It was after a summer league boys lacrosse game at the Medford Athletic Complex when Dylan Marlborough and Tim Schmidt nonchalantly approached their high school coach, John Amato, and assistant coach, Kyle Sopko. They had some news for the coaches. Within two days of each other, the Mattituck/Greenport/Southold seniors had verbally committed to play for NCAA Division I schools.
Amato later said he was so thrilled he felt as if he was the one going to college.
“You could tell he was excited, instantly hugging us,” Marlborough said. “He couldn’t wait to tell everyone.”
Now the word is out. Schmidt, an attackman, has picked Wagner College. Marlborough, a middie face-off specialist, has made Stony Brook University his choice.
Last season, the fifth in their young history, the Tuckers reached the playoffs for the second straight year and advanced to their first Suffolk County final, losing to Babylon. They finished their most successful season with an 11-3 record, and now some of their players may play at the top level of college lacrosse.
“I think it speaks volumes for where the program is headed,” said Amato.
Schmidt, who plans to major in business, said playing Division I lacrosse is a dream of his. He had considered other schools like Sacred Heart University (Conn.) and Adelphi University, and had also thought about going to school in the south. His selection of Wagner College, he said, is “great because my parents can watch me play every game.”
Marlborough said he selected Stony Brook because it was the best offer he received and he likes the facilities at the school. He said he thinks he will major in biomedical engineering.
Amato said he believed both players, who attend Mattituck High School, could play at the Division I level.
Schmidt, an all-county player, has a nose for the goal. Last season he led the Tuckers in scoring for the second straight year, firing in 61 goals and assisting on 24 others. He ranked sixth in Suffolk in points.
“Tim has a knack for scoring,” Amato said. “He just finds a way to put it in the net. He’s a natural scorer. He has a great ability to finish.”
Marlborough was named the League IV face-off specialist of the year in addition to making the all-league team. He won 265 face-offs and lost 79 during the regular season. In the playoffs, he went 35-4 in face-offs.
“Dylan’s very determined and a hard worker,” Amato said. “No matter what, he gives it his all, and he was committed to being the best face-off middie in our league and that’s what he’s worked for. Honestly, very few times we played games through the course of the year where I felt like we would lose face-offs. He gives our team confidence.”
Coming from a small town and playing for a young program had left both players with concerns that they might be overlooked by college teams.
“A lot of people didn’t know what Mattituck was,” Schmidt said. “I would bring up Riverhead and they were, ‘Yeah, I know where Riverhead is.’ ”
Marlborough said, “It’s good to know that it’s possible for a kid from a little team like Mattituck that just started a few years ago” to have the opportunity to play college lacrosse.
Amato said he received numerous calls over the summer from colleges asking about his players.
Before embarking on their college careers, both players have a third high school varsity season to play next spring.
Marlborough said his game has improved over the years, but he still has things to work on. “My speed, my reaction time to the whistle, and just being prepared for a different pace of the game,” he said. “It’s much faster at the college level.”
Amato sounded delighted for his two future college players.
“They worked hard and they earned it,” he said. “To have the opportunity to play at the Division I level is fantastic.”
Photo Caption: Dylan Marlborough helped lead the Tuckers into the Class C county championship game last spring. (Credit: Bill Landon)