Senior Nathan Barnett has been on the men’s lacrosse team for the past four years.
An Ohio native, Barnett is from Upper Arlington and has played on a lacrosse team throughout his high school career.
Standing tall at 6’0” and weighing in at 185, Barnett plays longpole midfield and co-captains the OWU men’s lacrosse team this spring with senior Dave Walter and juniors Colin Short and Patrick Bassett. Barnett said he has played sports as long as he can remember.
“I played soccer, basketball and baseball, but once I got to middle school and started playing sports for school, I switched to football, basketball and lacrosse.”
Barnett said he was unsure whether he wanted to continue playing lacrosse after high school until his senior year.
“I had a good year and my team won the state championship,” he said. “One of our assistant coaches was also the assistant coach at OWU and he was the biggest influence on me coming here.”
He said the first played lacrosse was in seventh grade.
“The first game I ever played I think I had four penalties and spent most of the game in the penalty box because I didn’t understand the rules of where I was allowed to hit people,” said Barnett.
He said he thinks being a collegiate athlete helps him with nutrition and diet because it forces him to keep in shape and eat healthy.
“If I don’t eat the right kind of food or eat enough I feel tired or sluggish at practice,” he said. “It also forces me to stay in shape even in the off season, because I know if I try to start a season in bad shape I am much more prone to injury.”
Barnett said there is definitely more of a strain getting work done during the season, but over the course of his four years at OWU, he said he feels he has learned to balance schoolwork and playing a sport very well.
“I think the most important thing I do that helps me get my work done is I utilize my time during the day in between classes to get a lot of my work done,” Barnett said. “This makes my nights after practice much less stressful because I can get dinner and relax instead of doing homework every night.”
Barnett said the ultimate goal for any athlete is to win whatever championship they are playing for.
“With that being said, my ultimate goal in lacrosse is to win the Division III National Championship this year.” he said.
Barnett has lettered each year and last year he was on second team all NCAC longpole midfielder.
He was also recognized as one of OWU’s top 50 Student Athletes last year.
Freshman Ryan McMahon from Springfield, Virginia will begin his OWU lacrosse career this spring. McMahon is 5’10 and 200 pounds. He said he wasn’t always crazy about sports while growing up.
“I think I’m about the only kid to never play peewee football, soccer, baseball or basketball,” he said. “Growing up all I did was swim competitively until I started playing lacrosse in fifth grade.”
McMahon said the reason he wanted to play lacrosse was to be part of a team.
“Being part of something greater than yourself is a pretty unique experience,” said McMahon. “Plus, there’s no feeling like game day.”
McMahon will join the team as goalie.
“The first time I ever played lacrosse was in fifth grade and I was a midfielder,” he said. “I was pretty nervous because I had never played in an organized game before.”
McMahon said being part of a team has taught him nothing is more important than the teammate to your left and right.
“When one player struggles, we all struggle,” he said. “You have to totally forget about yourself and work your hardest for the betterment of the team.”
“I came to OWU for the great education it has to offer and playing lacrosse was just an added bonus,” he said.
McMahon said he wanted to play lacrosse for OWU because Coach Plantholt, Coach Fiorentino, and Coach Bulus have the program headed in the right direction.
“My ultimate goal for my lacrosse career at OWU is to win the NCAC all four years and to win a national championship,” he said.
McMahon said team camaraderie team is special.
“The freshman and upperclassmen are a pretty close-knit group of kids,” McMahon said. “They wont admit it, but they love the rats this year.”