Nick DeCaprio, a standout senior defender for the University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team, gathered with his teammates in a hotel room Saturday evening before their recent road game against Yale.
That’s when the Egg Harbor Township resident achieved one of his lifelong dreams — to play professional lacrosse.
DeCaprio, a 2015 St. Augustine Prep graduate, was selected with the third pick of the third round (21st overall) by the Boston Cannons in the 2019 Major League Lacrosse Draft on Saturday — the highest a Wolverine has ever been drafted.
DeCaprio is the second St. Augustine Prep graduate to be drafted into the league in as many years. Last year, University of Maryland defender and Egg Harbor Township resident Bryce Young was drafted by the Ohio Machine. He is no longer on the team’s roster.
Fellow St. Augustine Prep graduate Will Fox, who played collegiately at Fairfield, is listed on the Chesapeake Bayhawks’ roster.
DeCaprio was first notified that he was drafted via multiple text messages from family and friends.
“To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting it,” DeCaprio said. “It came as a big surprise to me, but this has always been a dream of mine. It really was an awesome experience.”
DeCaprio totaled 48 caused turnovers and 130 ground balls in 46 games over his four-year career, which ranks second and third in program history, respectively.
The 6-foot, 210-pounder also has scored six goals and recorded four assists.
“I think it was an exciting moment for him,” St. Augustine coach J.C. Valore said. “I was excited when I first saw the news on Twitter. As a coach, you are always hoping your guys have success at the next level. But with Nick, we had a good feeling he would be selected.”
DeCaprio will join teammate Brent Noseworthy, who was selected 30th overall by the Cannons in Saturday’s draft. Noseworthy, from Burlington, Ontario, has recorded at least one point in 32 straight games, the ninth-longest streak in the country.
DeCaprio is excited to keep playing with Noseworthy after college.
“It makes the process of leaving after the season a lot smoother,” DeCaprio said. “It is great to have another friend of mine coming with me, and to share the moment with him.”
Boston will begin its season when it hosts the Ohio Machine at 5 p.m. June 1. The Cannons finished 5-9 in 2018 and 3-11 in 2017.
“Well, it’s going to be an awesome experience transitioning to the professional level,” DeCaprio said. “It really is going to be a great time, especially because the MLL has been starting to rebrand itself. I am really looking forward to this opportunity.”
The Wolverines, who will play at noon Saturday at Marquette University, are 3-2 this season. DeCaprio has one goal and one assist with 15 ground balls and nine caused turnovers over five games.
Last season, Michigan finished 8-6 (1-4 in the Big Ten Conference).
DeCaprio, who was a 2015 first-team Press All-Star, said he plans to earn a master’s degree in engineering or management, either from the University of Manchester in England or in the United States, during the MLL offseason, adding that “it fits into the calendar year perfectly.”
“It’s definitely going to be a interesting challenge (going from the college level to the pros),” DeCaprio said. “It will be a lot more time management on my part, especially in the offseason and training for the season. A lot of the training is going to be on me, and the skills (of the other players) get better, so that’ll be a new challenge to accept.”