FULTON — Sam Cary welcomes challenges, both in athletics and academics.
The Fulton senior’s next big challenge will be playing NCAA Division II lacrosse for Le Moyne College in Syracuse.
“I’m really excited to go there for the next four years,” Cary said. “Not only are they close to home, but they are also very good at lacrosse and a good educational school as well.”
Le Moyne this past spring posted a 16-3 overall record. The Dolphins went 10-1 in the Northeast-10 and won the conference crown. They lost to Merrimack 15-14 in overtime in the NCAA Division II semifinals.
While making the adjustment to Division II lacrosse in the Northeast-10 Conference, Cary will take on a demanding field in the classroom.
“I want to go into pre-medicine or chemistry or biology and I want to become a doctor,” said Sam, son of Jen and Mitch Cary. The family also includes Sam’s sister, Isabella, and brother, Nick.
After also considering attending other schools, Cary said Le Moyne became his clear choice.
“There were a few others, but this was ultimately my number one choice,” he said. “I went to one of their camps over the summer and I did pretty well. Then I played in a tournament with them over the summer and did well. It all went from there, I guess.”
After exchanging some phone calls and emails, the decision was made, and Sam signed his letter of intent on Tuesday at Fulton’s G. Ray Bodley High School with classmates, family, and friends on hand.
Chris Ells, Fulton athletic director, pointed out that only 2.1 percent of high school student-athletes go on to play college athletics at the Division II level.
“Sam is definitely in an elite class,” Ells said. “There is a very small group of students who are signed to Division II scholarships.”
In addition to playing lacrosse for Fulton, Cary was a standout for the Red Raiders’ soccer team. He was a captain on the 2018 squad that captured the Section III Class A championship. He was a captain again this year, when the team was narrowly ousted on penalty kicks by Whitesboro in the Class A quarterfinals.
“He’s a great leader. In the classroom he does very well, and in the sports arena he does very well,” Fulton varsity soccer coach Nate Murray said. “He works extremely hard. He’s going to be sorely missed. He’s an outstanding kid. He pushes himself to the limit in the classroom, too. He’s looking at going to school for pre-med, and I think he’s going to excel.”
Sam said his father introduced him to lacrosse, signing him up for the Fulton youth program while Sam was in second grade.
“I liked soccer more at that point, but then when I started practicing lacrosse, I got better at lacrosse than I was at soccer. That’s when I started liking lacrosse more,” he said.
Cary played two years of lacrosse at the modified level and one year on the JV team. This spring will mark his third varsity season. He has also been playing summer lacrosse since the sixth grade.
An attackman, Cary said he is hoping to have a big season this spring and help the Raiders to a successful campaign. His junior season was short-circuited when he fractured his back. “I’m hoping to get a bunch of goals this year and probably a lot of assists, too,” he said.
He said he will most likely play attack for the Dolphins, but said he could make the switch to midfield if necessary.
Raising his level of play will be his primary focus before heading to Le Moyne.
“I’m going to be working pretty hard. Even over the winter I’m going to be working out,” he said. “I’m going to be going to the YMCA quite a bit. I’ll probably go there every day during the winter until lacrosse season starts, and then I’ll go there every day next summer.”
For now, Cary said he’s relieved to have made his college decision.
“It definitely feels good because there is a lot of pressure to find a school where I wanted to go,” he said. “I wanted to play lacrosse. It’s a relief to get that out of the way and know where I’m going.”