Newcomers Supek, Myer add speed, depth to men’s lacrosse team’s midfield ranks
Freshmen midfielders Shane Supek from Mooresville, N.C., and Max Myer from Salisbury, Md., were both late-summer additions to Liberty University’s men’s lacrosse team’s 2022-23 recruiting class, after participating in the Aug. 20 recruiting showcase that attracted 16 prospective players to the Liberty Lacrosse Fields.
“Both were last-minute additions to our team,” Flames Head Coach Kyle McQuillan said. “They were already here on campus, and were planning to come to the Sept. 6-7 tryout, but this was another opportunity to get in front of coaches, and we decided to make the move to put them on roster right away.”
He said Supek and Myer stood out from the crowd and held their own with the other seven freshmen recruits who also participated in the showcase.
“Both of them have undeniable athleticism and both of them have motors,” McQuillan said. “For lacrosse, they are both pretty talented players who are more than capable, and I think they will really thrive when given the opportunity to get into our system and continue to develop their skillsets.”
As much as it is rewarding to bring in blue-chip recruits, he said it is even more satisfying to see student-athletes who fit the mold and possess the character qualities Liberty’s coaches are seeking transform into top-caliber players throughout their careers on campus.
“Both of them have a pretty high ceiling,” McQuillan said. “Coaches enjoy finding players that are really good where they are currently and have a ton of potential and try to tap into that. We really want to make sure we’re only adding guys that are really going to benefit us on the field and who line up with our team’s culture, as a player, in their character, and all of the things it takes to play lacrosse at Liberty.”
Supek, who was captain of his team during his senior year, when he set a single-season school record with 142 ground ball pickups in addition to scoring 35 goals and distributing 17 assists to earn all-state and all-region honors, enjoys the competitive nature of the sport and considers himself “a gritty, full-speed, transition midfielder.”
“One of reasons I came here was the competitive atmosphere, because I just love to compete,” he said, noting that his high school played one of the toughest 4A schedules in North Carolina every year. “I love being active, and hustling all over the field.”
Besides being ranked among the top 10 teams in the MCLA, Supek wanted to be sure he found an environment that would challenge him to grow in his faith and find a reason to compete as a Champion for Christ as he pursues his degree in business administration.
“I wanted to go somewhere that I would be proud to represent, and that’s what Liberty offers, the good morals and values and godly culture,” Supek said. “This is the best place to go for a Christian, the best college. I will be someone that wants to work hard and do everything I can for the team. I plan to work hard to win a national championship.”
Supek stands 5 feet, 11 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds despite battling celiac disease, which left him sick for the first nine years of his life before it was diagnosed and he eliminated gluten from his diet.
“I was walking super late and slow developing physically and mentally compared to my peers before I changed my diet and did some special occupational, speech, and vision therapy to catch up,” said Supek, who participated in a six-month program called Brain Balance which helped him to strengthen brain connectivity and maximize his potential in the classroom. “It was God who led us to figure out what the problem was and allowed me to excel where I wasn’t before. I was in special ed until third grade, but graduated 23rd out of 474 in my high school class,” with a 4.56 grade-point average.
Myer, who is enrolled in the commercial music program through the School of Music, brings a similar approach to the game, though he will be more of a defensive middie.
“I’m a runner and I think I have a motor that most players don’t,” he said. “I came here because I wanted to get a good music degree with a school that I aligned with spiritually. I’ve always had a dream to play college lacrosse, so I figured I’d go for it, and it worked out better than I could have planned. I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity from the players and the coaches.”
The fan of funk and jazz music who plays both guitar and drums has had a similar first impression of his professors.
“The program is showing itself to be challenging, but the professors are very encouraging,” Myer said.
A son of a pastor who acquired his master’s degree online through Liberty in 2020, Myer was the beneficiary of excellent coaching at Bennett High School in Salisbury, Md., a hotbed for the sport of lacrosse.
“I had great coaching, and played with a lot of great players, with many of my teammates also going on to play college lacrosse,” said Myer, a 6-foot, 160-pound flash of a player who racked up 130 ground balls and forced 11 takeaways in 12 games his senior season.
He enjoys the speed and physicality of the sport.
“There are not many sports that are as fast or as constant in movement,” Myer said. “It’s not a fast 30 seconds, like football. Lacrosse is always moving, non-stop, all action.”
He has watched a few of the Flames’ games online and believes he will adapt to the quickness of the offense.
“They play very fast and use a lot of set pieces,” Myer said. “It seems like they give everyone a chance at offense and that the stars aren’t always scoring the goals, but are setting up others with assists, too.”
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer