Loyola's Ratliff carrying flag for growing lacrosse community in Georgia

Marietta native has earned attention of younger generation of players in the Peach State

May 18, 2012|By Edward Lee

Saturday’s editions of The Sun will include an article on Loyola junior long-stick midfielder Scott Ratliff, who narrowly missed out on being named one of five finalists for the Tewaaraton Award after recording one of the finer seasons in recent memory.

Ratliff hails from Marietta, Ga., and graduated from George Walton Comprehensive High School there. The success of Ratliff and fellow Georgia natives Darius Bowling and Rick Lewis – both at Ohio State – has garnered the interest of a younger generation of lacrosse players in the Peach State.

“It’s pretty crazy,” Ratliff said. “A lot of the kids who are coming up now are getting in touch with me and making sure that I know that they’re watching and supporting me, and I’m sure it’s the same with Ricky and Darius. It’s pretty cool. You never really think of it like that, that people would be fans of yours.”

John Holthaus, Ratliff’s coach at Walton, said his players closely follow Ratliff’s accomplishments and regularly watch games on television. And achievements by Ratliff, Lewis and others are bringing more college coaches to Georgia.

“We’re starting to get more attention down here because of guys like Scott and Ricky Lewis out at Ohio State and some of the others from Georgia that are starting to get on these rosters and actually get playing time,” said Holthaus, a former roommate and teammate of Loyola coach Charley Toomey. “It’s fantastic. They’re definitely watching what he’s doing. … They ran an article last week in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that has popularized Scott even more. He’s caught everyone’s attention. The local lacrosse scene, the high school scene is certainly aware of what Scott is doing.”

Ratliff said he’s humbled that younger players view him as a role model.

“I like to set a good example and hopefully be someone they aspire to be and playing college lacrosse in the future,” he said. “But being so far way, I don’t really get to see or interact with them too often.”

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