BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO - Connor Kinney has decided to continue his lacrosse career at the collegiate level, having signed his national letter of intent Wednesday to play at the College of Saint Rose in Albany.
Kinney likes what the Division II lacrosse program has to offer.
"Coach (Jim) Morrissey, he played at Syracuse, so I think he can better my game, and then of course the conference is very competitive," Kinney said.
Morrissey, in his fifth season with the Golden Knights, played on NCAA Division I national championship teams at SU in 1993 and 1995, then went on to compete professionally with the Syracuse Smash of the National Lacrosse League (1997-99) and the Rochester Rattlers of Major League Lacrosse (2001-03). He recently concluded his fourth season with the Golden Knights and was named Northeast-10 Conference Coach of the Year.
Saint Rose (9-8) posted a program-best nine victories and earned its first postseason berth and Northeast-10 Conference tournament home game last season. The Knights are 1-2 this season with losses to the third- and fifth-ranked Division II teams.
Kinney played soccer for three years for the Indians and is heading into his fourth season in lacrosse, and was named a STAC Metro division second-team all-star last year.
In a press release from the school, Owego head coach Andy Race said, "It has been a pleasure to coach Connor throughout his career. Describing him as a hard worker is an understatement. He is the kind of kid that you can always count on, in and out of season, to be there and give percent no matter what. His dedication to the sport and the team are unparalleled and it shows when the lights come on and Connor steps on the field. He has been a staple of our offense for three years now and many of our other players look up to him and strive to compete at his level. He has had an amazing career for us as an Indian, and as a coach I'm both proud, and excited to watch Connor succeed in his career at St. Rose."
Kinney is an attacker on the Owego team, which reached the Section IV Class C championship game last spring. He's excited at the Indians' potential for success this season.
"This year, one of the big things for us is winning sectionals, because it's something we haven't done, so that's one of our big goals this year," he said.
He also plays club lacrosse for Gaffer Elite, which is based in Corning, and played a key role in getting him hooked up with the Saint Rose program.
Kinney also likes the size of Saint Rose.
"It's a medium-sized school, which I like. It's a little bit bigger than here, relatively," he said. "When I was on campus, it just felt right."
He will be pursing a business degree at Saint Rose.
"I'm looking to major in business administration, and going to get my bachelor's in Business Administration," Kinney said. "I'm not sure what career path after that, like what specific job, but that's something I'm going to try to figure out when I'm there."
Kinney is currently ranked 15th in the senior class with a 96 GPA, he is a member of National Honor Society, a student tutor and volunteers with youth lacrosse.
He also believes playing lacrosse for Saint Rose will also help him build relationships with others.
"One of the big things for me is just being able to build relationships," he said. "One of my friends from Binghamton is going there and playing lacrosse also, so continuing to have a strong relationship with him and building more strong relationships that will help contribute to my life."
IN PHOTO 1: Owego's Connor Kinney signs with the College of saint Rose as his parents, Kristin and Brian, look on. ... PHOTOS COURTESY OF OWEGO FREE ACADEMY.
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