It’s an incredibly unfair comparison, but one that was bound to come up since McCabe Millon started playing lacrosse.
There’s an impossibly high bar set in the Millon family. It’s the result of Millon’s parents, Mark and Erin, both being National Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductees. Mark is one of the best offensive players in men’s lacrosse history, and there’s a natural inclination to assume that McCabe would follow in his footsteps.
Avoiding those comparisons is impossible, but there’s a unique twist to it.
“He’s so much better than I was at that age,” Mark Millon said.
All-Around Threat at Attack
The good thing for the younger Millon, though, is that there’s never been any in-house pressure to reach an almost impossible-to-reach ceiling. McCabe is a dynamic attackman who can threaten defenses from anywhere on the field. As you might imagine, his lacrosse IQ is through the roof, and he’s continually worked to diversify his game. He can score by beating his man at X, on the wing or from up top.
His passing ability is understated, and he’s becoming a guy who can beat defenses with in a handful of ways. Want to slide early? He’ll find the open guy. Think you can defend him 1v1? Probably not happening. You want to give him time and room? Bold strategy, Cotton. It’s that all-around skill set that lends credence to his father’s declaration, but he’s gotten to that level because he wanted to, not because his parents forced him.
“It’s not necessarily a purposeful comparison, but it’s unavoidable,” said McCabe Millon, a sophomore at McDonogh (Md.). “It isn’t something that I chose and I said I want to be the next Mark Millon, but my whole career, I’ve been taught by the same person. I’ve picked up his tendencies and mannerisms off the field. I’m very thankful for him not being a (Todd) Marinovich and saying, ‘you need to carry on my legacy.’ Personally, I don’t feel any pressure. I love playing so much and being able to play is the ultimate gift. Being able to enjoy it with my dad is even cooler.”
Top of the Scouting Report
Millon’s diverse skill set, his productivity and ability to take over a game at a moment’s notice made him the choice as the No. 1 player in the class in NLFRankings.com’s first class of 2023 rankings. Even when he’s playing with 2022s on Team 91 Maryland Fire, NLFRankings.com’s No. 8 ’22 team in the country, he’s the best player on the field.
“He’s the guy that we focus on when we play 91, and when we were preparing for McDonogh, he was the one we were most concerned with,” Annapolis Hawks 2022 head coach and Archbishop Spalding (Md.) assistant coach Tom Ripley said. “You have to know where 9 is on the field, with or without the ball in his stick.”
Millon has firmly entrenched himself as a starter at McDonogh, one of the best teams in the country. He’s averaging four points per game for the Eagles, who tangle with MIAA rival Calvert Hall today. In his lone game as a freshman, he put up a goal and four assists against perennial power Gonzaga (D.C.). Starting as a sophomore for a team of McDonogh’s caliber is impressive. Being the main ball carrier and orchestrating an explosive offense with plenty of older players is on a different level, though.
Big Target Gets Bigger
Millon understands that being the No. 1 player in the class adds an even bigger target than ever on his back, but it’s something that he welcomes. He got to play with NLF No. 1 ’22 Joey Spallina (Mount Sinai, N.Y. / Team 91 LI Smash / Syracuse) at his father’s well-known Project 9 camp, and he took away a ton from his fellow No. 1 player’s mentality toward pressure.
“You deal with shots,” Millon said. “I learned a lot from Joey at Project 9. I got to listen to him speak in front of the camp about that question, and I’m going to steal Joey’s answer. He said, ‘I love having that target and that big bull’s eye. I know I’m getting the best from everyone.'”
“Being No. 1 is really humbling,” Millon continued. “My family and I know how much work I’ve been putting in my whole life. It’s great to be No. 1 in my sophomore year, but I want to be able to keep my trajectory up and continue to get better as the premier player in the class. I know I’m getting the best from everyone. I’m an incredibly competitive person and if you’re giving me your best, I’m going to give you better.”
Just remember: no pressure.
NLFRankings.com Class of ’23 Rankings
No. 1 McCabe Millon, attack, McDonogh (Md.) / Team 91 Maryland
No. 2 Leo Hoffman, midfield, Brunswick (Conn.) / Team 91 Long Island
No. 3 Tomas Delgado, midfield, Brunswick (Conn.) / Prime Time
No. 4 Tucker Wade, midfield, Bullis (Md.) / DC Express
No. 5 Owen Duffy, attack, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) / Team 91 Long Island
No. 6 Caleb Fyock, goalie, St. John’s (D.C.) / Annapolis Hawks
No. 7 Benn Johnston, midfield, Avon Old Farms (Conn.) / True National
No. 8 Mac Christmas, LSM, Georgetown Prep (Md.) / MadLax DC Dogs
No. 9 Nate Kabiri, attack, Episcopal (Va.) / MadLax DC Dogs
No. 10 Jacob Pacheco, midfield, Boys’ Latin (Md.) / Crabs