Drew Kessenich was hoping to find a city to play in that mirrored the way the Oregon elder played lacrosse.
Kessenich feels like he found that form when he recently signed up to play Division I lacrosse at Detroit Mercy.
“I loved the coaching staff and the culture there,” Kessenich said. “Detroit is a blue collar city and I like to think of myself as a hardworking blue collar player.
“I see myself growing both as an athlete and as a person in Detroit Mercy. “
Playing lacrosse at the college level has been a dream for Kessenich since grade two. The Oregon star has spent many weekends watching college lacrosse and attending games. Playing in college, even if it was Division II or Division III, was still in the cards for Kessenich.
“This sport has been a big part of my life for quite some time now and I knew I wouldn’t be ready to stop playing competitively after high school,” he said.
Last season, Kessenich was fifth in scorers across the state with 76 points (53 goals, 23 assists) in 15 games and was named the Big Badger Conference Player of the Year.
“I have to say a lot of things have led to my success,” Kessenich said. “Of course, working out during and after training makes all the difference. But the number one has to be the coaching and support of my teammates. If it weren’t for these guys, there’s no way I would have pursued college lacrosse. It’s always a great time with these guys and they are one of the main reasons I fell in love with the sport.
The Panthers finished last season in the state semifinal game, ultimately losing to Waunakee 16-8. Oregon finished the season 13-3 overall and 8-2 in conference. They finished the regular season on an eight-game winning streak.
“We were very impressed to be the first Oregon team in history to show up and we’re proud of the season overall,” said Kessenich. “But we seniors and the rest of the team know this is the year we can win a state championship. The rest of the seniors and I have been playing together for about the fourth year, so we really want to come out with a title. “