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Lacrossers to stay true blue at Aurora, Mars

June 02, 2010 - Teammates Andrew Miller and Jon-Erik Avery have decided they are going to keep their blue color when they go to college in the fall.

In front of friends, family and the Boys Varsity Lacrosse team they showed commitment to their respected colleges.

Miller heads to Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois. He joins a select group chosen for the school's first Division III NCAA Lacrosse team.

"I really liked the campus and I liked Coach Brendan Dawson," said Miller. "He seemed like he wanted me to play and I liked Chicago."

Miller will play as primary face-off man, as well as middie - helping offense and defense.

He has played lacrosse since eighth grade.

"I saw a couple of my friends practicing when I was in seventh grade and I said I would go out and try it," he said. "I just loved it."

He also played football but stopped playing this year to concentrate more on lacrosse. But he took the toughness and determination he learned in the sport with him.

"The determination because every day in football practice got me prepared for lacrosse," he added.

Miller plans to study business and advertising while he is at Aurora.

"I always like watching the commercials on tv," he admitted. "I want to be the person who came up with the ideas. I am a creative guy."

Miller began on the varsity team when he was a sophomore and missed some of his senior season because he tore his ACL. But he will be ready to go by the spring.

Avery also tore his ACL, keeping him from playing his fourth and final season for the varsity team.

His skills from 10 years on the field stood out to Mars Hill College, a Division II team in Asheville, North Carolina.

"I really liked the campus," he said. "The guys are nice."

He went to a recruiting camp with Miller to be noticed by colleges on the East Coast.

Avery knew when he began looking at colleges he wanted to play for an out of state school

"The level of lacrosse is higher," he explained.

He began playing lacrosse ten years ago.

"I used to play catch with my dad," he said. "I became involved with lacrosse with a pick-up league and started playing."

His dad, Jim, lent a hand to start the middle school lacrosse program in Clarkston so Jon could have a team to play with.

With his skills and various techniques he helped the varsity and JV teams with shooting firms and with face-off teams.

For all athletes he said to keep trying.

"You will be frustrated," he admitted. "Give 100 percent and you will succeed in all you do."

He plans to study sports medicine. Then, will go to graduate school for physical therapy.

"I met a lot of nice people after I tore my ACL," he said.

The help they gave made him consider giving the same help and support to others.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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