(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Gracean Ratliff)
James Purpura and the VMI Keydets were one of multiple programs to pick up a treat on Halloween night, as they landed their first in the 2022 class with North Cross, Va., attackman Zane Ratliff announcing that he would be staying home and taking his talents to Lexington.
“I chose VMI because of the culture around the lacrosse program,” Ratliff told Lacrosse Bucket. “The coaching staff is amazing and is really trying to build a winning tradition. It is also close to home, the alumni network is amazing, and ever since I was a little kid I wanted to serve my country.”
Ratliff’s commitment came just one day following a visit that he took to campus on his own and received and later received an offer Coach Purpura. He said that the staff really ramped up the recruitment in late September and that he has contact with the staff via text almost every day.
A Varsity player since his eight grad season and a starter since his freshman year, Ratliff works very well behind and around the cage. The attackman has amassed a career total of 44 points (23G/21A) He helped lead the Raiders to a VISAA DII state title in 2018 and semifinal appearance in 2019.
During the Spring of 2020, Ratliff and his North Cross team were able to get in four games before the season was cancelled. The Raiders were 3-1 and was their third-leading point-getter and second-leading goal scorer with six points (5G/1A). He tallied 29 points (13G/12A) during 13 games over the summer.
In addition to lacrosse, Ratliff also plays hockey
Ratliff noted that the two areas he will need to improve on the most before he gets to college is his shooting and IQ. “Some areas of my game I need to work on before I head up to VMI is my shooting, which can always improve. As well as just growing my lacrosse IQ,” Ratliff said.
Coming into his junior season, Ratliff said that along with his goal of helping North Cross bring home another state title, his really wants to focus on getting bigger, stronger, and faster.