Ryan Levy remembers watching the transformation as it happened on a daily basis, and it certainly didn’t hurt that he had a point of view that very few others can access.
His mom, Jenny, is the head coach of the North Carolina women’s team. Two years ago, the Tar Heels dropped a pair of games early, including one to top-ranked Maryland, to fall to a decidedly unCarolina-like 3-2.
That was the last time the Tar Heels lost that year. Carolina rolled to 17 straight wins, including a stunning 13-7 win over the Terps to claim the national championship in Philadelphia.
“They went through some ups and downs at the start of the season when they lost a couple of games, but they came together as a family,” Ryan Levy said. “I just remember it hitting me in the last minute that they were going to win, and it was such a cool feeling.”
Levy understands that not many have the access to a top Division I program like he does, but it’s helped shape his perspective, particularly when it comes to recruiting. He’s also close with the men’s program and he’s friends with UNC offensive coordinator Dave Metzbower’s children. His access gives him the chance to see what it takes for elite players to separate themselves from the pack, both individually and as a team.
“I don’t know how many people get to spend their life around a Division I program like this,” Levy said. “It’s eye-opening to see how committed they are to staying healthy, getting better and working hard.”
Soon enough, Levy might find himself among the ranks of those Division I players. A 2020 lefty attackman from East Chapel Hill (N.C.) and Team 91 Carolina, he’s tested himself against the country’s elite players at prestigious events like National Lacrosse Federation events, Maverik Showtime and the Under Armour Underclassman Games. Sunday, he’ll head to Duke, of all places, for the first Run With The Best - Carolina event, open to players in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduation classes, and he’s hoping to be one of the players who stands out and impresses coaches that will be on staff from programs like UNC, Virginia, Navy, High Point, Furman, Jacksonville, Virginia Military Institute, Wingate, Farmingdale State, Lees-McRae and Queens. Keep an eye out for Levy, who loves to get top side or underneath, throw a ton of box fakes and isn’t averse to hitting a cutter in stride.
“Playing in other big-time events against some of the best kids in the country really helps me calm myself down for something like this, and any opportunity to play lacrosse and showcase your skills is great,” Levy said. “I thought that early recruiting was a bad thing, so when the rule came out to slow down the recruiting timeline, I was almost a little excited. It gave me an opportunity to get ready, so when Sept. 1 would hit, I’d be better than I would be 12 months earlier.”
Now’s the time to show out.