Each week Lacrosse Playground features a different lacrosse athlete as part of our “Grip ‘N Rip” series, where we’ll find out what the best use to fine tune their game. As part of a partnership with Lacrosse Recruits, the official recruiting tool of U.S. Lacrosse, Lacrosse Playground will periodically bring you Grip ‘N Rips with some of the top high school recruits in the country. Please click here to get your $50 Lacrosse Playground discount on a LacrosseRecruits.com recruiting package.
This week we are featuring high school sophomore attackman Ryan Hunter from Syosset Long Island, who will be attending the Nike Blue Chip Rising Junior camp this summer.
As a freshman varsity starter for Syosset, last year Ryan had the impossible task of following the legacy of Long Island’s all time leading scorer Jeff Cohen’s 252 goals, who is now playing for Coach John Tillman at Harvard. Hunter stepped in and was the team’s top scorer with 29 goals and now as a sophomore is again leading the team with 17 goals after only 5 games, all against top ranked defenses from Long Island teams like Garden City, Sachem North, Cold Spring Harbor and Hicksville.
What head do you use?
The head I use is a Brine Clutch, which is dyed red. I like this head because it’s not too pinched and the scoop is angled the way I like to help me pick up ground balls.
What handle do you use?
I use the silver GAIT SILENCER because it’s light and doesn’t have a lot of grip.
Where does your pocket sit/what type of pocket do you prefer?
I keep my pocket low so the ball sits at the bottom of the head, because I like to carry and cradle with one hand from behind the net. The low pocket gives me good protection from defenseman trying to strip the ball.
Who is your stick doctor? Do you string it yourself or have a go-to-teammate/friend?
Matt Danowski has been training me the last few years and as a ‘favor’ he has been stringing my sticks. Now that he is traveling all the time with the Lizards and working with Warrior, he is teaching me some of his stringing secrets so I can do it myself.
What kind of mesh do you use (Hard, soft, traditional/leathers, etc.)? Why?
I use Dura or soft mesh because it breaks in fast and I like the way the ball sits in my pocket.
What is your preferred glove?
I like the Brine Exodus II Gloves and the new Brine Thriller Armguards because they both are real flexible. I’m pretty picky about finding gloves and armguards that fit and feel right.
How much whip does your stick have?
I like a lot of whip because it gives me a hard shot.
Anything unique you do to your head or shaft (pocket up-keep, tape jobs, alterations, etc.)?
I use one shooting string and a U and string them lower than normal to get a low pocket. Our team colors are red n white so I like to cover my butt end with red tape, the same color of my Clutch head. I am always working my strings to make sure my pocket stays legal and at night I stand my stick up and make sure the pocket’s not pushed in.
How long do you keep a stick before you get a new one?
I don’t replace my head until it breaks which usually happens once or twice every winter. I like to have my backup stick broken in, in case my game stick breaks, so during the off-season I will use both sticks.
What’s most important to you in a stick/what makes a good stick?
With the way I cradle and when I dodge from behind the net I get hit and checked hard so I need a stick that holds the ball well. I also like to have a quick release to pass for when I get doubled.
Jersey Preference: Clean and classic or bold and wild? Why?
I guess I like the clean and classic, nothing that stands out too much.
Favorite brand/type of cleats?
Right now I wear the NIKE HUARACHE. I got to try them at the Jake Reed Nike Camp last year.
What kicks do you wear off the field?
NIKE AIR MAX and my REEF PHANTOM sandals after games.
Check out a video of Ryan Hunter below or go to www.lacrosserecruits.com to see more.