Perkiel heading to Mesa State |

Perkiel heading to Mesa State

Christopher Kamrani, Of the Record staff

Griffin Perkiel wanted to part of a sport where he could hit people. Turns out, things worked out fairly well for the Park City High School senior.

Perkiel, 18, signed a National Letter of Intent Monday afternoon to play collegiate lacrosse at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo.

He is the second Miner to accept a collegiate athletic scholarship to play for the Mavericks in a week, after Laurel Kasel, a two-guard for the girls’ basketball team, put the pen to paper last Wednesday.

Griffin, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound middle attacker, deliberately chose Mesa State over some enticing looks from some schools back East, according to his father, Mitchel.

"The colleges started to notice him," Mitchel said. "Last year he got a lot of solicitation. We went back East this summer and looked at a couple top-notch Eastern schools. But Mesa State just worked for him. It was the program he wanted."

The Perkiels moved to Park City full time in 1996, so members of the family could pursue skiing, according to the elder Perkiel.

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A former member of the Park City Ski Team, Griffin zoomed through a plethora of sports. He tried freestyle skiing, soccer, tennis, basketball, and finally stumbled on to lacrosse.

"I wanted to play a sport with some contact, and a sport with goals," Griffin said. "I wasn’t that good at basketball or soccer, I found something that I could be good at, and that’s lacrosse."

Perkiel’s lacross resume is nothing short of impressive. He is the first lacrosse player out of PCHS to play collegiate lacrosse at either the Division I or Division II level.

Mesa State is a Division-II school, and the lacrosse program is entering its inaugural season this year, with Griffin joining the ranks in 2011. Mitchel said the president of Mesa State is an avid supporter of lacrosse, and believes with the first couple recruiting classes the Mavericks have reeled in team that has the potential to challenge some of the stronger schools back East.

"I think (the program) is going to be good enough to go back East and challenge teams next year," Perkiel said. "I think it will be the best program west of the Mississippi."

Griffin said more than a handful of players he’s played with on club teams have also committed to the Mavericks.

Perkiel was named "Attackman of the Year" his sophomore year by his coaches at PCHS, along with winning the "Miner Award" his junior season for most points scored.

He also started for the Utah Select championship club team that won the Dick’s Sporting Good Colorado Cup in the summer of 2009.

The 18-year-old already has his plan down pat; he will be a sports management major, and hopes to minor in sports medicine.

When asked why he decided Mesa State over other schools interested in his skills, Griffin gave a less-is-more response.

"It was close to home," Griffin said. "It’s only like three hours away, so I could come home see the Utes play USC next year. I have a lot of friends going there."

Griffin buried any notion that his future college is in a Podunk town in the middle of nowhere.

"The facilities there are great," he said. "It sounds like a dump, but you go up there and there’s a brand new stadium.

"For me, it’s the whole shebang."