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Amherst College senior Colin Minicus gets drafted by Philadelphia Barrage of Major League Lacrosse

Colin Minicus thought his lacrosse career was over.

With his senior season at Amherst College cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he threw his name into the NCAA transfer portal to see if an opportunity came up.

One did, just not from the portal. On Monday, the Philadelphia Barrage selected the attackman with the 33rd pick in the Major League Lacrosse draft.

“Growing up I always played lacrosse and I’ve loved playing it,” Minicus said. “It’s been in my family and I never really thought about playing in the professionals. I looked at college as my last go. Unfortunately due to this coronavirus the season was cut short and that stung a lot, for me especially. To get a chance to possible play in the pros is an honor. I love it. It’s a real surprise to be honest.”

Minicus’ father, Kevin, played football and lacrosse at Amherst College (class of 1989). His mother, Maureen (Flaherty), was an All-American in both lacrosse and field hockey at Williams (class of 1990).

Colin Minicus grew up in Darien, Connecticut, and it was through a hometown connection how he learned he was getting picked. Jamie Hanford, who was an All-American for Darien High School in the early 1990s, was hired by Barrage head coach Spencer Ford to be the team’s associate head coach. Hanford texted Minicus Monday morning of the draft.

Prior to that text, Minicus had no real indication that the MLL was a possibility. He received a phone call a couple weeks before the draft from a different MLL team probing his interest in returning to college for another year of eligibility. That was until the Barrage reached out on Monday.

“Initially I was interested in” returning to college, Minicus said. “I was very taken back by the season getting canceled and the school year being canceled. I put my name in as a formality. I wanted to see what opportunities were out there and maybe something would come up where I could possibly further my education and play lacrosse as well. Due to the virus there are so many people in the transfer portal and there are only so many spots at grad programs across the country.”

Minicus had 12 goals and nine assists through four games during his senior year. He finished his career with 128 goals and 148 assists (276 points) in 58 games for the Mammoths.

“I’m very excited and very thankful that Philadelphia drafted me and I’m thankful to everyone who helped me get there; youth coaches, my high school coaches and especially my college coaches. They taught me everything I know,” Minicus said. “I wouldn’t be a player at all today without their help.”

Minicus is joining a team with an interesting history. The Barrage moved from Bridgeport to Philly for the 2004 MLL season. From 2004 to 2008, Philly made the playoffs four times, winning three MLL championships. Northampton resident and National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Matt Striebel starred for the Barrage during those seasons.

The Philly organization folded following the 2008 season. The team returns this year, but with players relocated from the Atlanta Blaze, which folded after the 2019 season.

Minicus is eager to return to the Philadelphia lacrosse scene. In 2019, Amherst College reached the Division III national championship where it lost to Cabrini, 16-12, at Lincoln Financial Field.

“It’s an unbelievable city to be in, just the history and the sports,” Minicus said. “I’m a New York fan though so I can’t love Philly too much, but I’m really excited to be there. It’s great lacrosse history. It should be exciting.”

Mike Moran can be reached at mmoran@gazettenet.com. Follow on Twitter @mikemoranDHG.

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