Garrett Moya has grown to love lacrosse. The Huntington High School senior is so entranced with the sport that he recently signed an NCAA Division I letter of intent to attend Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and play lacrosse for the Golden Eagles.
The teenager tallied 60 goals and 29 assists as a junior to lead Huntington’s offense. “I am going into Marquette undecided, but I plan on taking classes involving physical therapy and business,” Mr. Moya said.
The senior visited several colleges and carefully weighed all of his options before deciding that Marquette was the best place for him to pursue his academic and athletic goals.
“When I was in kindergarten I tried lacrosse because all of my friends were playing,” Mr. Moya said. “I hated the sport and quit half way through the season. My friends asked me to play for the next four years and I would say no every year. In fourth grade I accepted the offer and decided to try it again. I played defense because I was one of the biggest players on the team and I absolutely loved it. I started to play it more and more until eventually I was playing the sport every possible time I could. Two years later, I realized that I had one of the best shots on the team so I asked my coach if I could play attack. I continued to practice every day and lacrosse became my love.”
Huntington senior Garrett Moya
The Blue Devil star mainly plays attack, but sometimes moves to midfield so he can utilize his dodging skills against the opponent’s short pole middie.
“Up to now the highlight of my career is getting All-American honors last year as a junior,” said Mr. Moya, who was also named to the All-County team. “It was always my dream to be an All-American just like the older kids that went to Huntington like the Bratton brothers and Zach Howell, so when they called my name for honorable mention All-American it was a really sweet moment.”
Once he started “loving the sport” in fifth grade, it became Mr. Moya’s ultimate goal to play Division I lacrosse.
“I visited a few schools when I started the recruiting process and I liked a lot of them,” Mr. Moya said. “But I never stepped onto a campus and felt that I could spend the next four years there. Some schools would be too small or just not the right environment. When I visited Marquette though, it was the perfect fit. It is a decently sized school in a place that feels like a really big Huntington. Marquette also has an amazing coaching staff that I loved as soon as I met them.”
A member of the Huntington High School varsity lax squad since ninth grade, Mr. Moya has led the team in goals, assists and points as a sophomore and junior and was named to the Suffolk Top 20 team both years. A 2015 Under Armour All-American, he was the point leader for all grades at the Inside Lacrosse Invitational that same year and was selected for the IL All-Tournament team and picked as the Offensive MVP.
As a junior, Mr. Moya was second in Suffolk and third on Long Island (during the regular season) with 89 points (60 goals and 29 assists). He’s poised for his biggest season ever next spring.
After such a long and successful run through Huntington, it will be hard for Mr. Moya to say goodbye next June. He has developed so many close friendships with classmates and teammates and enjoyed many productive relationships with his teachers and coaches.
“I loved my experience in the Huntington School District,” Mr. Moya said. “I have learned so much from so many friends and teachers and I have made relationships that will last forever. Going to a school that is so diverse helped me learn to communicate with all types of people. Some of my best friends have backgrounds that are different than mine. Not many people from Long Island can say that and it shows how special the Huntington Schools District is.”
The teenager will find it especially difficult to leave behind Stacey Byrnes, a high school science teacher. “Mrs. Byrnes is the kindest woman I have ever met,” Mr. Moya said. “She’s had a great influence on me during my time here in Huntington. I’m glad I have such a close relationship with her and I’m going to miss her when I graduate.”
With one season remaining in his high school career, Mr. Moya can’t wait to get on the field with his Huntington lacrosse teammates. “My ultimate goal in my last year as a Blue Devil is to win the Long Island championship,” he said. “I think we have as much talent as anyone and this is our year to put the Blue Devils on the map again.”
Mr. Moya knows he didn’t get to this point in his life all by himself. “First and foremost, I want to thank my family for everything they have done for me,” he said. “All of my success is because of them. They have spent thousands of hours watching me play and driving me all over the country so I can get the exposure I need. And they have also always supported me and helped me make decisions that made me the player and person I am today. They are the most important people in my life and I want them to know how thankful I am for them and how much I love them.”