Written by Steve Mosco, email@example.com Thursday, 23 January 2014 10:15
After four years on the Ivy League lacrosse field, the pros came calling for a former Plainedge High School player.
Massapequan and Yale senior Dylan Levings was selected last weekend in the 2014 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft held at the U.S. Lacrosse Convention in Philadelphia, Penn.
Levings, taken in the third round (24th overall) by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, is one of the nation’s premier face-off specialists. He is a two-time USILA honorable mention All-American who was 2013 Ivy League Tournament MVP after leading the Bulldogs to their second straight championship.
But before his college years, Levings starred on the field for coach Gary Levitan’s Plainedge team, where he was first in face-offs in all of Nassau County and a captain for two years. Levitan said the face-off specialist earned a reputation as a leader on and off the field during his time at Plainedge.
“He was the kind of player who would do anything the team asked of him. He was completely unselfish and a real leader on the field,” said Levitan. “He would also drive teammates to and from practice and put in time with the youth league.”
Levitan said Levings’ prowess on the field will translate well to the pros. The coach said that at one point, Levings won 75-percent of the face-offs he attempted — an astonishing number that always put his team in the position to get ahead of its opponents.
“That is an incredible number. That is 75-percent more opportunities for his team to score off the face-off,” he said. “He has the ability to dominate the game with his face-offs. It is an incredible asset that is so valuable to any team.”
And it was that asset that caught the eye of the pro league. During his time at Yale, Levings ranked seventh in Division I with 7.59 ground balls per game and a .597 face-off win percentage. He won 30 of 40 battles on the X in the Ivy League Tournament. Officials at the Ivy League school said Yale has a long list of superb face-off men, and most of them have played under Andy Shay, Yale’s Ryan & Forst Family Head Coach.
“The fact that Levings’ career percentage of .612 ranks second at the school is a testament to his impact on the program,” said one official.
Levings will be Plainedge’s third lacrosse player to make it to the pros but probably the most specialized, according to Levitan. As a FOGO (face-off, get-off) player, Levings is expected to make his impact on face-offs, then leave the field for his teammates to finish the play.
Levitan said he still keeps in touch with his former player, as they spoke shortly after Levings was drafted to the pros.
“I told him to enjoy every moment because you never know when life will get in the way,” he said. “It’s important to take advantage of this opportunity.
We are all really proud of him and I’m sure he will continue to make us proud. He is a brilliant kid and one of the nicest, most humble people you will ever meet.”