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The Prince brothers do everything with each other.
East County Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 5 years ago

Lakewood Ranch brothers become lacrosse stars at IMG Academy

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Hard work and studious attitudes have helped the Prince brothers maximize their talent.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Editor

Although they are inseparable, Lakewood Ranch's Colin and George Prince tend to bicker.

The teenage brothers, who are top-notch lacrosse athletes at IMG Academy, eventually want to start a business together, but they have some details to work out.

Should they name it "George and Colin, or Colin and George?"

No matter, the teamwork obviously is there.

"We’ll probably invent the flying car,” George said.

“We already have the blueprints and everything, I think they work,” Colin added with a laugh.

Business will have to wait. The duo now is concentrating on lacrosse and their chemistry is likely to translate into goals, solid defense, and wins. Colin, a junior midfielder, said he knows where George, a senior attacker, will be without needing to look.

Bill Shatz, IMG's director of lacrosse, said he always knows where the Prince brothers will be. Working.

Their routine consists of a two-plus hours on the lacrosse field during practice, an hour of weight training and an hour of “mental conditioning” designed to build confidence and help them stay relaxed in pressure-filled moments.

The brothers also practice with each other on the weekends.

Their work ethic carries over into the class room. They both have GPAs well above 4.0.

“Virtually every young man has the capacity to be excellent,” Shatz said. “If you work hard and you focus long enough, you’ll be surprised what you can accomplish. The Princes are an example of that in real time, of focusing, of working hard, and maximizing and optimizing their talent.

"Their talent is significant, but they’ve gotten as close to optimizing it as any player in our program. They are leaders in that regard.”  

They are leaders in many ways. 

When meeting George and Colin for the first time, one thing that stands out is their maturity. They’re gracious and polite, offering their hand to shake when they meet anyone. They respond to their lacrosse coaches at IMG with a simple “yes, sir” or “no, sir.”

Then they run on the lacrosse field, and it is easy to see why they have attracted attention from college coaches. They are both committed to playing lacrosse at the Ivy League's Dartmouth College.

It's been a long road to becoming college recruits. Lacrosse wasn’t their first choice of sport as they played flag football, baseball, hockey and basketball together. Eventually, the brothers heard about lacrosse from friends, and decided to try it out.

Their first year of lacrosse threatened to drive a wedge between them. George loved lacrosse from the start as he felt it was a combination of all the sports he already loved. Colin, though, wanted to quit.

He was having a tough time developing in the stick skills so important to success in the game. A teammate convinced Colin to keep trying, and it wasn't long before he picked up the skills.

When asked which brother is better at lacrosse, they balk. George has played better in recent years, and has received more offers from top colleges. George also won the Ascenders Award at the program's 2015-2016 season banquet. The award goes to "the student-athlete who most embodies excellence and gives their best at all times on the field, in the classroom and in the community," according to a school release, and is the program's highest honor. However, Colin has played injured the past two seasons.

He suffered a fracture to the bones connecting his hamstrings and pelvis. He also has scar tissue on his sciatic nerve, causing pain when he runs. The nerve condition was misdiagnosed by doctors, who told him the cure would be rest. Their father, also George Prince, said that to relieve the pain, Colin stretches for an hour and takes a 10- to 12-minute ice bath. Colin Prince soon heads to Children’s Hospital in Boston to have surgery for the condition.

Despite his physical woes, Colin was offered a chance to join his brother at Dartmouth, even though the college never had seen him play completely healthy. That was a big reason why the brothers are headed there, even though George also was in talks with lacrosse powerhouses like Denver and Princeton.

The Princes wanted a young, energetic coach, and Dartmouth’s Brendan Callahan fits that bill.

Through all the challenges, what’s most impressive about the brothers is their commitment to each other.

“I don’t think there’s anything we don’t do together,” George said. “We’re pretty much identical twins born a year and a half apart.”

“If I get in trouble, he’s going down with me,” Colin said. “I guess it’s a team. We’re a team.”

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