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When Brody Coleman was in preschool, he stood on the sidelines of his older brothers’ lacrosse games donning a Spiderman costume.
He didn’t know what lacrosse equipment was or what was going on in the game he was watching. He didn’t know that his Spiderman costume, which he wore to impress his older brother and their friends, wasn’t traditional lacrosse attire.
All he knew was the game piqued his interest.
Nearly 15 years later, Coleman is the latest member of his family to climb the ranks of Cazenovia High School’s lacrosse program, following the footsteps of his two siblings and his father, Clay.
The first eighth-grader to play varsity lacrosse at Cazenovia, Coleman entered his junior season in contact with 23 Division-I programs, including Syracuse. He committed to Yale on Sept. 12.
The midfielder and tri-sport athlete has earned five showcase All-Star selections since 2018 and was a 2019 Orange Crush Showcase Standout, according to laxrecords.com. He now captains the same team as his father.
“Every family gathering usually ended up with the kids playing lacrosse,” said Coleman’s mom, Linda.
Coleman grew up aspiring to be like his older siblings and close family-friend Brian Willard, a former three-time All American at Maryland in the 80s. That meant playing lacrosse. Starting at 4 years old, he fiddled around with a kid-sized lacrosse stick of his own. By third grade, he joined Orange Crush, a Syracuse-area program.
Willard became Coleman’s first coach in first grade and taught him “everything there is to know about lacrosse,” Coleman said. Having such a close friendship with his mentor and head coach allowed for a deeper understanding of the sport’s fundamentals and built him into the Division-I prospect he is today, he said.
To play high-level lacrosse, Willard recommended Coleman try out for Orange Crush. Because Coleman was playing within an organization that had produced countless five-star recruits and all-states, Orange Crush was the perfect place to advance his game.
He had constant exposure to competitive showcases, which featured teams from around the state, and, eventually, colleges. He drew inspiration from his older brother and their friends, watching their speed and quick cuts from the Cazenovia sidelines as the team went all the way to the state-playoffs.
By eighth grade, Coleman had developed into the youngest-ever Cazenovia varsity player, a feat he said was more enjoyable than challenging.
“It was different playing with a bunch of guys that were so much older than you, but my brother and his friends knew I was younger and probably a bit smaller, so they made sure to protect me,” Coleman said.
Head coach Dave Falge, who was impressed by Coleman’s maturity as a leader, named him Cazenovia captain at the start of his sophomore season. Off the field, he balances lacrosse, soccer and basketball with his entrepreneurial interests. At the height of the pandemic in March, he started a profitable car detailing business with his friends called AC Detailing, which he has continued working for since.
From a kid in a Spiderman costume inspired by his family’s lacrosse craze, Coleman developed into a Yale commit.
“He (plays) with poise, which allows him to view the action and make the right decision,” Falge said. “It’s an extremely fast game, and processing the mental aspect of the game is something many players struggle with, even many good ones.”
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