Martin Avila took up lacrosse when he was at Paul Revere Middle School, where he started out as a midfielder. After watching him on the field, the coach pulled him aside and said, “You shouldn’t be playing midfield. Here’s a long stick.”
And that is how Avila found his position, on defense, playing with a long-stick. He is one of the last players to prevent the attackman scoring on the goalie. He not only has to keep up with the attackman, he must be thinking how to launch a successful counterattack.
Interestingly, Avila feels that this isn’t the most difficult part of playing defense. “The hardest part is communicating with the other defensemen,” he said. “Sometimes the message can get skewed.”
Although Avila had tried other sports, lacrosse became his favorite and he joined a club team, West L.A. Lacrosse, “as soon as I could.” He’s now playing for the Santa Monica Dragons, as well as the Palisades High School Dolphins.
Avila is serious about the sport, so the senior began researching various college lacrosse teams. He came upon Onondaga Community College in New York State, which has a top-notch program. “I emailed the coach and he emailed me back.”
The school, located near Syracuse, has lacrosse players from Washington, Australia, New York, Japan, Georgia and Idaho. The team is 8-0 this season and, in 2015, won its seventh straight National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) championship.
Avila, whose parents are Lesly Giron and Martin Avila, said he plans to major in communications when he enrolls in Onondaga this fall.
His brother, John, is a freshman attack-man at PaliHi. “I play against him in practice,” Avila said.