Upper Arlington has been one of the top high school lacrosse programs in the state of Ohio since the 1980’s.
Which, back in the 80’s at least, wasn’t much of a claim.
After all, as one-time Dublin Scioto coach Robert Scott pointed out to the Ohio State student newspaper in 2002, when he played at Upper Arlington in the early 80’s, there was a grand total of 2 other high school teams competing in the state: Thomas Worthington and Western Reserve Academy.
“Now there are 50 high schools with lacrosse teams”, Scott went on to note, “and I can’t even imagine what it will be like in another 20 years.”
It’s now twenty years later, and things do look a lot different.
The entire Ohio lacrosse landscape has been transformed.
By 2010, there were 101 boys lacrosse programs in the state.
Ohio sanctioned lacrosse at the high school level in 2015.
In 2016, Ohio State hosted two NCAA quarterfinal games.
In 2017, the Buckeyes not only appeared in the quarterfinals themselves, they actually made it to the NCAA championship game (with two native Ohioans, Tyler Pfister and J.T. Blubaugh playing crucial roles in that tournament run.)
That year, the state also gained a second D1 lacrosse program: Cleveland State.
As of 2020, there were 150 boys programs in the state.
There are 75 Ohioans on Division 1 college lacrosse rosters in 2022, and they can be found in each of D1’s eleven conferences.
A lot has changed; and a lot of that change came as a result of the Upper Arlington program.
The Emergence of Ohio Lacrosse: Shook and The Hop
The Ohio State campus sits a miles away from Upper Arlington High School. But the school that did the most to elevate the reputation of lacrosse in Ohio was Johns Hopkins.
More specifically, it was the Johns Hopkins career of former UA star Brendan Shook that put the state on the radar of coaches and fans nationally.
It’s not hard to understand why Shook attracted the attention he did.
At 6-4, 215-pounds, he was one of the nation’s premier takeaway defenders.
And he was playing not only for one of D1 lacrosse’s most storied programs, but also in the game’s most conspicuous showcase. Shook, who’d won three state championships with the Golden Bear, also went on to lead Hopkins to two consecutive Final Four appearances.
Shook was an Honorable Mention All-American as a junior in 2000; but beyond his skill, what distinguished the 6-4, 215-lb defender was his versatility. In his last two years at Hopkins he actually had to transition from LSM to close defense.
The Upper Arlington Lacrosse D1 Pipeline
Upper Arlington has been a steady and reliable source of talent for Division 1 for decades. Beyond Brendan Shook, the program has also produced:
- Danny Logan: The Denver defensive middie was both an Inside Lacrosse and USILA First-Team All-American in 2021, and also a Tewaaraton Award nominee. In prior years, he’d been both a Third-Team All-American selection as well as an Honorable Mention.
- Steve Dusseau: One of the all-time best lacrosse players from Ohio, Dusseau was a First-Team All-American at Georgetown, and a two-time Tewaaraton finalist. He scored 130 goals from the midfield in his college career, and led the Hoyas to the NCAA finals in both 2001 and 2002.
- Chris Dussau: Steve’s older brother was an Honorable Mention USILA selection at attack in 1999, and scored 113 goals in his career at Notre Dame.
- Brett Harper: Harper was considered one of the most accomplished LSM’s of his era, and was 3-year starter at Maryland.
- Mark Koontz: In order to warrant selection as one of the 42 Best Lacrosse Players on Wall Street, Mark Koontz, a former teammate of Steve Dusseau, was a First-Team All-American at defense, and one-time ACC Player of The Year at Virginia.
- Brett Hughes: A “Mr. Ohio” in both football and lacrosse, Hughes spurned the Buckeyes for Virginia, where he was a three-time All-American at defense. He was a member of the 2003 Cavalier team that defeated Johns Hopkins for the national championship.
- Max Schmidt: A four-year starter and three-time All-American at defense for Maryland, Schmidt also went on to play in the MLL.
Division 1 College Lacrosse Players from Upper Arlington High School
Will Robbins, D, North Carolina ’22
Jack Dolan, M, Jacksonville ’22
Danny Logan, M, Denver ’21
Ben Baker, A, High Point ’20
Brandon Jones, D, Air Force ’19
Grant Gould, M, Air Force ’18
Jake Nolan, D, Denver ’17
Elliot Allen, M, Georgetown ’16
Tyler Pfister, A, Ohio State ’16
Zach Powers, D, North Carolina ’16
Luke Treece, A, Ohio State ’15
Kyle Cassady, M, Air Force ’14
John Hardesty, D, Ohio State ’14
Alex Drake, M/A, Lehigh ’13
Mark Crawford, D, Ohio State ’13
Matt Ghidoti, M, Army ’13
Phil Gross, D, Yale ’13
Keith Olson, M, Albany ’12
Grant Oliver, D, Maryland ’12
Max Schmidt, D, Maryland ’11
Eric Reinhardt, M, Georgetown ’10
Braedon Dennis, D, Delaware ’09
Chris Rhine, D, Maryland ’09
Kyle Harer, G, Cornell ’09
Brady Williams, M, Brown ’09
Joe Dewey, M, Virginia ’09
Clayton Hall, D, Georgetown ’08
Wes Kemme, D, Ohio State ’07
Peter Schell, M, Ohio State ’07
Ben Drake, A, Ohio State ’07
Ryan Shaugnessy, M, Denver ’07
Adam Goodwin, M, Denver ’06
Adam Miller, A, Ohio State ’06
Gavin Webb, DM, Maryland ’06
John Trapp, D, Georgetown ’06
Jared Olson, D, Ohio State ’06
Brian Yontz, D, Ohio State ’06
Brian Sanders, G, Denver ’05
Kyle Olson, A, Ohio State ’05
Lou Braun, FO, Johns Hopkins ’05
Brett Hughes, D, Virginia ’04
Jon Focht, M, Virginia ’04
Brett Harper, LSM, Maryland ’03
Steve Dusseau, M, Georgetown ’02
Mark Koontz, D, Virginia ’02
Mike Kern, M, Penn State ’01
Brendan Shook, D, Johns Hopkins ’01
Ben Focht, DM, Butler ’99
Chris Dusseau, A, Notre Dame ’99
Marcus Mollman, M, Duke ’98
Mike Meaier, M, North Carolina ’98
Evan Jackson, D, Butler ’97
B.J. Thompson, M, Georgetown ’95
David Parry is the founder and editor of LaxAcrossAmerica. A New York-based digital marketer and copywriter, he played Division 1 lacrosse as a walk-on at Brown.