By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/1/18
Excuse Mike Sisselberger if he’s a little tired right now.
The recent Southern Lehigh graduate finished a whirlwind week Saturday night by winning 25 of 41 faceoffs, scoring once and scooping 16 groundballs to help the South defeat the North, 22-15, in the Under Armour Senior All-America Games at Johns Hopkins University.
The Lehigh signee and Duke’s LC standout had just – three days earlier – earned the MVP award in helping lead FCA to a 14-9 win over Laxachusetts in the title game of the U19 tourney at the prestigious Vail Lacrosse Shootout. He flew back from Colorado Thursday morning, got a few hours of sleep and went back to work Saturday by taking every faceoff for the South.
Senior week? not quite.
So, was Sisselberger worn out?
“I got back from Vail at 2 AM Thursday morning; that was a rough experience, but I couldn’t even sleep that night coming into this weekend and having this opportunity,” he said. “I had no time off because I flew into Vail from Philly after a Lehigh committed combine for 3 days – which was another awesome experience because I love my class and the coaches.
“I did not, in fact, get a senior week. My whole summer so far has been training for and playing lacrosse, which is not to bad because it’s what I love. But now I get to go to Disney with my family so I’m glad I can end on that note.”
Sisselberger has earned the trip to Disney, no doubt.
In Saturday’s Under Armour game, Sisselberger went against Joe Neuman – a Yale recruit from Salisbury (CT) – on every draw, and clearly won the battle.
“The opportunity to play with the kids who are the best in the country has always been a dream of mine,” said Sisselberger. “I’m a competitor who is always looking for competition and being able to play against these guys – especially Joe Neuman – was the biggest challenge of the summer.”
Sisselberger, though tired, embraced the chance to take all the draws.
“I did know I was taking all of the face-offs and was excited to do so because I don’t like to split time and I like to be able to get in a groove no matter how many I’m going to take – whether it would be a 4-3 game with 11 faceoffs or a 22-15 game with 41 faceoffs,” he said. “It’s what I’ve grown up doing so I really like it.”
At Vail, Sisselberger said the competition was also keen – and it was special to close his FCA career with a title.
“The Vail title with FCA – besides this – was also one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in lacrosse,” he said. “Growing up a Christian athlete, I loved the opportunity to worship God as well as play top notch lacrosse.
“Our team helped me a lot through the process and I attribute them to all of our success being named MVP. I feel it was a title that could have been shared through the whole team.”
How did Sisselberger deal with the full-time work at the X in the thin Colorado air?
“It was definitely a hard load to handle, especially with the thin Vail air,” he said, “but I knew I had all of these events so I got
To training as soon as my school year ended.”
Could his scholastic career have ended any more perfectly?
“I feel this would be the perfect end to anyone’s high school career, being named one of the best in the country and having the opportunity to compete against the best,” he said. “Like I said, it is what any lacrosse player dreams of for any age – especially me because I’ve dreamed to be in this game and tried to take all the appropriate steps to get here.”
Now, Sisselberger’s focus is getting ready for his freshman year at Lehigh, which returns his former Duke’s LC teammate and All-Patriot League performer, rising junior Conor Gaffney (Lenape) as well as rising sophomore Joel Trucksess (Haverford School). Sisselberger had committed as a freshman and said then he wanted to stay home – he surely had offers to change his commitment, but he has always seen something special at Lehigh.
“It’s kind of wild (about the talent at the faceoff X), but yes I’m so excited,” he said. “I love everyone here and I want to give back to where I started. I know we have something special, especially this coming year.”