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Rebels' Mordarski makes lacrosse history
Aaron Mordarski
The Rebels’ Aaron Mordarski looks to pass the ball during a March 30 match against Benedictine. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
‘He’s a prime example of somebody who works really hard and knows what they want to do and where they want to be.
Effingham County boys lacrosse coach Owen Nix

 SPRINGFIELD — Even though its season ended more than a month ago, Aaron Mordarski is still scoring for Effingham County’s boys lacrosse team.

Mordarski made program history May 18 by inking a national letter of intent to attend Point University near Atlanta this fall.

“This is exciting, especially for our lacrosse program,” Rebels athletic director Matt Huntley said. “This is our first college (lacrosse) signing since we’ve been GHSA (affiliated).” 

Former Rebels standout Hunter Scott earned a college shot at Reinhardt University when lacrosse was a club sport at Effingham County. He is currently listed as a junior at Webber International University.

The Rebels joined the GHSA a couple seasons ago.

“We’ve kind of started to grow that pipeline ...” Huntley said.

Mordarski quickly caught Rebels coach Owen Nix’s eye even though he joined the lacrosse team late in his high school career.

“He’s a prime example of somebody who works really hard and knows what they want to do and where they want to be,” Nix said. “He put in the effort to get to this place. Two years ago, he hadn’t been on a lacrosse field yet. “To see him signing today and have the ability to go play college lacrosse is pretty awesome.”

Mordarski was an impactful player as a junior despite missing a few games because of his commitment to the Rebels’ basketball team.

“He worked his way into a starting spot by the end of the year,” Nix said.

As a senior, Mordarski transformed from a defensive midfielder to a scorer because Effingham County needed more firepower. He honed the skills he needed last summer.

“That’s all a testament to him,” Nix said. “There were times when coaches couldn’t be out there and maybe help. He was out there doing the reps and working really to improve his game ...”

While leading the Rebels to a 6-6 mark in 2022, Mordarski netted 20 goals, five assists and 46 ground balls. He also forced 10 turnovers.

“He is a great example to show kids that you can come to this sport late,” Nix said. “You can start as a freshman, you can start as a sophomore or even a junior like Aaron and still find your way on to a college field.

“Lacrosse kind of offers that. Lacrosse is up and coming here but it’s up and coming at the college level, too. There are lots of opportunties for athletes.”

Nix’s program has enjoyed a tremendous participation rate but he thinks Effingham County has even more boys who could play lacrosse.

“There are a lot of colleges looking for kids like Aaron — good kids that have a good work ethic that they can build and make even better,” the coach said. “Hopefully, if they want it bad enough, they will start seeing that there are places out there for them. The pool (of athletes) is not as big as it is in some of the other sports.

“There are a lot fewer lacrosse players.”

Lacrosse is loaded with successful powers short on height and weight.

“It’s not like that holds you back,” Nix said. 

Mordarski, who thanked God, his parents, his teammates and his friends for his achievement, is proud that he can be used as an example for other athletes.

“Hopefully, with this chain of events, more kids will decide that they can play at the next level and have a college signing as well,” he said. “Lacrosse is definitely a sport that will humble you at times and it will teach you a lot. You definitely can’t be sloppy.

“You always have to be ready.”

Lacrosse requires excellent conditioning and a willingness for contact.

“I fell in love with it the first time I hit someone and everyone went crazy,” Mordarski said.