Ashburn, Va. — Rock Ridge High School senior Max Wayne has made a commitment to continue his lacrosse career at Christopher Newport University starting in the 2017-2018 school year.
“I first looked into CNU after meeting a bunch of my coaches that went there,” the 6-foot-3 Wayne said. “They all said they loved playing there, and they loved everything the school had to offer.”
The Division III Captains are led by first-year head coach Mikey Thompson, who served as the interim head coach in 2016 and as an assistant since 2011. In his first season at the helm of the program, Thompson led the Captains to an 11-6 finish, including a 5-3 mark in the Capital Athletic Conference.
In 2017, Thompson will once again lead Wayne and the rest of the CNU Captains – including Dominion graduate Andrew Ashley (2014), Woodgrove graduate Conor James (2016), Loudoun Valley graduate Patrick Hopkins (2015) and Loudoun County graduate Spencer Shipman (2016) – into battle.
“One thing I think I will add to the Captains team is a mindset of working outside of practice,” said Wayne, who also plays for Evergreen Lacrosse. “I’m constantly at the fields at Evergreen putting in extra time on my own or with some friends to try and keep up with the kids on the better teams. I plan to continue this once I get to school, and I plan to encourage my teammates to join me, so we can all help each other improve.”
After opening the lacrosse program at Rock Ridge in 2015, Wayne worked with his Phoenix teammates to improve on an 0-12 season in the first year to a 4-12 season in 2017. On May 16, 2017 – in their third season – the Rock Ridge boys lacrosse team won the program’s first ever playoff game.
“Playing for Rock Ridge was tough at first since we were a new school that didn’t come with many experienced players; however, it was a very good ride,” said Wayne, who was named an All-Dulles East co-Player of the Year in 2017. “Playing the whole game and doing things like taking face offs and push more transition, definitely helped round out my game play.”
In addition to playing lacrosse at Rock Ridge, Wayne competed on the Phoenix’s wrestling team, where he said he learned more about himself as a lacrosse player, than when he actually trained or played lacrosse.
“Coach [Paul] Grinups has never touched a lacrosse stick in his life, but he helped my game just as much as any lacrosse coach ever had,” Wayne said. “He’s really the one that taught me how to push myself, take everything into my own hands, and he toughened me up quite a bit, so he definitely deserves a shout out.”
On top of its competitive lacrosse team, Christopher Newport offers Wayne an opportunity to study computer engineering at a university where he feels comfortable.
“I was looking at schools that had computer science or computer engineering programs, since I plan to major in one of those subjects,” Wayne said. “I talked to a player from CNU that was majoring in computer science and he just had great things to say about the program. After hearing that, I knew CNU had everything I was looking for: a smaller school, a very nice and compact campus, plenty of academic opportunities I can take advantage of, an affordable tuition, and of course, a solid lacrosse program.”