8/5/13 12:00 AM
Scott Ratliff is the first lacrosse player from Georgia to earn All-America recognition in college. He played his post-high-school ball in Maryland and was drafted ninth overall by the Boston Cannons this spring. His route along the east coast matches his level of play on the field—it just keeps getting higher.
The long-stick-middie has impressed. He has recorded three points (two goals, one assist) and boasts a mean ground game—he’s collected 30 ground balls, which is more than Cannons’ veteran defenders Kyle Sweeney (29) and Mitch Belisle (20), in just nine games, while Sweeney has played in 13 games and Belisle has played in 11.
Ratliff hasn’t just caught the eye of fans, teammates, and coaches; however. He is the only Cannons rookie to be invited to the US Men’s National Team tryouts, which take place at the end of the summer.
Ratliff is just as awed to reach this level as we are by his performance.
“I’m young enough to where this league has been around ever since I began my lacrosse career,” said Ratliff. “This has been a goal of mine for almost my whole life.”
Ratliff inherited the lacrosse genes from his father, a two-time All-American at the University of Maryland. And you know what they say, like father, like son. Scott followed his dad to the state of Maryland and was a two-time All-American at Loyola University—he made All-American Second Team honors his senior year and was an All-American Third Team selection his junior year.
Now, as a member of the Cannons, Ratliff feels very fortunate to be learning from the best of the best.
“It has been a huge advantage to come into the league as a rookie on this team,” said Ratliff. “In my opinion this team has arguably the best attackmen, midfielder, and defensive player in the history of the league. Along with numerous other All-star players, being able to learn the game and learn how to be successful in this league from them has been a huge advantage for all of our rookies.”
It’s not just veteran defenders Mitch Belisle and Kyle Sweeney that have taught Ratliff the ropes. Second-year midfielder Brent Adams has also helped Ratliff adjust to the pros. Even his rookie teammates, Will Manny and Cam Flint, who have had equally successful seasons, have become valuable resources for Ratliff to turn to.
“I have a great relationship with both Will and Cam,” said Ratliff. “I knew both of them before we got to the league, so it was easy to pick right up and start playing with them. They are both unbelievable players and athletes, so I’m lucky to get to be in the same rookie class with them on this team.”
This summer, Ratliff started work at First Manhattan Consulting firm in New York City. When he’s not playing lacrosse, he likes to stay in shape by running and playing basketball. His experience in the MLL has been very positive so far and Ratliff says Coach John Tucker is a big reason why.
“I tried to come into the league with no expectations. I wanted to just learn and adjust and I feel like I have successfully been able to do that,” said Ratliff. “Coach Tucker has been amazing. He has extraordinary knowledge of the game and he is a great coach and communicator. I think the entire team has gotten a ton of energy and excitement from Tuck.”
For someone who grew up nowhere near New England, Ratliff has quite the soft spot for Boston and the Cannons community.
“They’re the best fans in the league. Playing in front of 10,000 every week at Harvard Stadium is what it’s all about. It’s the best part of the week every week. I love the coaching staff and GM, as well as all the guys and fans. I couldn’t ask for a better team or organization.”
If Georgia is where the heart is, Boston is where the memories are made.
“The win over Charlotte easily has been the best moment. That was an amazing game with big playoff implications, so to get that win in OT was amazing. Boston is a great city and is also where I won a National Championship in college. So I will always love the city and the lacrosse fans here.”