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updated: 12/13/2012 9:39 PM

Vernon Hills' Christie, unconventionally, extends his lacrosse career

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  • Vernon Hills senior goalie Cody Christie is kissed by his mother, Annie Christie-Patrick, after signing his letter of intent to play lacrosse for Florida Southern College. Christie is the first Division II lacrosse player to come out of Vernon Hills.

      Vernon Hills senior goalie Cody Christie is kissed by his mother, Annie Christie-Patrick, after signing his letter of intent to play lacrosse for Florida Southern College. Christie is the first Division II lacrosse player to come out of Vernon Hills.
    Submitted photo

 
 

Here's the skinny on goalie Cody Christie. (Or is it, skinnie on goaly Codie Christy?).

He's skinny.

Which didn't make the Vernon Hills senior an obvious target when he decided to become a lacrosse goalie. The obvious goalie targets are beefy boys. Remember the redheaded catcher in "The Sandlot"?

"It's horrible that they do this, but it's a reality," Christie said. "They take the kid that takes up the goal the most, the biggest kid (and make him goalie). I was a smaller kid."

Small, but smart.

Christie, who recently signed a national letter of intent to play lacrosse for Florida Southern College, got his start in lacrosse when he was in eighth grade. His buddy Logan Klepac was already a good lacrosse player. Christie realized his best chance to get on the same field as Klepac was to man the pipes.

"I wanted to be with my friend, who was on the A team," Christie said. "Fortunately for me, they didn't have a goalie on the A team. I went out there to play midfield. I had all my midfield equipment. They said whoever wants to play goalie and says they want to play goalie for all the games will be on the A team and be on the A team consistently. So I said, 'All right. I'll play goalie.' "

Christie is still thin -- 5 feet 10 and 160 pounds -- and eats up all things lacrosse. Funny how the sport became his meal ticket, so to speak, to college. Florida Southern is located in Lakeland and is situated on Lake Hollingsworth between Tampa and Orlando.

According to Christie, he'll be the first Vernon Hills lacrosse player to play at a level higher than Division III. A varsity player since his freshman year, he's started in goal the last two springs for the Cougars.

"(Florida Southern) is The Princeton Review's No. 1 most beautiful campus in America two years in a row," Christie said. "As soon as I stepped foot on campus, I loved it."

He had a similar experience when he first ran onto a lacrosse field. He fell in love with the sport. Specifically, he got a charge out of thwarting guys who were trying to rifle a solid-rubber ball past him.

Then again, it made sense.

This is a kid, after all, who played catcher in baseball.

He tried his hand at center in football. Which wasn't a snap decision.

"I always liked playing a leadership role (on the field)," Christie said. "A goalie is like the quarterback on the field. I like playing the more odd positions.

"I liked playing center (in football) just because it was a weird position."

He had never been a goalie -- not even on a soccer field.

"I was one of the few kids that never played soccer," Christie said. "I was never really interested in it. I know it's weird, because my brother (Zak) played soccer. Everybody played. I modeled myself after my brother when I was little. I pretty much did everything my brother did. When he got into music, I got into music. When he got into whatever, I got into whatever. He was one of the reasons I got into lacrosse, too."

Zak is now in grad school. Cody has high aspirations post-college, too.

He plans to study business law.

"I want to be a lawyer," said the senior, who scored a 28 on his ACT. "I love law. I love business. I want to travel the world."

Sounds like Cody Christie is in charge. Just like he likes it.

jaguilar@dailyherald.com

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