OHIO CITY, Oh - A known presence on the lacrosse field will continue his academic and athletic career at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Senior Hunter Moriarity will become a Stag next fall and compete for a Division I lacrosse program as he has committed to play at the next level.
"It was a simple process; Fairfield was the first school to reach out to me. After my visit, I could see myself going there and growing as a student, person and athlete," says Moriarity. "Fairfield reminded me of Saint Ignatius, a place where I can grow in all parts of my life."
Moriarity has been a member of the varsity squad since his sophomore year and will now step into a significant role for the Wildcats in the 2023 season. "His size and physicality are what makes Hunter unique. It's obvious watching him play to tell when he's in a confident state of mind or when as a coach, you're forcing the issue with him," explains Head Lacrosse Coach Kyle Bernlohr. "At the end of the day, you have to let playmakers be playmakers and give guys like Hunter the opportunities to be successful. I'm excited to see his ceiling raised at Fairfield University and become a playmaker at the next level."
A familiar name to the Saint Ignatius faithful as Moriarity was the starting tight end for the football program in the fall. The senior hauled 11 catches for 62 yards in the 2022 season and recorded his first varsity touchdown against St. Edward in the Regional Semifinal. Moriarity is a dual-sport varsity athlete between both programs and credits football for preparing him for the lacrosse season.
"Lacrosse has always been on the top of my list, but football helped prepare me for the lacrosse season," Moriarity says. "I was able to get faster and stronger during football season, but I always wanted to continue to play lacrosse in college."
As his size was significant on the football field, it becomes even more critical on the lacrosse field. Moriarity stands at 6'3, 200-pounds and coach Bernlohr knows that Moriarty can use that to his advantage. "To have a guy that size but also possess clean stick work is the first thing you get excited about with Hunter," says Bernlohr. "He's a very tough cover, so I think for us it's all about, ok, these are Hunter's strengths, this is where he seems to be the most comfortable and confident, how do we most effectively use him not only for himself but to free up others within our offense."
"One of my favorite coaches is coach (Dave) Cerny and he has always preached for me to use my size," explains Moriarity. "I want to use my size on the lacrosse field to be more impactful."
Moriarity saw time as a sophomore but received significant minutes as a junior playing alongside a talented group in the class of 2022. The Lax Cats would go 14-7 and make a Regional Final appearance and the senior midfielder is looking to build off that season. "We had a lot of great senior leadership from last season and it was every single one of them, not just the captains. I realized from them that I need to step up for my senior year," Moriarity says. "They taught me to work harder and be a leader for the team."
"After playing a huge role in 2022, Hunter is aware of how much bigger his role is now in 2023, having graduated a ton offensively last May. Hunter is a competitor but has a personality that doesn't get too rattled," explains Bernlohr. "He gives everyone around him a good laugh when you're around him and makes the atmosphere fun to be in. Apply that to the lacrosse field and you have leaders on the team that don't make you grip your stick too tight and hopefully, that allows us to play a fun and freestyle brand of lacrosse."
The season is set to begin in late March, but the Moriarity and the Cats have been working hard in the off-season, preparing for a State Championship push. "I'm excited to play with everyone. We all have the same common goal of winning a State Championship. We are coming into the season hungry after falling short last year," says Moriarity. "I also want to ensure that the younger guys on the team have a good year and build off this upcoming season."
Before joining an NCAA Division I program in the fall in Fairfield, Moriarity will look to be a key piece in winning Saint Ignatius its first OHSAA State Championship in the Spring of 2023.