardy is scheduled to attend the Men’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Players Summit from December 7-11. During the tournament, coaches and scouts from NCAA teams will be in attendance.
“I’m more motivated to stay focused and play my game knowing there will be people watching,” he said.
The Orillia Kings midfielder hopes he can attend a college or university in the South by next September. He’s looking for offers from Duke University or the University of Maryland.
“I have high standards,” said Hardy. “I want to have high hopes.”
Until the last year or two, Hardy didn’t realize his dream of playing Division 1 lacrosse could become a reality.
He said, “I really didn’t think I would get to the point where people would call me interested in my skills and want me to play for their schools.”
Hardy’s ultimate goal is to one day play professional lacrosse, but for now, his goals are only to pursue his post-secondary education.
Hardy travels to Mississauga at least twice a week to play EDGE lacrosse. He also plays for the club team.
“The game definitely took me places I never thought I’d go,” he said. “I only take one step at a time.”
Hardy attributes his success to Orillia Minor Lacrosse and the PF lacrosse coaching staff.
“They both gave me a lot of confidence,” he said. “They made me feel like I could excel and do whatever I wanted to do.”