When he takes the field this spring for the Drexel University men’s lacrosse team, Ben McIntosh will look much like any other player out there. But, it’s his future that makes him different and his journey getting there that makes this story so unique. After he closes out a remarkable career as a Dragon, McIntosh will be heading to the professional level to play for the Denver Outlaws in Major League Lacrosse, as the professional team drafted him 62nd overall Jan. 10.
McIntosh’s lacrosse career started at the young age of four in his hometown of Coquitlam, British Columbia. He first started playing indoor box lacrosse, which is very popular in Canada.
“I started playing indoor lacrosse for the Coquitlam Adanacs; I didn’t start playing field lacrosse until I was 12 years old,” he said.
Despite having only a few years of experience playing field lacrosse, McIntosh quickly became a very exceptional player. His early potential provided him with his first opportunity to play in the United States. At 16, he went to Western Reserve Academy, a boarding school in Hudson, Ohio. Leaving his home in Canada at such a young age was difficult.
“That was one of my biggest obstacles,” McIntosh explained.
Throughout his life, he had been playing lacrosse and hockey, and sometimes he would even find himself on three different teams at one time. “I loved hockey but it got to a point where I needed to pick one sport to pursue and it was hard for me, but I chose lacrosse.”
From 12 years on, he was constantly playing lacrosse. At each game you would find his father and coach, Jim, as well.
When asked who has been his greatest mentor throughout his career, McIntosh was quick to respond, “My dad has been the biggest contributor throughout my career. He would spend countless hours a week driving me and my older brother Garrett to practices and games.”
He remembers times when he and his father, Jim, would often discuss various plays throughout his games. “After the game, he would tell me when I played well and when I didn’t. He could be brutally honest at times, but I think everyone needs that to get better. … There is no way that I would be the player that I am today, if it wasn’t for my father,” McIntosh said.
And getting better is exactly what McIntosh did at Western Reserve Academy. Moving to Ohio may have been one of his biggest obstacles, but it was also one of his best experiences. After four years at Western Reserve Academy, McIntosh was recruited by Drexel University.
McIntosh has been having quite a productive career at Drexel. Last year he played in 15 games as a midfielder and produced 38 goals and 18 assists. It was one of the best offensive seasons in the program’s recent history.
With one more year as a Dragon, McIntosh only has one thing on his mind: “I want our team to win the [Colonial Athletic Association championship] and make it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in the program’s history.”
When asked about hearing his name called during the eighth round of the 2014 MLL Draft and if the opportunity to play at the professional level may become a distraction, McIntosh said, “All that is on my mind right now is Drexel.”
Regardless of where he is playing lacrosse, Ben McIntosh is sure to have success. As he closes out this final chapter with Drexel, he will be moving on to play for the Denver Outlaws. And if there’s one thing to be certain of, his father will be right there to support him for this next chapter as well.