Top Long Island Lax Recruit To Visit DU

(above) James Burnside is a former hockey player who will visit with DU's Lacrosse coaches next week

From: Garden City Patch
by Jason Molinet

James Burnside isn't even one of the two most heralded defenders at Garden City High School. That title belongs to Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer, who decided to play in the Under Armour All-American lacrosse game and with their summer team instead.

That's when Burnside emerged from their considerable shadows by showing off his ability to earn a spot on the Empire State Games' scholastic boys lacrosse team. Interestingly, the Garden City rising senior considered himself more of a hockey player not that long ago.

"Ever since I was little I used to play hockey," Burnside said. "And I always thought I'd go to Empires for hockey. So I always wanted to try out."

With the attention he received from college lacrosse coaches beginning last fall, Burnside dropped the puck and went with lacrosse full time. He took that dedication one step further when he left prom early to play in the Nassau versus Suffolk Top 50 game in June, the final tryout to earn an Empire jersey.

After Burnside teamed with fellow Garden City standout Tom Gordon to help Long Island go 2-0 on Thursday, he's not regretting any of his decisions to follow lacrosse where it takes him. Burnside has been an anchor on defense and Gordon a factor on offense – and both have savored the entire Empire experience.

"I didn't think the opening ceremonies would be as cool as it was, walking out there in front of all those people," Burnside said of the Wednesday night procession of athletes followed by an oath and the lighting of the flame in Olympic fashion. "I was getting chills."

Gordon, a rising senior midfielder committed to Johns Hopkins, made some memories of his own. He scored a goal to open the day with a 10-4 win over host region Western at Canisius College. He added an assist in a 13-7 victory over Hudson Valley.

Long Island has two more games Friday, facing Adirondack at 11 a.m. followed by the highly anticipated showdown versus Central under the lights at 8 p.m. With two winnable games left on the schedule – Adirondack and New York City – Long Island may have already positioned itself to reach the gold medal game.

Burnside's summer lacrosse tour is far from over. Long Island will likely play for an unprecedented fifth straight gold medal Sunday. Then he will fly out on Sunday night to the University of Denver, an NCAA Tournament team, for a recruiting visit.

Burnside always imagined he'd play at the Empire State Games. No one could have guessed it be as one of the top lacrosse stars.


du78 said...

Good to see Tierney going after some of the Long Island kids. Garden City is one of the top lacrosse high schools in the country. Now if he could also add a player or two from Manhasset and West Islip. Getting kids from Long Island and the ones comimg in from MD will rapidly improve the Lax team.

Barney said...

I know of Burnside, he's an unbelievable athlete that will surely make an impact where ever he goes. Good Luck to him.

Steve Butabi said...

Barney, he is a great athlete.