BRATTLEBORO -- Maddie Rollins, a 2013 BUHS graduate from Dummerston, has made big news in the world of Big South lacrosse.
In her final season with the Colonels, team captain "Maddog" Rollins found the back of the net over 60 times and had 15 assists, totaling over 120 goals with 50 assists throughout her high school career. Rollins led Brattleboro in goals, assists, points, interceptions, and caused turnovers her senior season, and she hit the 100 goal-mark in a May 2013 contest against MAU.
Now Rollins has reached another major milestone, having played in her first Big South Conference game with her new Longwood University Lancers team.
"It was a good game," said Rollins. "It let us see where we’re at."
Rollins made her NCAA debut as a freshman starter and carried the Lancers defense through much of the first half, in the team’s opener against Navy last Saturday. Navy got the win, but Longwood made it difficult, taking the visitors to an 8-8 knot at the break.
Rollins began attending university last August, and is planning to major in exercise science. The four-year liberal arts school is located in Farmville, Va.
"Life is good down here," said Rollins. "I like the new team, and my coach. She’s smart."
And like Rollins, coach Elaine Jones is a pretty accomplished athlete herself.
Jones is a two-time NCAA Div. 1 All-American student-athlete who led the University of Virginia Cavaliers to four straight national postseason appearances, including a National Championship in 1991.
Rollins joins two other freshmen on the Lancers lineup. "I think that all the rookies worked hard in the fall," said Jones, in a statement. "They are all adjusting to the college game. I think Rollins has adjusted the quickest and should see substantial playing time."
While attending BUHS, Rollins was coached by Maud Lonergan, who once described Rollins as a very confident young woman and extremely hard working student-athlete; a fierce competitor who leads by example on and off the field.
"I started under coach Lonergan my freshman year [at BUHS]," said Rollins. "She taught me everything."
In November of 2012, Lonergan encouraged Rollins to make a trip to the Presidents Cup, a recruiting showcase for colleges and universities, held in Naples, Fla. It was there that Jones took notice of Rollins and approached her to see if she’d be interested in joining the Lancers.
"It was a step in the right direction," said Rollins. "I was hoping to get recruited. I was just trying to get noticed, by someone. Anyone."
Before heading off to Longwood U, Rollins put in countless hours training during Brattleboro’s off-seasons, to improve her skills.
Remembered by her many Colonels fans as an offensive threat who likes to set up the attack, Rollins said she now plays a more defensive position at the Lancers’ midfield.
"It is a smaller role," said Rollins. "But I think it’s a role that is as equally as important."
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.