Sinclair twice made verbal commitments to join college lacrosse programs — St. Johns University and Jacksonville University — but, both times, he decommitted after thinking about how much lacrosse would encompass his life. He has since decided to attend the University of Alabama and join the club lacrosse team.
Sinclair said the club team won’t be a step down, but rather will be a lot like playing in high school.
“It will be more relaxed than playing college lacrosse,” he said. “College lacrosse is constant. Club lacrosse is more chill, so I can have a social life, focus on my academics and still play the sport that I love.”
Sinclair said the decision step away from varsity lacrosse was made easier when he received an academic scholarship that more than equaled what he would have gotten for an athletic scholarship.
Sinclair’s love of the game is evident, according to Etowah coach Mike Tuley.
“When I took over the program, a lot of people talked about his athleticism, but I saw him play with a lot of passion, charisma and attitude,” Tuley said. “One of my goals was to harness that intensity and get him to become a leader on the team with that.”
Sinclair, a defender, finished the 2013 season with 13 goals, eight assists and 100 groundballs. He was an all-state selection and the team defensive MVP.
For those reasons, Sinclair is the 2013 Cherokee Tribune Boys Lacrosse Player of the Year.
Tuley said that, over the years, he used Sinclair in a variety of positions, and that he found a way to be a leader wherever he was.
“He can actually take the ball down the field as a defender and score, so he is an offensive threat,” Tuley said. “This year, he really just came into his own as a leader on the field and was able to give a lot of direction on the field. When we needed intensity on the field, he brought it, and when we need to settle down, he was one of the guys with a level head stepping up. He has made such great strides and has continued to get better and better.”
Sinclair doesn’t feel like the move to club lacrosse at Alabama will be a step away from the game. In many respects, the program functions like a varsity program, but it isn’t sanctioned. The team plays other Southeastern Conference schools such as Georgia and LSU.
“Pretty much all the big schools that don’t have a varsity lacrosse team have a club team, which is pretty much like varsity lacrosse, and we will be playing teams like that,” Sinclair said.
A seven-year veteran of the lacrosse, Sinclair quit playing football in order to dedicate more time to the game. He said he preferred lacrosse over football because there was more intensity.
“There isn’t pausing in between plays,” Sinclair said. “Lacrosse is constant intensity. It’s kind of like hockey combined with basketball and soccer and football. It has the intensity of basketball, the running of soccer and the hitting of football mixed with hockey.”
Sinclair believes he has excelled because he wasn’t afraid to work hard. He said the best players are in solid physical shape — often from playing year-round.
“I’m just always working hard looking toward the next season,” he said.
Sinclair goes by the nickname “Goose,” a shorten version of what his parents called in as a young child, “Silly Goose.”
Put in the college environment in Tuscaloosa, Sinclair’s focus will be anything put silly. He plans on majoring in business management with a goal of going to law school.
“I’m just really going to focus on getting good grades and passing my classes,” Sinclair said. “Now, it’s about getting an education.”