By Nicholas Leo
Additions to Flagler College men’s lacrosse this offseason didn’t make their way here alone, and look to help build on the foundation last year’s inaugural season set.
Head Coach Brian Duncan feels that recruiting was the biggest focus going into the offseason.
“We locked up some top guys, the Canisius guys are really good. Logan Tobias, a midfielder, and Antanas Mikuzis, a big X attackman,” Duncan said.
Logan Tobias, junior, and Antanas Mikuzis, red-shirt sophomore, hail from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. There they played on the Griffins Division 1 Lacrosse team for two years, before deciding it wasn’t for them.
Lacrosse was the main concern for Tobias, he spoke on his enjoyment of his time at the school and friends he made. However the program wasn’t the right fit and he started to fall out of love with lacrosse, but coming down to Flagler brought it back to life.
“If I didn’t want to continue playing lacrosse I would’ve stopped and stayed at [Canisius],” said Tobias. “If I weren’t [at Flagler] I wouldn’t be playing lacrosse anymore.”
Mikuzis was looking for new beginnings in a new environment, and started by looking at schools in the south.
“The first thing that came to my head was ‘It’s freezing cold right now, I want to see what it’s like down there,’” Mikuzis said.
They come from two very different places, Tobias from Pittsburgh, PA where he played 4 years varsity lacrosse for Upper St. Clair High School and Mikuzis from Western Spring, IL, where he was a two-time all-conference selection and one time offensive MVP at Nazareth Academy. However they found camaraderie in their dis-enjoyment of the lacrosse in Buffalo, building a connection off the field and eventually entering the transfer portal together.
“We decided to enter the transfer portal at the same time, we had kind of thought about Flagler before. The ability to stay together was pretty much the reason we came down here,” Tobias said.
They had started looking at schools in the south, for warmth and a change of scenery, and stumbled upon Flagler.
“Seeing Flagler for the school, seeing St. Augustine for the city itself was super cool. That and being a smaller campus, being a small school, our previous school was small and I’ve been going to small schools my whole life,” Mikuzis said.
Mikuzis was able to get in contact with the team because one of his club coaches knew assistant Coach Guttierez. Mikuzis also has family close, as his Aunt, Uncle, and cousins moved to Jacksonvile just a few years ago.
“I saw that Flagler’s pretty close to Jacksonville… and being that close to family was definitely something else that contributed,” Mikuzis said.
Coach Duncan was inclined by the size and athletic ability of the Division 1 transfers from Buffalo.
“[Tobias] is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds and [Mikuzis] is 6 feet 4 inches and 215 pounds, so they’re big boys,” Duncan said.
Tobias had high praise for Coach Duncan and his recruitment process, especially his faith in the guys he brought in.
“You can tell he’s really passionate about what he does and that was what I kind of what I needed to see out of somebody to get me to continue playing lacrosse,” Tobias said.
The two transfers saw it was a talented first year program that made it to the conference semi-final’s, and thought they brought to the table what the team needed to take that next step. They’re looking to create a Division 1 level of intensity and competition at Flagler, along with implementing things they’ve learned at their previous school.
“Whenever we’re bringing something in they’re really open to all that stuff because they want to win just as much as we do,” Tobias said.
Mikuzis has high expectations for the team, with goals for the season including the PBC championship being won on home turf, believing they can be the regular season champs as well.
“I just want to be able to make my teammates around me better, if I’m able to do that on the field, kind of help the other guys boost their stats, I’m happy,” Mikuzis said.
Mikuzis has three years of eligibility left and Tobias has two, they’re looking to constantly build and get better during their time here.
“We aren’t here to lose games, we’re here to win,” Tobias said.