ELWOOD, New York, Feb. 26
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Having coached him “since he was a little squirt,” John Glenn High School’s boys lacrosse coach Kevin Lavey knew Kevin Massa quite well. An eventual graduate of Glenn in 2011, Massa came to Lavey’s varsity team as an attacker – the position he’d played his entire career – but the coach had other plans.
“As a sophomore I converted him into a faceoff guy,” the coach, and founder of Glenn’s boys lacrosse program, said. “His technique wasn’t great, but he won… I just let him do what he did.”
Years later, at Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., Massa still embraces Lavey’s actions – in fact, in 2014, he led the entire nation in faceoff percentage by going 305-443 (.688).
Now, while finishing up his senior year at Bryant, Massa is set to bring his talents to the majors. On Jan. 23, in the fourth round, Massa was selected by the Charlotte Hounds with the No. 26 overall pick in the 2015 Major League Lacrosse (MLL) collegiate draft.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Kevin’s father Jeff said of his son being selected.
According to Lavey, Massa is the first Glenn graduate to be drafted into MLL.
“I’m old enough to know when we started the program [at Glenn] so I’m very proud of him [to come this far],” Jeff Massa said.
Massa’s father said that his son fully intends to play with Charlotte following graduation. First, though, Massa must complete his senior season at Bryant, which he comes into as a one-year-removed United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association-Index First Team All-American. Over his collegiate career, he holds a face-off win percentage of .682.
So far in the 2015 season, Massa has won 35 of 58 face-offs through three games as a midfielder.
“Some people said, ‘look at his form,’” Lavey said when recalling Massa’s time at Glenn, “but you just couldn’t beat him [at face-offs].”
Massa helped lead the Knights to a Class C Suffolk County championship in 2010 and was an All-County selection for lacrosse in 2011, his senior year.
But lacrosse wasn’t his only strength.
“He’s one of the few true three-sport athletes we’ve ever had at Glenn,” Lavey said of the lacrosse, football and wrestling star. “And he was just a great kid to have around… as a captain and as a leader.”
Bryant University will undoubtedly miss those things about Massa when he does move on to MLL, but thankfully he’s not the only family member on the roster. Kevin’s brother, Kenny, is currently a redshirt freshman alongside Kevin on Byrant’s lacrosse squad.
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Record
(Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015; Front page)