Shady Side Academy’s Naughton commits to Holy Cross

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Friday, July 12, 2019 | 6:49 PM


Shady Side Academy rising senior boys lacrosse player Jack Naughton recently committed to Holy Cross but is not taking it for granted.

“I plan on getting stronger and faster in order to keep competing at the Division I level,” said Naughton, 17, who lives in Pine.

Shady Side Academy coach Cam Thompson said the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Naughton has worked hard to earn an opportunity to compete at that level. A captain, Naughton scored 22 goals with 26 assists for the Indians, who reached the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals last season.

“He is a natural leader with an incredible passion for his teammates and the game,” Thompson said.

Thompson expects Naughton’s versatility to be a plus.

“We have used him primarily as an offensive midfielder facilitating our offense from up top against a short-stick defensive midfielder, but he is equally comfortable attacking from behind the goal as an attackman,” Thompson said. “It will be interesting to see where the Holy Cross staff will implement his skill set.”

Playing attack, Naughton, a member of Duke’s Lacrosse Club in Delaware County, was selected as an All-Star by college coaches at the Liberty National Elite Showcase event June 28 in Frederica, Del.

Naughton said he chose Holy Cross, located in Worcester, Mass., for its advanced academics and successful athletic department.

The Crusaders lost in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League tournament this season.

“The campus is absolutely beautiful and the community is very tight-knit,” said Naughton, who plans to study economics. “When I went on my visit, it just felt like home.”

Naughton considered Vassar, Hartford and Saint Joseph’s.

Thompson said Holy Cross is a great fit for Naughton.

“It is a strong academic school, and the lacrosse program has been on the rise,” Thompson said.

Thompson said it will be exciting to watch Naughton live out his dream.

Naughton hopes to cap his high school career with WPIAL and PIAA titles.

“My teammates and I have been working hard the past four years to get to that point, and I think this upcoming year is our year to do it,” he said.

Shady Side Academy rising defender Thomas Muse also was named an All-Star at the Liberty National Elite Showcase. He is undecided about a college.

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