(Photo: Eli Petty/Instagram)
Collegiate (Va.) LSM/Defenseman Eli Petty has verbaled to the Virginia Cavaliers, announcing the news on Instagram Sunday afternoon. The in-state product is the first commitment in the class of 2023 for Lars Tiffany and the back-to-back national champions.
Petty’s commitment comes after spending a weekend in Charlottesville where he says he, “really got to know the school, team, and coaches.” The Cavaliers reached out to him on September 1st, which was the first day of the contact period for juniors.
“As an in-state guy and living only an hour away, I spent a lot of my childhood driving to Charlottesville to tailgate and watch football games…Being back at the school with the potential to represent a place that impacted my childhood so much made me fall in love with it (Virginia) so much more.” Petty said. “This opportunity represents the chance for me to impact so many other young people’s lives.”
The 6-foot-5, 205-pound pole has the skillset needed to play both close defense, LSM, and can make an impact on the faceoff wings. Petty has shown he knows how to use his size to his advantage as both an on-ball and off-ball defender, runs the field well in transition, and can be a dangerous weapon when he passes the midline.
As a sophomore, Petty helped lead his Collegiate team to a 13-5 record and VISAA state quarterfinal appearance. He was named a first team All-League selection and second team All-State selection.
Petty’s versatility on the back end and ability to get out and run very much fits the style of teams Coach Tiffany has had both at Virginia and during his previous stop at Brown. Petty noted his excitement to join a program that leans heavily on that style of play.
“I plan to play wherever the team and Coaches need me,” Petty said. “Coach Tiffany’s style allows poles to run the field and use their brains to make plays and work with each other. I think part of the reason this program produces so many great poles is the freedom he gives them…It also gives me a goal to work towards and I am looking forward to the challenge.”
A dual-sport athlete, Petty also plays football for the Cougars. He says football has helped him slow down the game in lacrosse. “We play assignment football at Collegiate and you really have to trust the men around you to have your back and do your job. Learning to do that has translated to the lacrosse field in sliding, communication, and just overall teamwork.”
Petty is the third in-state player to commit to the Cavaliers in the past two cycles, joining 2022 commits John Schroter (Defense, Riverside) and Tim Myers (Faceoff, St. Anne’s Belfield).