WEST BARNSTABLE – Even a month off due to illness last spring couldn’t hold him back.
Sitting at his parents’ West Barnstable kitchen table (Nov. 13), Barnstable High School lacrosse star Mike McDonough was gleaming last week when he signed his NCAA National Letter of Intent to play next fall for Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida.
“I’m very excited,” the bright and courteous senior classman said in a brief phone interview Sunday evening. “When I went down there last year for a visit the first time, I sort of knew. I fell in love with the campus.”
The son of Bob and Katie McDonough, McDonough has played varsity lacrosse at Barnstable High for head coach Chris Whidden for four seasons and this spring will be his fifth. This spring will see him earn his fourth varsity letter for the Red Raider laxmen. In his first three seasons playing under Whidden, the Red Raiders took home three straight Maritime League Championship titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The Red & White narrowly missed an 8th consecutive league championship title in the spring of 2014, but it doesn’t take much to envision why they might have missed it. McDonough was called up to the varsity squad as an 8th grader during the MIAA postseason tournament.
Last season as a junior, even though the shortstick midfielder eventually tied for the team lead in goals scored (25 – tied with senior Matt Lambert), he had to achieve that milestone after missing the “entire first month of the season” with an extended illness. McDonough is also a varsity ice hockey defenseman for Barnstable High and is already a three-time letterman on the ice for BHS Hall of Famer and head coach Scott Nickerson. In four MIAA state tournament games last winter, McDonough netted four goals.
Saint Leo’s is a Division II school and finished 8-7 overall last year.
While he credited part of his success playing for Whidden, he was also quick to credit former BHS Boys Head Lacrosse Coach Greg Clements who coaches the summer Cape Cod Lacrosse team. Whidden coached JV lacrosse at BHS before taking the reins in 2010. Clements was head coach at Barnstable High from 2002 through 2009 and is credited for having established the Red Raider boys lacrosse program as a winning and at times dominant program on the South Shore. Clements won three league titles at BHS and Whidden picked up right where he left off, having won four straight until last season ended the streak.
“Coach Clements really helped me out,” McDonough said. “Summer lacrosse here is very competitive.”
McDonough hopes to study business management at Saint Leo’s with an emphasis on marketing.