McCartney’s lacrosse journey began in high school when his interest was sparked by his school’s young program, which at the time had only been around for three years. “I had always played football, but I was really intrigued by the game,” he recounted. “I saw speed and contact and a great level of finesse, and I just knew I had to try it.”
McCartney now plays for the Barons and has made his presence known all around the conference with his electric playing style. “I’m a two-way midfielder, so my style of play has to be tough and has to be fast,” he said. “Midfield is the link between offense and defense, so the transition game is essential.” The Barons are moving to the President’s Athletic Conference this year, and McCartney is hoping his playing style translates to the tougher conference.
This Baron’s favorite memory from all his years of playing lacrosse at Franciscan came from just last year when his team faced off with Alfred State in the AMCC Showcase.
“It was back and forth the whole game. I just remembered feeling really calm. I guess I just felt confident in the guys next to me. As a team, we were playing really well, and every man knew his job,” said McCartney, recalling details like it was yesterday. “With about four minutes left, the score was 14-14. I got a beautiful pass from Joe Bartholomaus and put it away to give us the lead for good. When that final buzzer blew, it felt like I came out of a fog. All of a sudden, just like that, the game was over, and we were the winners. It felt really good.”
McCartney’s goal for his team this season are simple: “Win games. Nothing too fancy. Just play our game and be the best team we can be.” He hopes that the Barons can follow through on this goal and break through as the newbies in the pack.
When it comes to inspiration, McCartney immediately identified his father as his role model, saying that his dad has always supported him, especially in sports. “We really bond over athletics, and I’ve always tried to play the way he’s taught me: hard, fast and blue collar,” he said. According to McCartney, his father was “a phenomenal athlete and a professional rodeo cowboy, so toughness and heart were always very important to him.” This toughness and heart have passed on from father to son.
You can catch McCartney and the men’s lacrosse team on the field on Wednesday, March 6, at 4 p.m. on Steubenville Memorial Field.