Davis making his way in D-I lacrosse

Essex H.S. grad played on the biggest stage with Cornell this Spring
Essex H.S. grad played on the biggest stage with Cornell this Spring
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 7:24 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Essex high school grad Chris Davis didn’t always know he wanted to play lacrosse.

“I started off playing baseball, up until 6th grade,” Davis said. “Until a couple of my friends convinced me to play lacrosse. And then I fell in love with the speed of it.”

It turned out to be the right call. Davis was a two-sport star for the Hornets before graduating last Spring. He excelled not only on the lacrosse field but the giridon as well.

“One of the things you see now is with full year lacrosse with Summer, Fall, Winter lacrosse,” Davis said. “And I think the biggest thing other kids need to work on or focus on is playing other sports, because you’re gonna gain other impactful ideas and different skills from other sports that’ll help you on the lacrosse field.”

And playing both seems to have paid dividends, helping Davis develop as an athlete...and get noticed by coaches at one of the most storied programs in D1 men’s lacrosse.

“I went to a prospect day at Cornell and got a good amount of interest there,” he said. “I think the main thing was they saw me more as an athlete than a lacrosse player in terms of I played a couple sports and was able to play offense and defense.”

Davis and the Big Red found themselves in an interesting spot this year: Cornell not only lost most of the 2020 season due to COVID, but they didn’t play in 2021 either. It was tough for a lot of people, but it gave Davis a bit of a leg up as a true freshman this Spring.

“Coming into this year, there were 30-35 kids who hadn’t played a full season yet of college lacrosse,” Davis said. “But I think there was no real highest person on the depth chart here and there. So I think that was definitely helpful coming in and allowing me to feel involved right away.”

Davis even earned a solid amount of playing time by focusing his attention on the defensive middie role.

“I started the year on the offensive side of the ball.” he said. “I switched about halfway through to the defensive role, and that really is what jolted me forward I think. I was able to kinda put myself in a position where I would see more playing time.”

Cornell earned a share of the Ivy League regular season title and then went on a run as the #7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, making it all the way to the championship game.

“It was surreal in a way,” Davis said. “You kind of walk out on the field before the game and never really thought you were gonna be here, especially coming out of Vermont. I think it was just a really cool experience to have all the people that supported me and support our team there.”

The Big Red would come up a little short, falling 9-7 to an all-time Maryland team. Obviously Cornell will look to build on this year and topple that final hurdle next Memorial Day, but Davis also hopes his continued progress can serve as inspiration for other lacrosse players right here in Vermont.

“I definitely think it can speed up the growth and allow kids to realize that you can get to that point,” Davis said. “A lot of people might think that it’s not possible to make it to that level or make it to that stage. And I think just seeing somebody from Vermont make it there just allows younger kids to maybe be even more motivated to make it there knowing that they can.”

Copyright 2022 WCAX. All rights reserved.