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St. Paul's graduate making most of lacrosse opportunities

St. Paul's graduate and Phoenix resident Alex McGovern, an Under Armour All-American, made the final round of tryouts for U.S. Men's National Under-19 Team Aug. 7 at John Hopkins University.
St. Paul's graduate and Phoenix resident Alex McGovern, an Under Armour All-American, made the final round of tryouts for U.S. Men's National Under-19 Team Aug. 7 at John Hopkins University. (staff photo by Brian Krista)

Considering his workout regimen, you'd never know Phoenix resident Alex McGovern is between seasons in lacrosse.

The recent St. Paul's School graduate played for his school in the spring and will begin practicing in early September at the University of North Carolina, where he earned a scholarship.

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But in the interim, the talented midfielder is more immersed in lacrosse than ever and continuing to build a national name for himself.

McGovern played in the nationally televised Under Armour All-America Senior Lacrosse Game on July 3 at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

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A couple days earlier, he was impressive enough in U.S. National Under-19 Team tryouts at Stevenson University to advance to the final round for potential selectees at Johns Hopkins University on Aug. 7 along with Calvert Hall's Timmy Kelly and Loyola Blakefield's Alex Roesner, Ryan Conrad and Cole Williams.

McGovern is also spending three hours a day training.

"I am really pushing myself to be in the best shape I can be in," said McGovern, who has been working out with a trainer at Maryland Athletic Club in Timonium. "I am lifting weights, running and working on my shot."

St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato says 6-foot-2, 180-pound McGovern is one of the hardest-working players he has coached in his 28 years as a head and assistant lacrosse coach.

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"Some guys take some time off during the summer, but that's what separates Alex," Brocato said. "He is always working on his game. He is always pushing himself to get better, better and better."

The U.S. National Under-19 team — which plays in the 2016 Federation of International Lacrosse world championships in Canada next summer — is important to Brocato and McGovern.

Brocato is one of six high school coaches from across the country assisting three college coaches in picking the team.

McGovern is doing all he can to land a spot on the team, which will be pared to 30 players after three days of practices at John Hopkins.

The process began with 500 players.

"I think he has as good a shot as anybody to make the team," Brocato said. "He is a complete midfielder. He plays offense, defense and picks up ground balls on the wing on faceoffs. The more you can do for the team in any kind of event under international rules is really going to help. It's all about finding the right guys that fit the model the coaches are looking for."

McGovern said playing for the South All-Stars in the Under Armour All-American Lacrosse game was the highlight of his career, but he said making the U.S. National Under-19 team would top that accomplishment.

"It would be the biggest lacrosse thing in my life," McGovern said. "I definitely want to make it so I can represent the U.S. I think it would only further help me when I get down to Carolina as the youngest freshman down there and will be playing against all the older guys."

McGovern had two goals and an assist in the South's 25-17 victory over the North in the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Game.

He scored an unassisted, man-down goal in the second quarter and added a fourth-quarter goal with about eight minutes remaining on a feed from Loyola Blakefield's Ryan Conrad when the South was capping a furious rally.

"I thought he played terrific," Brocato said. "He likes the spotlight, and he plays pretty well under it. It's the top 44 kids in the country. It sets him apart and says, 'He is going to be one of the elite players.'"

McGovern played with three future Tar Heels -- Calvert Hall's Timmy Kelly, Malvern Prep's Charles Kelly and Jack Rowlet -- in the Under Armour event.

"I was able to watch the game on TV the next day because I recorded it," McGovern said. "I never watched myself on TV before. It was pretty cool."

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