(Photo Courtesy of Dukes LC)
Bill Wilson and the Air Force Falcons picked up their second commitment of the week on Friday, as Miramonte, Calif., attackman Mark Cheng announced his commitment to the Falcons. Cheng’s commitment comes just days after H.h. Down, Mich., attackman Ryan Stadelmaier gave his verbal commitment to the Falcons.
The Northern California native is the 16th overall commitment and fifth attackman in the class of 2022 for the Falcons.
“Air Force made sense for a variety of reasons. Foremostly, for me, and for anybody who dreams of playing D1 lacrosse at a service academy, the want to serve needs to be the number one reason for attending,” Cheng told Lacrosse Bucket. “Second, the coaching staff at the Air Force academy was unparalleled. Coach (Bill) Wilson, (Jon) Thompson and (Doug) Murrary were so professional, attentive and caring that I felt like I had a family connection with them.”
Cheng said that Air Force offensive coordinator Jon Thompson initially reached out to him in July when the contact period opened up for service academies and has had weekly communication with him ever since. While in-person recruiting is still paused, Cheng has been able to take a virtual tour of the campus. He does plan on getting out to Colorado Spring when things open up. The dead period is currently set to end on April 15th.
On film, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound lefty shows the ability to work very well as both a shooter and a feeder on the left wing and behind the cage at X. His ability to use his speed and dodging ability to get to the get to the middle of the field also stands out.
He had an impressive fall and received some high praise from NLL player and NXT Showcase Lacrosse Director Brett Manney at the NXT Philly Showcase in late November, where he was named the 2022 MVP.
Cheng said that one of the main areas that he wants to focus on improving over the next two years before he gets to Air Force is getting bigger and more ready, athletically, for DI lacrosse. “It is no secret that DI ball players are exponentially times larger, stronger, and faster than varsity players…in order for me to be competitive at the next level my body needs to be at a level where I am not disadvantage by my height, weight, or speed.”
While there is a greater level of uncertainty around a 2021 high school season happening in California than in other states, the attackman said that he isn’t letting that stop him from to all he can to improve as a player and teammate. “As team captain for my school, I want to make sure that my team becomes more united through quarantine instead of more divided,” Cheng said. “From a personal standpoint, I hope to continue to work hard in everything that I do, academics, athletics, and as a person.”