Wildcats Celebrate with Merritt Bailey


Merritt BaileyOn Friday morning, teammates, classmates, coaches and friends celebrated with senior goalie Merritt Bailey and his family as he signed his National Letter of Intent to study and play lacrosse at Seton Hill University (Pennsylvania).

A small ceremony was attended at 9:45 with Marcus Whitman Athletic Director Marc Blankenberg welcoming the group of about twenty well-wishers. Mr Blankenberg read a long list of accomplishments achieved by Bailey headed by his 92 average (class rank of 14). After being named to various all star teams since making the Varsity squad in his freshman year, he was selected the team's Captain and MVP last year while being named to the second team All-Finger Lakes team. When it was Bailey's turn to address the group, he thanked his coaches which included current Wildcat Head Coach Bruce Teague Junior. He also thanked his parents and teammates.

Bailey with TeammatesWith over twenty-two hundred minutes of playing time in the goal since ninth grade, Bailey as recorded 575 saves (55%). Last year, he spent some of his time on the man up unit and offensively scored 11g-4a. Off season he has attended the Cornell and Hobart Lacrosse Camps and was named Inside Lacrosse Nike Upstate Rising Junior standout. He has played for both the Blaze and SweetLax lacrosse Clubs. Recently with Sweetlax he has played at the Best of the Best, MVP and Yale Bulldog Classic tournaments.

After receiving a personal recruiting note from Assistant Coach Travis Harrington, Bailey acknowledges that he felt an immediate closeness to the program. He says he was looking for a small school, and in fact looked at Mercyhurst, Lake Erie and the largest school, Hamilton.

Coach Teague and BaileyAfter spending some time on campus during both an unofficial and an official visit, he says he felt right at home, both on academic and the athletic levels. During his official visit he stayed with a junior goalie. "He was very welcoming and I had a good time with the team when I was there.

He is excited about joining a growing program at Seton Hill that posted a 12-4 record last year. "We've got a pretty good recruiting class coming in." The class includes Shoreham-Wading River lefty offensive star Hunter Hayes, who helped his team win the 2012 State Championship.

For a long time "my dream was to play on a Division I team, but as time went on I realized that D-II is overlooked. If you want to make an early impact on a team and still play against good competition then you can play at the D-II level."

Bailey is planning to study communications and marketing while at Seton Hill, but before that happens he has one more year at Marcus Whitman. After playing with a number of teammates since third grade, Bailey is looking for an exciting final season. "Growing up with these guys, I just think it's going to be a fun year, winning as many games a possible." He is hoping to help improve the Wildcats' 5-8 league record and perhaps even "make a run at the Finger Lakes title this year."