Melton takes national stage

Published 12:28 pm Thursday, June 9, 2016

Harper Melton has emerged as a leader in the sport of lacrosse with the accolades to illustrate it.

The freshman star for Fuqua School’s girls lacrosse team this year has been selected to represent the state of Virginia at the 2016 Brine National Lacrosse Classic, an event featuring the top high school lacrosse players in the country.

In response to this honor, “I was really excited, and I felt really accomplished,” Melton said.

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She has also been named as a 2016 Brine National High School All-American due to a combination of having been selected to the Virginia team and also having an impressive grade point average.

To be in the running for participation in the Brine National Lacrosse Classic, Melton took part in a tryout held in Richmond earlier this year. She described it as straightforward but rigorous.

“They had you do a lot of different drills,” she said.

Her father, Fuqua Head of School John Melton, said there were two tryouts held in the state, one in Richmond and another in Northern Virginia, and Fuqua Athletic Director Charles Thomas noted there were over 100 girls who tried out for the Virginia team.

“They ultimately selected, I think, two or three girls from (the) Richmond (tryout), and then the rest of the team came from (the) Northern Virginia (tryout) just because there’s a lot more lacrosse up there,” John Melton said.

Upon learning his daughter made the cut, “we were really excited for her,” he said. “It’s been something that she showed an interest in at a very young age, and it’s a sport that I played coming along in high school. When your child takes an interest in something, you want to support it, so I’ve been coaching her at the (recreational) level sort of up until she got to high school.”

Harper Melton noted she started playing lacrosse around the age of 4 while growing up in Maryland.

“In Maryland, lacrosse is the state (team) sport, so once you get a stick in your hand, you just keep playing,” she said. “It’s a really fun sport.”

She has played on a few different travel teams, and she learned of the Brine tryout through her current travel team, Storm Elite 2019.

John Melton said, “In terms of the selection to the (Virginia) team, one of the things that we always shared with her is that you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose by going and trying out for some of these highly selective teams. Worst-case scenario, you spend a day playing really high-level lacrosse with a bunch of really nice girls, and you make the team or you don’t, right? But you become a better player through the process.”

He said Harper was 1-for-2 in her tryouts for these highly selective teams.

Fuqua Head Girls Lacrosse Coach Courtney Vogel was excited to hear her team’s MVP award-winner is listed among the best high school players in the country. “I think it’s amazing,” Vogel said. “It’s well-deserved. She’s awesome. So, yeah, I’m super-proud of her.”

In her MVP presentation speech, Vogel noted Harper not only excels as an individual player, leading the team in goals scored, but she made her teammates better, as well.

The 2016 Brine National Lacrosse Classic will be held in Richmond, July 19-22.