Men’s Lacrosse: From the backyard to lacrosse field, Bourne earns all-state honors and signs with PSC

Shane Bourne

Preston High graduate Shane Bourne just signed his letter of intent to play lacrosse at the collegiate level and will also be serving our country in the Army Reserves. Photo by Nicole Lemal

 By Nicole Lemal, CORRESPONDENT Preston County News and Journal

KINGWOOD — It started when Shane Bourne wanted to find an activity that he could play in the summer months.

Picking up a lacrosse stick for the first time and playing with his friends, Bourne found enjoyment in the sport from the start.

“It was just something that we could do in the summer instead of sitting inside,” he said.

His ability to pick up the sport as quickly as he did made him consider playing at the high school level. With some encouragement from his friends, Bourne joined the Preston High team as a sophomore, not knowing where the journey would lead.

Now as a recent graduate and his high school career behind him, Bourne is pursuing more time on the lacrosse field at the next level. He signed to play lacrosse at Potomac State College in Keyser during a press conference held recently at Preston High.

“It’s nerve wracking,” he said of his commitment and the uncertainty of playing at the collegiate level. “I don’t know if I will be good enough or get better or worse, but I plan on practicing a lot this summer.”

Not only will Bourne be preparing for the unknown, but he will also be joining the Army Reserves and will be going to basic training next month. The decision to serve in the military is more than just a setup for his bright future, but was inspired by John Gulledge, his mother’s boyfriend.

Commitment to serve in the military will keep him disciplined, Bourne said, and will be the best preparation for him in his future endeavors.

“It will keep me out of trouble and let me focus more on my future and my present as an athlete,” he said.

At Preston, Bourne experienced quite a progression over the span of three seasons. In his first season, he played in midfield for 13 games, in which he scored two goals (.015). As a junior, he netted eight goals and recorded two assists in 16 games, averaging .63 points per game.

By his senior year, Bourne experienced major improvement, averaging 1.31 goals a game. He scored 20 goals and had one assist in 16 games this season.

Ending his high school career in the playoff season for the first time in program history was also special for Bourne, who said the team just clicked.

“We were pretty proud that it was our first year in four years of playing lacrosse,” he said. “Only a couple of us played four years, and this is our fourth year as a team, so I am pretty impressed by it. It was more than being a team. We bonded. Not many teams can share it.”

His impact on the team was acknowledged by head coach Jeff Dreisbach, who could see his growth as an athlete in such a short period of time.

“(He is) a great athlete,” Dreisbach said. “I wish he had started playing earlier.”

Additionally, he received second team all-state honors this season in Division 2. Coaches voted on the best players based on season statistics.

“It gave me a sense of pride,” said Bourne, who added that playing defense in two games gave him less opportunities to boost his offensive statistics.

As he continued to prove himself, Bourne became more versatile on the field. During his junior year, he played at midfield, but transitioned into more defensive roles this season to fill gaps. In two games, he played midfield attack. Stepping forward to help his team when it was needed was never out of the question for him, he said.

“We lost a lot of players,” he said. “One of our defensive players who started didn’t come, and (Jeff Dreisbach) wanted a senior who was strong and fast enough to play defense. He asked. Nobody said anything. So he was like, ‘Alright, you are playing.’ I liked it a lot, and I played short stick for midfield, and the next game I played for defense.”

The transition into other positions on the field was a natural one for Bourne, who has played just about every sport throughout the years. In middle school, he ran track and played basketball, football and baseball. He then played basketball as a freshman after a brief stint with football.

Lacrosse wasn’t a consideration until his sophomore year, at which time he decided to quit other sports. With all of his focus on lacrosse, he feels he was able to explore his potential more extensively. However, he said there are some regrets.

“I think it’s paid off a lot,” he said. “If I would have started my freshman year, I would have been doing a lot better. It would have paid off a lot more.”

Unlike other sports, Bourne said lacrosse is much more involved.

“It’s the challenge,” he said. “It challenges me more than any other sport because basketball you get a ball and run down the court, and football, you catch and run. Baseball, you just hit a ball and run around. Lacrosse, it’s everything. Catch a ball. Hit people. Shoot the ball. It’s a little bit of everything mixed together. It’s an overall more of a challenge than any other sport is.”

That is why Bourne said he is also pursuing a career in the military. A challenge is something he said he never shies away from when given the opportunity.

“If anybody else wanted to play lacrosse or thinking about it, it is a challenge,” he said. “If you want to challenge yourself, it is something to do like the military is. That’s the whole reason why I am doing it.”

While he just made two big life commitments, Bourne said he is focused on his goals. His conditioning for collegiate lacrosse will vary day to day. Running, shooting goals, and practicing the cradling of the ball will be part of his practice schedule for the summer.

Following graduation, Bourne hopes to be picked up by another team and continue playing lacrosse. By the end of his collegiate journey, he plans to become a physical therapist. Meanwhile, he said he will prolong the opportunity to play lacrosse for as long as he can.

“Just being able to play two years of college lacrosse, I don’t want to stop,” he said.