ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way you originally planned. That’s certainly true for a pair of North Cross seniors, who both wanted to play in college. Lacrosse ended up opening doors that these student-athletes never imagined walking through.
“Probably about second grade when Coach Pollock came over and said, ‘Let’s put a lacrosse stick in your hands,'” senior long stick midfielder Landon Trail said.
Trail’s first love when it came to sports was basketball.
“I played basketball my whole career,” Trail said. “I definitely thought that’s where I was going to college to play for.”
But North Cross Head Coach Chris Pollock saw Trail’s potential on the lacrosse field.
“Basketball correlates to lacrosse a lot,” Pollock said. “He saw what we were doing on the lacrosse field, he’s talented. He can catch and throw, he can run and so once that happened, it clicked off in Landon’s head and I told him, Landon there’s a school for you.”
Trail said he got “super serious” about lacrosse when he entered high school.
“Probably freshman, sophomore year, and Coach Pollock was like, ‘How serious you want to take this? How far do you want to go?'” Trail said.
Lacrosse is taking Trail to the next level with an opportunity to play for Guilford, and he’s not the only Raider to switch sports to become a college athlete.
Ian Cann always thought he’d play football after high school until he found that his talents on the gridiron translate to the lacrosse field.
“Dodging, getting in and out of breaks, it’s kinda like running routes. Especially getting off the line, you can kinda just put your foot in the ground and change direction,” Cann said. “And then also, clearing is a huge thing, just seeing the vision on the field is just like running away from a linebacker on the football field.”
Cann will take his lacrosse knowledge to a Division I program in the fall, signing with High Point.
“The coach loved my athleticism and he loved my IQ. Just the ability to play,” Cann said. “And one thing that he said to me was ‘you’ve been focusing on football your whole life and you’ve been putting 10-20 percent into lacrosse. And for you to be able to go D1 for lacrosse, think about if you put all your time into lacrosse, where would it be?'”
The North Cross duo brings championship experience from multiple sports to the next level, most recently the program’s third straight VISAA Division II state title in lacrosse.
“We have football players that have won state championships, soccer players that have won state championships. They’ve also lost state championships. So, we have two sides of the coin where they’ve won a bunch and they’ve also lost a bunch. These guys work hard every day,” Pollock said. “At the end of the day, I preach to those guys that there’s a place for everybody if you can commit to it and stick with it.”