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Blue Jays on cusp of D1 playoffs

Courtesy Johns Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse

Like many community parents, Fran Morris watched as her son, Koleton Marquis, grew up slinging a lacrosse ball at games here, there, and everywhere. After all, Marquis has been playing the sport since he could walk.

But to watch her son playing on television as she and her family cheered him on at the Kahnawake Brewing Company (KBC) – that’s not an experience every mother gets.

“It’s almost hard to believe,” said Morris. “It’s like oh my god, that’s my son. He’s worked hard to get where he’s at.” 

Marquis, who was ranked 59th freshman in the United States by Inside Lacrosse this year, is a rookie attackman on the NCAA Division 1 Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays men’s lacrosse team.

First-year lacrosse players on top college teams don’t tend to get a ton of playing time as coaches focus on their development. Marquis has been pitching in during the power play, however, including at the Big 10 Tournament game against the Maryland Terrapins that his family watched at KBC on May 4, a 14-9 loss for the Blue Jays.

There’s no time to dwell on that outcome, though, as the team heads into the NCAA Tournament this Sunday, May 14, against the Bryant University Bulldogs at Homewood Field in Baltimore at noon. Fans can also catch the playoff action live on ESPNU.

“It makes me proud to know that there’s so many community members out there cheering him on and watching Koleton do his thing, doing what he loves to do best,” said Morris.

“I’m sure the community will continue to follow Koleton throughout his lacrosse career and be rooted behind him 100 percent.”

According to Blue Jays head coach Peter Milliman, the 11-5 Blue Jays need to buckle down to win ground balls and stay tough in the middle of the field in the first round to take down the Bulldogs, who finished with a 12-4 record in the America East conference.

“We need to play hard. We need to really compete,” said Milliman. “Bryant’s a good team. They’ve done a good job this year challenging and being tough in a lot of situations.”

Milliman first got to know Marquis through the Haudenosaunee Nationals.

“He’s got a great awareness on the field, good vision, and a handle on his stick to find a soft spot on the defence and find ways to get the ball past the goalie,” said Milliman.

“He’s a great young man with a lot of ability, and I was excited about getting the chance to bring him to Johns Hopkins.”

He noted that Marquis has been working his way up the depth chart throughout the season.

“He’s done a great job taking this year to get experience and mature with the team,” said the coach.

The winner of the May 14 game will go on to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish or Utah Utes in the second round on May 21.

Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

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Marcus is an award-winning journalist and managing editor of The Eastern Door, where he has been reporting since 2021 on issues that matter to Kahnawake and Kanesatake. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Link and a contributing editor at Our Canada magazine.

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Marcus is an award-winning journalist and managing editor of The Eastern Door, where he has been reporting since 2021 on issues that matter to Kahnawake and Kanesatake. He was previously editor-in-chief of The Link and a contributing editor at Our Canada magazine.