Park City lacrosse player to continue career at Albany
Carson Dutkanych will miss his family, friends and the slopes of Park City, but the Park City High School lacrosse player will join a new family in Albany, N.Y., when his high school days are over.
The junior attackman has verbally committed to playing in college for the University at Albany in upstate New York.
Though Albany itself didn’t convince Dutkanych to move across the country, he said the way the lacrosse players spend all their time together made the decision easier.
"When I first went there, I didn’t necessarily like the city or the climate," he said. "But I liked the coaches and the way the team felt like a family."
By committing to play for the Great Danes, Dutkanych became the first-ever Park City lacrosse player to commit to play for a Division I school.
He said he’s happy his hard work has paid off and hopes it inspires other Utah lacrosse players to do the same.
"It’s a really special feeling doing something that not too many kids have done before," he said. "I’m excited that I stuck with it."
Dutkanych’s private coach through 212 Lacrosse, Mike Acee, said he’s happy to see him achieve his dreams. 212 Lacrosse is a program that puts on lacrosse camps, offers private instruction and fields several club teams. Acee has been coaching Dutkanych since fifth grade.
"It opens up a lot of doors for him," he said. "He’s been dreaming of playing Division I lacrosse on a big stage since I’ve known him."
Dutkanych will join an Albany team that has struggled the past couple years. In 2012, the Great Danes finished with a record of 5-11, though they did post a 3-2 record against fellow America East conference teams. In 2011, the squad finished 5-10, with an 0-5 conference record.
He hopes to start helping the team as soon as he sets foot on campus.
"I want to start as a freshman definitely," he said.
But, before he plays college lacrosse, Dutkanych has some things he’d like to accomplish at the high school level during his junior and senior seasons.
"I want to lead the state in points and be an All-American," he said.
Though the Miners have lost several key contributors from last year’s squad, Dutkanych thinks his team can be very competitive the next two seasons.
"We lost a lot of seniors," he said. "But if everyone puts in the hard work, we should be good."
Then, maybe, some of Dutkanych’s teammates will draw college interest of their own.
Acee hopes Dutkanych’s commitment will help the sport of lacrosse grow in Utah and draw more people to the area who are experts in the game. He said the sport is already growing rapidly.
"We have an oversupply of players and an undersupply of experienced coaches," he said. "We definitely need to find coaches with a strong résumé and entice them to move to Utah."
He added that Dutkanych’s success might draw some more Division I recruiters to the area.
"It helps put us on the map a little more," he said. "When it comes to all the states playing lacrosse, we’re towards the bottom of the list when it comes to players getting recruited."
Dutkanych has noticed a rising number of Utah athletes interested in lacrosse.
"It’s exploding," he said. "The amount of kids coming out for camps each year keeps doubling."
That number should continue to rise after Dutkanych’s commitment.
"Carson’s experience allows some of the other players in the state to want to follow in his footsteps," Acee said.
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Park City Fire District Chief Paul Hewitt died Friday from injuries sustained in an off-duty accident earlier in the week, the agency announced.