Sunset League Player of the Year Tyler Miller has been accepted to study for a post-graduate year at Bridgton Academy in N. Bridgton, Maine where he will play lacrosse. Miller’s time at Bridgton will give him a taste of the East Coast and hopefully open up more doors to play at the next level. Bridgton is the only college preparatory school in the country whose student body is comprised of postgraduate students only. While a post-grad year is fairly common on the east coast, many on the west coast have never heard of the option. Students can use their post-grad year to improve their grades, mature physically, of like in Miller’s case use the extra year before college to get additional exposure. With lacrosse exploding in the OC and the OC being a less than optimal location to catch a recruiter’s eye, more and more OC lacrosse players are considering the post-grad option.
Although more and more recruiters are coming west, the OC is still 3,000 miles from the epi-center of lacrosse recruiting. When one couples our geographical location with the increasing number of players that a recruiter needs to look at these days because of the game’s explosive growth, it is not surprising that a few talented players getting overlooked. The process is even more unfair to late bloomers because many prominent programs filling their recruiting classes as early as three years before their recruits are college freshman.
There are options, however, for players who weren’t in the right place at the right time, developed a passion for the game later in the high school career, or simply aren’t sure what they want out of their college experience. The post-grad year can often provide a solution for these players.
Miller is a extremely talented player that is taking advantage of the post-grad year. Miller has developed into one of the most underrated players in the county. With 40 goals and 31 assists, Miller led the Griffins to a Sunset League championship and a playoff berth. Unfortunately, off season showcases did not produce offers from the schools he had hoped to hear from. Turning down D2 and D3 offers, Miller had decided to expand his options for his future with another year at Bridgton.
Miller, just like many Orange County laxers, had never considered a post-grad year. His head coach, Chris Jewett, hailed from the East Coast and knows all about post-grad years. Outside of Orange County, a fifth year is not something that is out of the ordinary, in fact it is very common. Two of the best players of our time attended Deerfield Academy for a post-grad year: Billy Bitter and Rob Pannell. Jewett wanted to see Miller thrive and knew that he could benefit from taking this course of action.
The post-grad year will provide Miller with many solutions to some of his biggest concerns, “Most of the schools I wanted to go to had already filled their recruiting classes. The year [at Bridgton] will let me stay in contact with the coaches at these schools and help me improve by playing with kids who are committed to playing at the next level, like myself.”
The Bridgton Academy, along with other one year schools, provide students with top-notch teaching and the structure of a four year school, enabling students to adequately prepare for any college or university.
“On top of the lacrosse, I will be able to raise my grades and add this year to my application [to colleges]”. Miller understands that there is more to college than lacrosse. One of the biggest advantages he knows this year will give him is the opportunity to expand his resumé when applying to four year Universities next year. Miller knows he loves the game, but without experiencing what the commitment level is like at the NCAA level, he won’t know if it is right for him. “The weather, people, and commitment level on the East Coast will be different and [Bridgton] will operate like a D1 program and give me a taste of what it is like to play on the East Coast before I commit four years to play somewhere. I might find that it is something I don’t want in my college experience… I definitely want to play at the next level and another year [academically] will give me the chance walk on somewhere and even come back and play at a great West Coast school at the MCLA level”
The recruiting process is different for everyone and you’ll never really know what it is like until you’ve been through it. There are many different ways to get to your dream school or dream team and all options should be considered. Miller offers this advice to players this summer looking to be recruited, “Start early so you know what you are doing as the time comes for important opportunities to be seen. Make sure lacrosse is what you really want to do. [A post grad year] is a really great opportunity to mature and figure out what it is you want for college.”
If a post-grad year sounds like something for you, there are numerous resources online that can be easily accessed. If you have any specific about the application process, feel free to contact the staff directly at email@example.com!
–MaxLaxOC staff report