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Lacrosse Twins Forge New Paths in College

Seniors Cameron and Donovan Riley attend Rollins, Lafayette to play lacrosse.
Photo by Ellie Levy
Seniors Cameron and Donovan Riley pose for a photo. The twins will soon be heading to separate colleges, but both will play lacrosse.

After spending the entirety of their lives together, seniors Cameron and Donovan Riley are heading off to two different colleges, miles away from each other.

Like most other elementary school-aged kids, the twins played a lot of sports in their youth. But after trying out many different sports from football to soccer, Cameron Riley found his true calling in one of the fastest growing high school and college sports in the U.S. – lacrosse.

“I started playing lacrosse around first grade,” Riley said. “I’ve always been an athlete, and I wanted to try something new. Lacrosse looked fun, so I tried it, and I’ve been playing it ever since.”

Cameron Riley’s twin, Donovan Riley, found a similar calling in lacrosse. He wasn’t particularly drawn to the sport at first.

“I started…summer before first grade [mainly] because everyone else was, and it was fun to play with my friends, ” Donovan Riley said.

Within the competitive environment of school sports, making a varsity team is difficult. There is also a significant amount of time commitment related to these varsity sports, according to Cameron and Donavan Riley’s father, Scott Riley.

“Lacrosse is in the off season right now, but they’re still practicing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for almost two hours,” Scott Riley said. “And then they do workouts at D1 Training on Monday and Friday.”

Riley has also emphasized the difficulty of being a student athlete, from the perspective of a father. In a highly ranked district like this one, students are expected to not only excel in their chosen sport, but in academics as well. This includes an
expectation of high performance in the most challenging classes even at the height of a sports season.

“Our AP program is very rigorous,” Riley said. “Junior year was their toughest year, I’d say, from a student athlete standpoint, especially with practice six days a week.”

Despite the extensive time commitment and academic demand that come with being a competitive student athlete, the brothers still enjoy playing lacrosse, and both of them look forward to playing in college.

“I just really love the sport and I feel like I need some structure in college,” Donovan Riley said. “For me, lacrosse…helps provide that.”

Donovan Riley is going on to play lacrosse at Lafayette College, a Division I school in Easton, Pennsylvania. Cameron Riley will be attending Rollins College, also for lacrosse. Rollins is a Division II school in Winter Park, Florida, a good distance away from Lafayette.

“It’s going to be weird, not staying in the same house as him and not seeing him every day,” Cameron Riley said. “But it’s gonna be exciting,…since it’s a new experience to make new friends. So, I’m looking forward to that.”

Riley was interested in Rollins due to its environment, both physical and academic. He is inclined towards majoring in economics.

“Rollins has kind of the same climate as Texas,” Riley said. “It’s right next to the beach, and then academically, they have the major I want to do there, and it’s a good lacrosse program.”

Donovan Riley has slightly different aspirations, leaning towards Pennsylvania’s cooler climate as well as its academic programs that suit his interests.

“[Lafayette] actually reached out to me for lacrosse,” Riley said. “They also have a really strong engineering program.”

Scott Riley thinks that it’s good the brothers are taking their own separate paths, allowing them both to grow as people on their own trajectory.

“They’re twins, but they’re very different,” Riley said. “They’re both gifted in athletics and the classroom but they’re very different, and choosing their own path is gonna allow them to tailor their school, their college experience, to their personality.”

Both brothers accredit much of their success to their parents, and especially their father. Donovan Riley recalls his parent’s support despite the challenges.

“I play for a club team, Texas Nationals, and my parents pay for that,” Riley said. “When I was younger they would drive me to practices and games. They just always supported me throughout the years.”

Cameron Riley also appreciates how his mom and dad have been there for him throughout his entire lacrosse career.

“They want me to try my best and play as hard as I can,” Riley said. “And they’ve been really encouraging throughout the whole recruiting process, and where I want to go to school.”

In a world where even third grade Little League sports games can seem life or death to parents, Scott Riley believes that it is most important to support young athletes so they can grow to love their sport, and most importantly, have fun.

“You gotta support them along the way,” Riley said. “You never know what the long term goal is, so just be positive and enjoy the rest.”

About the Contributor
Ellie Levy
Ellie Levy, Editorials editor
What are your favorite TV shows/movies? Community and Back To The Future What are your hobbies? Reading, TV, and French Horn What causes are you passionate about? Climate change and child labor regulation