Ramsey McCreary is an explosive offensive player from The Woodlands High School in Houston, Texas. Ty Xanders ranks McCreary as the #33 player in the class of 2018 after being ranked at #79 last year. I was excited to talk to Ramsey about his lacrosse experience, success and future.
Where did you grow up and what were the first sports that you started playing?
I grew up in Houston, Texas. I played mainly football and a little bit of soccer.
Did you always like lacrosse?
Ever since my dad gave me my first stick, I knew it was going to play a big part in my life, but not this big.
What is your current gear set up?
Shaft: Blank Mission
Gloves: Maverik RX3
Elbow Pads: STX Cell 3 arm guards
Shoulder pads: STX Cell 3 chest pads
What was the lacrosse community like? was everyone playing lacrosse or were other sports more popular?
When I first started the community was very small in comparison to how it is now. I knew probably two people who played lacrosse. Baseball or Soccer were very popular. There were no lacrosse starter programs or anything, so when I first began playing in second grade I was on the 5th/6th grade team.
Did you have any favorite players/teams to watch growing up?
My favorite player hands down was Mikey Powell, but a close second was Kyle Harrison. I loved watching every team, but the main teams were Hopkins, UNC, Notre Dame, and Duke.
When did you decide to become serious about lacrosse? Were you training every day or did your skills come naturally?
I became serious around the 6th or 7th grade. I was naturally pretty fast, athletic and surprisingly loved to hit even though I was the smallest guy, but my skills did not come naturally. I had an alarm on my phone at 4:30pm every day to go shoot and use the bounce back I had till 6:30, but I usually went over that time. When I first started practicing every day, I would be outside for hours on end because I told myself I couldn’t go inside until I caught 300 lefty and righty passes without dropping one. But I had to be in before 8:00 or else I wouldn’t be able to see the ball. Then I had the great idea of buying a flood light for my backyard.
Was there ever a time when you were discouraged when you were younger and didn’t want to play lacrosse anymore?
I never wanted to stop playing lacrosse, but the most discouraging thing that happened to me when I was younger was when my dad and I flew out to California to try out for West Coast Starz. I didn’t make the team, and it probably was the worst news I ever heard at that age.
So, you get to high school…did you immediately make varsity? What was your freshman year like?
Freshman year was an exciting, yet extremely stressful at the same time. I was not immediately put on varsity. In the fall, I missed a lot of practices for visits, tournaments and showcases. So, for the fall high school tournament my coach put me on the D2 team (we have a JV, D2, and a D1 team). I was so angry. Four other freshmen were put on D1, but I wasn’t which made it ten times worse. When the spring came around thankfully I was moved up but I played around three minutes in the first two games. I scored a few goals but it wasn’t until the third or fourth game that Coach T decided to start me in one of our biggest games against Westlake. I proved myself and started the rest of the year.
Did you feel pressured during your recruiting process?
I didn’t necessarily feel pressured, but there definitely was some stress. I think that’s how it’s going to be no matter when you get recruited.
Was it comfortable committing early into high school?
It was one of the best feelings in my life but making decisions that big when I was 14 years old was a little nerve racking.
Were you motivated to work harder after you committed?
100%. As soon as I committed I feel like that was when I started working the hardest. I always was trying to prove myself, and show that I was good enough to be committed.
Did you travel a lot in the summer? Did you go to a lot of tournaments and showcases?
In 8th grade before I committed I went to a ton of events. I had no idea that I was good enough to get college looks until around August when coaches started contacting me. When the fall came, every weekend I was traveling for a showcase, a visit or a tournament.
Were you always heavily recruited? How did that feel?
I was not heavily recruiting per say but I received a good amount of looks. Honestly, it was mind-blowing, especially being from Texas. The only kid that I knew that was getting a ton of looks was Nakeie [Montgomery], so it was a huge deal for me.
When was the turning point in lacrosse when you went from really good to Elite?
Freshman summer was a big defining point for me. I started “turning heads”, getting noticed by other players and making a name for myself. Although, that summer was cut short after I tore my meniscus, had surgery and was out until October. Having surgery on my knee made me work harder and want it more. So, even though freshman year was a big year, my Sophomore summer and Project 9 in the fall of my junior year is when I would say I became “elite”. Even though I re-tore my meniscus my sophomore spring season, I was the faster, stronger and more skilled than ever before.
Did you always know that you were capable of that?
In my head, no, but my friends and coaches would always tell me that I had huge capabilities.
After that were other schools calling you to try to decommit and go to their school?
My junior fall I heard around that some schools were interested in me and it didn’t seem like a big deal to me. But the only school that contacted me was Notre Dame. Notre Dame has been my dream school since I began the recruiting process.
So Notre Dame…why did you decide to switch from Loyola?
As I said in the prior question, Notre Dame is my dream school. The academics, alumni program, and athletics is next to nothing. To me growing up, Notre Dame seemed like a dream I could never reach. When the opportunity came, I did whatever I could to reach that dream.
What do you want to accomplish at ND and how will you accomplish it?
I mean every lacrosse player has the same goal athletically: play as a freshman, start as soon as you can, and win a national championship. To do that, I have to do more than everyone else. I have to push myself in the weight room, on the field and when no one is watching. In the classroom, I want to challenge myself and receive the best grades I can. I want to use all the resources I have to accomplish my goals and graduate ready for anything that is ahead of me.
What’s your ultimate goal in lacrosse?
My ultimate goal is to show that a kid from Texas can play at any level and thrive while making a name for myself on the college field.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson that I have learned is that no matter how bad you want something, you will not receive it unless you put the work in.
Who’s your biggest role model?
My dad, I just hope someday I will grow up and be a successful as him.