ROXBURY, NJ - Roxbury High School saw two senior athletes, Andy Axelson and Matt Dancsecs, commit to the Scarlet Knights last week for baseball and lacrosse. Two more Gaels, Tyler McDonald and Michael Christiansen, followed suit in signing letters of intent last Wednesday.
McDonald decided to continue his swimming career at Rider University in the fall while Christiansen will go on to play lacrosse at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
McDonald has been a staple of the RHS swim team for the past three years.
“His dedication to the sport and our team has been tremendous,” said swim team coach Dan Montgomery.
“Beyond his speed and effort, Tyler’s heart and grit are what make him such as a positive role model for the younger members on our squad and one of the driving forces for the success the men’s team has had at the state level during his tenure with the Gaels," Montgomery said. "We are incredibly proud of Tyler and wish him the best of luck at Rider.”
For Tyler, the Roxbury High School Swim Team has meant much to him over the last four years.
“Coming into my Freshman year, I had many role models in the seniors," he said. "As years passed, leaders come and go and now I’m that leader. I can say without a doubt this team has changed me. From the ups like breaking records to the downs such as losing the state section final last year, we are a team and most importantly, a family, and nothing will ever change.”
Both athletes are shining examples of what Roxbury expects from its students.
Lacrosse Coach Chris Blough expanded on Christiansen’s qualities that were so highly regarded.
“Michael’s an excellent student and has the respect of all his teachers, coaches and peers," he said. "Through hard work in the off-season and in the weight room, Michael has become a dominant defenseman. He’s probably the best defenseman to ever come out of Roxbury.”
Christiansen not only excelled at lacrosse but also on the gridiron. “He’s coming off an excellent football season and I’m excited to see what he will accomplish this coming spring," Blough said. "As coaches, we are proud that Michael ended up at Hobart as they are a traditional lacrosse program that has tough, hard-nosed players. He’ll fit right in and will help them to continued success.”
The Roxbury lacrosse program has excelled in recent years, partly due to Christiansen’s help.
“Playing lacrosse at Roxbury High School has been an amazing experience for me. Being able to play with all of my good friends in front of my family and community is awesome," he said. "Roxbury lacrosse has gotten better and better every year and I am very proud to be a part of what is now a very good lacrosse program. I have also been lucky to have the ability to be under a very good coaching staff.”