Bullis senior Nick Fields added another accolade to his growing list on Sunday night when he was named a divisional winner at the C. Markland Kelly Award banquet, recognizing Maryland’s top high school lacrosse players.
After a season in which he scooped 65 groundballs and caused 17 turnovers, the Johns Hopkins-bound defenseman was selected as the top private school player in the southern part of the state during the event at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.
Maryland recruit Colin Heacock, a senior attackman from Boys’ Latin, won the Kelly Award, presented by the state coaches association to the state’s best high school player.
An All-Met in 2012, Fields had already been picked to the all-IAC team for the second straight year and earned an invitation to the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic. Potomac School Coach Ian Healy, whose team lost to Bullis this season, called the 6-foot-3 Fields “as good a high school defenseman as I have seen.”
“I just go out there and try to do my job every day, stopping the other team’s top offensive threat,” Fields said. “At Bullis, we talk about playing team defense, so I can’t do that without my teammates and my goalie [Brandon Burke, a Brown recruit.]”
Following up an IAC regular season title last spring, Bullis stumbled to a 9-9 record this season with four one-goal losses, including an overtime defeat against top-ranked Gonzaga on March 14. The Bulldogs allowed just 5.6 goals per game playing against a beefed up schedule to match the school’s growing status among the area’s elite.
“Unfortunately, sometimes the ball didn’t drop our way, but really I think it was a great learning experience for our team,” Fields said. “My freshman year, when we went into games against Landon or Prep or the Baltimore teams, it was more ‘Oh, let’s just keep it close.’ That was good enough. Now we expect to win every game.”
Next year, Fields will head to Johns Hopkins, which made its own news Monday with the announcement the longtime independent will join the Big Ten for men’s lacrosse, starting with the 2015 season. The conference will sponsor the sport for the first time with six teams participating: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Rutgers, Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Winner of a record 44 national championships, the Baltimore school announced last month that it would seek a conference affiliation. Fields, who committed to the Blue Jays during his sophomore season, said he’d been following the process carefully and called the move to the Big Ten “a pretty nice surprise.”
“I think it will be interesting to travel to some of those places every year and play big-time games,” Fields said. “It’ll be fun. I’m excited about it.”
Here’s the full list of Kelly Award honorees with their college commitments:
2A/1A – MF Marc Badger, Fallston (Richmond)
3A/2A – A Joe Seider, Hereford (Towson)
4A/3A – A Ryan Drenner, Westminster (Towson)
Private School South – D Nick Fields, Bullis (Johns Hopkins)
Private School North and Overall – A Colin Heacock, Boys’ Latin (Maryland)