Mike Cropper had an idea of where he wanted to commit to and at first, it wasn’t High Point.
Cropper, a Ridley 2015 defenseman, had an idea that he and one of his best friends, Colin Bosak, a 2015 FOGO at The Haverford School, wanted to commit to the U.S. Naval Academy.
“We weren’t saying that it was a package deal,” Cropper said, “but we were thinking of committing to Navy together. But as soon as I got to High Point and I saw the campus, I didn’t think I could pass it up.”
While Bosak made the call for Navy, Cropper went in a different direction, choosing to commit to High Point over Navy, Lehigh, Bryant and Marquette. And it was almost a sign that he’d made the right call when he tried to get in touch with Navy before the commitment.
“I just wasn’t able to get in touch with them,” Cropper said. “I kind of had a deadline that I had to tell High Point by. Not a firm deadline, but they said that they would like me to tell them by a certain point and I’d call Navy and no one answered, then they’d call me and I wasn’t available. But I kind of knew that I wanted to commit to High Point.
That decision was pretty easy to make for Cropper after his visit and after talking about High Point with some of his friends who had been there and attended the school.
“High Point just really stood out to me,” said Cropper, who plays club for HEADstrong’s 2015 team. “I’ve never seen such an unbelievable campus. It was just awesome all around. It’s a new and upcoming lacrosse program and they were talking to me how no one really “starts” there. It’s whoever’s doing the best right then is going to play. You don’t find out who’s starting until the day of.”
“I don’t think I’m going to start my first year. That’s pretty tough. But I just want the chance to play and plus, I’ve heard that it’s just an amazing time there.”
Cropper admitted to being a little bit disappointed that his childhood favorite, Penn State, didn’t end up being in contact with him. Repeated attempts at contact with the Nittany Lions didn’t materialize anything substantial, but to hear Cropper say it, he’s thrilled to be going to High Point.
“I visited Penn State, Navy and I was going to visit Bryant,” Cropper said, “but as soon as I visited High Point, I knew I was going to go there.”
Cropper also had Ridley 2013 All-Delco defenseman Nick Eufrasio in his ear about joining him at Marquette, but ultimately, Cropper decided that Marquette was too far for him. He’s not sure as to whether High Point wants him as a defenseman or LSM and doesn’t care. He just wants to play.
Cropper also had a chance to gain more exposure this summer when he was selected to the Philly Under Armour Underclassmen team that made it to the tournament’s semifinals. Cropper thought he acquitted himself fairly well despite making the trek to Towson without a pretty important piece of equipment.
“I forgot my stick,” Cropper said sheepishly. “I got to the field and realized it and I had to put together my backup right there. I could have done better, especially with my usual stick. But it was really fun and I hope I go back this year. It’s really good competition.”
Cropper will make sure to have the correct wand when he takes the field for Ridley next spring. While the Green Raiders lose a handful of skilled seniors like Eufrasio, goalie Tom McDermott and midfielder Mike Crowley, it’s, well, Ridley. Expectations are always sky-high and Cropper will be part of what might be the best defensive trio in Delco along with John Lyman and John Saunders.
“We’re going to be just as good,” Cropper said. “It doesn’t matter where you’re ranked in the beginning, but by the end, I think we’ll be in the top 3 of the Central League.”
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