In just a few months, Dover senior Ryan McQuaide will embark on his final season on the lacrosse field wearing a Senators uniform. However, unlike a lot of student/athletes whose playing days are over after their high school years, McQuaide has earned a unique opportunity through hard work in and out of the classroom.
Last month, McQuaide formally signed his letter of intent to play lacrosse at Ivy League school Yale University. Getting accepted to Yale academically is tough enough, but McQuaide offered not only good grades but a solid game to help upgrade on of the top-ranked lacrosse teams in the nation. Though, most importantly for Ryan was how going to Yale fit for him.
“The most important thing that I was looking for in a school during my recruiting process was that I would be challenged both academically and on the lacrosse field,” said McQuaide. “The fact that Yale is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world and one of the top ranked teams in the nation is what ultimately helped make my final decision. The Yale campus is beautiful and feels like a college campus should.”
McQuaide took care of his academics from the get-go at Dover, but McQuaide says he owes the change in his game to his teammates and coaches at Dover and on his travel team, Team 302.
“My game truly changed when Coach Coveleski took over the program at Dover,” said McQuaide. “He took my range as a defender and my stick skills as a transition player and completely evolved how I played the game. He taught me how to shoot and dodge as an offensive man. He and Coach Allen helped me to be more aggressive on defense to create more take-aways. They really improved my confidence and my lacrosse I.Q., too.”
“Playing for my travel team, Team 302, was extremely helpful in improving my game and getting recruited,” McQuaide continued. “I played with some of the best players in the state and against some of the best players in the country. My coaches went out of their way to help me get recruited by several Division I programs.”
While many seniors are excited about the next chapter of their lives, going to college can be a bit overwhelming for some. However, McQuaide fully understands the opportunity that has been put in front of him through his work and others.
“I couldn’t’ be more excited to experience the opportunities Yale’s classrooms have to offer,” said McQuaide. “I know that with the great amount of help and advice that I’ve received from my teachers and administration at Dover High, I am well prepared.”
While he hasn’t quite settled on what he’ll study at Yale, McQuaide is open to exploring everything Yale has to offer.
“The way I see it, I should keep an open mind and explore potential fields before I make a huge decision that will impact the rest of my life,” said McQuaide. “In the end, I like what a Yale degree can do for my future.”
One thing McQuaide is sure of heading toward his life at Yale is his spot and role on the lacrosse team.
“The Yale coaches have indicated that they want to initially use me as a long-stick midfielder,” said McQuaide. “My goal is to make an immediate impact on the team. Yale has been the Ivy League champion the past two years and has gone onto the NCAA tournament, just missing the Final Four last year. The coaching staff is phenomenal and I plan to listen closely and continue to grow as a player.”
While there is plenty of exciting milestones ahead for McQuaide, he has one more season left at Dover to make a mark on lacrosse in the first state. After a 10-5 season and advancing to the state quarterfinals, McQuaide has high expectations for this year’s club.
“I have extremely high expectations for the team this season despite losing 17 seniors,” said McQuaide. “It’ll be our second season under Coach Coveleski and more players are buying into his program. We’re returning several impact player and some of the younger guys are hungry to prove themselves. I can’t wait for the season to start. Last season’s success has made me thirsty for more.”
While McQuaide has accomplished an awful lot during his time at Dover, he’s always had a great support system around him, something he hasn’t forgotten.
“This awesome opportunity that I’ve been given is the result of the work of a lot of people,” said McQuaide. “I’ve had some really great teachers who sparked my interests and stayed after school to help me with understanding a concept or help with my college essay. All of my coaches have given me their time and knowledge to help elevate my game and great advice for success in the recruiting game.”
McQuaide owes a lot of his success to his friends and family, who he says have been extremely supportive during the strenuous process of college admissions and visits.
“All of my friend and family have been so supportive during my high school career and during the Yale admissions,” said McQuaide. “My brother, Joshua, put in countless hours in our backyard challenging me to get better. (Also), my sister, Riley, has been the best cheerleader anyone could ask for.”
“Most of all, my parents, Dave and Robyn, made me believe that anything was possible if I set goals and worked hard to achieve them,” said McQuaide. “They went to all the practices and games for the last seven years. They paid the expense of travel lacrosse. They made sure I didn’t miss any opportunities for achieving my goals and they have supported me during this entire process and I couldn’t have done it without them.”