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LILJ Interview with Duke Commit: Cal Girard

Manhasset High School junior Cal Girard has worked hard his whole life to become the best lacrosse player possible. Due to his hard work, he has made the decision to commit to Duke University in the fall of 2023. The journey to committing to Duke began a long time ago. “My grandfather played at Penn State, and I grew up around lacrosse. I got my first stick when I was four and I have just been playing for a really long time.”

As a face-off get-off player, Girard knows that he has a very important role when it comes to the number of possessions his team has every game.

“Possessions are very crucial. It can change the game. Being able to get the ball and the offensive stick is important for possessions.”

Not only has Girard played at a high level for a long time, one big reason for his success is his head coach Keith Cromwell. Cromwell led the team to a 15-1 record last season, and he has been an amazing asset to Girard.

“He has been with me throughout the recruiting process. He has helped me out tremendously. He cares about all of his players, and he is awesome to have in my corner.”

With all the support that Girard has had and the amazing stats he has been putting up, it is not surprising that high-level programs were calling in order to sign him. At the end of the day, he chose to commit to Duke University in Durham, North Carolina as a junior. He knew his decision was clear right when he stepped onto campus.

“In July, I went to a prospect day and immediately when I walked onto campus, I loved it. It was my number one since the start. When September 1st came, I weighed all my options but I knew Duke was the perfect fit for me.”

Another big reason for his commitment to Duke was head coach John Danowski, who has been in the program since 2006 and has led Duke to a 193-61 record.

“The thing that stood out to me with all the coaches at Duke was they cared about all of their players. They remember every kid that has been through their program, and they would tell stories about them. The bonds there are really special so, that is definitely what stood out to me.”

The Duke men’s lacrosse program has seven conference championships and four national championships, with the last title coming in 2014. Even though he will be a freshman, Girard will do anything possible on and off the field to help Duke win it all.

“What separates me is my athletic ability after the face-off. I hope I can go there and contribute but being around all those guys and I want to create those special bonds with my teammates.”

Before Girard can step onto Duke’s campus as a student, he still has two more years left at Manhasset High School. With a conference championship already under his belt, he will do everything possible to win two more before graduating in 2023.


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