Baltimore Sun

It’s a fam­ily thing

Riley Reese’s par­ents happy he’s choos­ing Mary­land

- By Glenn Gra­ham Sports · Maryland · College Park, MD · University of Maryland · United States of America · Glenelg, MD · Maryland Terrapins · Loyola College in Maryland · Sakura · Ellicott City

When it came to pick­ing a col­lege, Glenelg Coun­try lacrosse stand­out Ri­ley Reese had most of the boxes checked off long be­fore he made his com­mit­ment of­fi­cial in late Septem­ber.

Still, the 16-year-old junior de­fense­man did his due dili­gence, mak­ing sure of the aca­demic fit at his top school and re­spect­fully lis­ten­ing to the pitches made by other in­ter­ested pro­grams. The writ­ing, how­ever, had long been on the wall.

Af­ter all, how could he not choose the place his par­ents — Brian and Cathy — en­joyed stel­lar play­ing ca­reers, where his mother has strength­ened a na­tional power as coach of the women’s pro­gram and where he has spent so many glo­ri­ous days watch­ing col­lege lacrosse? No ques­tion, Mary­land has his heart. “Grow­ing up, I’ve been around Mary­land ath­let­ics and it’s al­ways been a big dream of mine to be a part of [it],” Reese said. “Once I made it of­fi­cial, I ac­tu­ally couldn’t be­lieve it. Both my par­ents were in tears for a lit­tle bit — they were re­ally ex­cited about the news — and it was a re­ally ex­cit­ing time for me.”

Reese is a coach’s son times two.

While Cathy Reese has led the Mary­land women to five na­tional cham­pi­onships since tak­ing over the pro­gram in 2007, Brian Reese had two coach­ing stints in Ma­jor League Lacrosse and cur­rently coaches Ri­ley’s club team, the Roughrid­ers.

The ben­e­fits that come with it — the knowl­edge gained and the ap­proach taken — stand out in Ri­ley’s play. A starter on Glenelg Coun­try’s de­fense as a fresh­man, Reese is al­ways at the right place at the right time, bring­ing gifted stick skills, grit and com­mu­ni­ca­tion to help keep a tidy unit.

“The best part about him — and I’ve al­ways said this — is he ab­so­lutely loves to play lacrosse,” Glenelg Coun­try coach Kevin Boland said. “It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s prac­tice or a game or a scrim­mage or what­ever. Ri­ley’s a kid who al­ways sets the tone for prac­tice or a game or what­ever.

“If some guys are flat, he has a way of bring­ing them up. He just brings a ton of en­ergy to the team that is in­fec­tious and it goes through all of our guys.”

Brian and Cathy Reese, who met in their fresh­men years at Col­lege Park, never pres­sured Ri­ley to go to Mary­land but rec­og­nize it was in­grained in him. Grow­ing up, his bed­room walls were painted red, match­ing his bed sheets and com­ple­ment­ing the Mary­land Ter­rap­ins stick­ers that took over his door. When Mary­land great Jen Adams be­came the women’s coach at Loy­ola Mary­land, she gave him a Grey­hounds T-shirt that be­came the only thing in his wardrobe not red.

His hard work and nat­u­ral abil­ity in lacrosse, along with his strong aca­demics, af­forded Ri­ley the op­por­tu­nity to se­lect Mary­land. As a proud alum who has high ex­pec­ta­tions for the pro­gram, Brian Reese is con­fi­dent Ri­ley un­der­stands what lies ahead and that he can ul­ti­mately mea­sure up.

“Ri­ley’s pretty driven,” Brian said. “As some­body who has been around ath­let­ics his whole life and having par­ents around it,

he kind of un­der­stands what it takes to be suc­cess­ful, and I think it’s been a good ex­am­ple for him to see. But it’s also great for him to be able to push him­self and not re­ally have to make us push him.”

The far­ther away a club tour­na­ment may be, the bet­ter it is for Ri­ley, who has made the most of the cher­ished car rides home with his father, who was an All-Amer­ica de­fense­man dur­ing his play­ing days. They talk lacrosse in de­tail, right down to the spe­cific sit­u­a­tions Ri­ley might come across ear­lier in the day. Later, they watch game film to fur­ther an­a­lyze.

Ri­ley wel­comes the chal­lenge that will come when he takes the field at Mary­land, a place where his father had so much success.

“It’ll be fun to see,” Ri­ley said. “Hon­estly, it’s a lit­tle like you want to live up to how your dad did or even be a lit­tle bet­ter than him be­cause then when you’re older you can go home and say, ‘Dad I had more caused turnovers than you did. How do you feel about that?

“It’ll be fun to joke around, so it’ll be an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. It’ll be fun, but also OK, I got to live up to this and I can do this.”

For spe­cial oc­ca­sions, the Reese fam­ily — Ri­ley is the old­est of four chil­dren — calls Sakura Ja­panese Steak­house in El­li­cott City its sig­na­ture spot to cel­e­brate. The night Ri­ley com­mit­ted to Mary­land was one of those times, the ta­ble’s star opt­ing for a filet, fried rice and mush­rooms.

“Ri­ley has grown up around the univer­sity and its ath­letic pro­grams and ob­vi­ously has a lot of pas­sion for Mary­land lacrosse,” Cathy said. “So it’s been re­ally cool to watch him find his spot and cre­ate his path and do his thing. We’re thrilled for him to play for Coach [John] Till­man and carry on at Mary­land.

“We just wanted him to make sure it was what he wanted, even though Brian and I are ob­vi­ously very ex­cited and thrilled to have him in a Mary­land uni­form.”

 ?? KARL MER­TON FER­RON/THE BAL­TI­MORE SUN ?? Brian and Cathy Reese flank their son Ri­ley, who plans to play lacrosse at Mary­land.
KARL MER­TON FER­RON/THE BAL­TI­MORE SUN Brian and Cathy Reese flank their son Ri­ley, who plans to play lacrosse at Mary­land.
 ?? KARL MER­TON FER­RON/THE BAL­TI­MORE SUN ?? Glenelg Coun­try’s Ri­ley Reese will fol­low in his father’s foot­steps and play men’s lacrosse at Mary­land.
KARL MER­TON FER­RON/THE BAL­TI­MORE SUN Glenelg Coun­try’s Ri­ley Reese will fol­low in his father’s foot­steps and play men’s lacrosse at Mary­land.

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