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Brendan Millon led McDonogh (Md.) to a third straight MIAA championship.

Brendan Millon Named Mid-Atlantic Boys' Player of the Year

June 18, 2024
Justin Feil
John Strohsacker

Brendan Millon and McDonogh (Md.) coach Andy Hilgartner were some of the last to leave the field at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium after their 10-9 win over Archbishop Spalding (Md.) in the semifinals of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association playoffs.

It was a slow walk for the junior attackman, who was feeling every bump and bruise suffered through the season plus a worsening back strain, partially torn labrum in his shoulder and now a broken bone in his right hand that he’d dealt with for the last three games.

“I didn’t know if he was going to be able to play in the championship,” Hilgartner said. “I knew he would do it. I knew nothing was going to keep him out of that game. But he was hurting bad.”

Millon wasn’t too thrilled with his play in the semifinal win or the late comeback win over Loyola Blakefield (Md.) in the MIAA quarterfinals, and that on top of his injuries wasn’t helping to put him in a better mood. But Millon said he’s at his best when he’s feeling a bit angry.

“I’m lucky to, I guess, naturally elevate when stuff gets hard,” he said. “When I’m getting the top cover guy, when it’s a massive game, when there’s a lot of people there, when I’m hurting, I’m just lucky to naturally elevate. And I think environments tend to help me play better. I had a pretty good game earlier in the year against Gonzaga, which was a crazy environment night game. I love lacrosse so much. I love having fun, and I love playing big games.”

Millon amassed six points on a hat trick and three assists to be named Most Valuable Player of the championship game for the second straight year, as the Eagles defeated Boys’ Latin (Md.) 14-12 for their third straight MIAA title. McDonogh became just the second MIAA team to win three straight championships, and Millon has been a key part of each.

“The word that I always associate with Brendan is poised,” Hilgartner said. “He just practices with poise, he plays with poise. He just doesn’t ever let the situation get too big for him. And even with that poise, he still plays with intensity. He still plays incredibly hard, but he just doesn’t let things get too big for him. That made a huge difference for him this year.”

Add his composure and toughness to the list of attributes that make Millon a standout player who came into this season ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2025. Millon continued to add to his accolades even while facing greater attention from defenses after McDonogh graduated some outstanding players from a year ago, including his older brother McCabe, who played his first year of college lacrosse at Virginia. Millon finished his third high school season with 48 goals and 31 assists and was named the C. Markland Kelly Award winner for Private North and earned one of the MIAA’s five USA Lacrosse All-America nods, as well as All-MIAA honors.

Millon is the USA Lacrosse High School Boys’ Mid-Atlantic Player of the Year. USA Lacrosse writers select the regional and national players of the year with input from coaches in their respective regions of coverage.

“Skill wise, he’s always been off the charts,” Hilgartner said. “He has the ability to finish the ball right-handed, left-handed. Whatever role you need, he can fill it … and he’s completely unselfish with all of it. There’s no ‘me’ in it for him. If he knows that he’s a dummy that’s just going to set somebody else up and that’s going to help our offense, he’s all for it. You don’t find that in the guys of his playing ability and playing level all that often. I think that that’s something that he’s really developed over the past couple of years.”

Millon missed most of his freshman year but returned from an injury in time to bolster the offense for a stretch run to the first MIAA title since 2016. Then came last year, an incredible season capped with the Eagles’ second straight title led by a decorated senior class that included his brother. Some tried to insinuate that Millon was riding his older brother’s coattails.

“I love this guy,” Millon said. “I play my own game; it doesn’t really matter to me. I don’t really care what they say. He’s a great guy’s shadow to be in.”

Brendan Millon of McDonogh.
Brendan Millon had 48 goals and 31 assists during his junior season at McDonogh.
John Strohsacker

Brendan Millon

School: McDonogh (Md.)
Year: Junior
Position: Attack
Stats: 48 goals, 31 assists

Also considered: Lucca DiBartolomeo, Malvern (Pa.); John Draley, St. John’s College High (D.C.); Spencer Ford, Boys’ Latin (Md.); Peter Laake, Loyola Blakefield (Md.); Ben McCarthy, Haverford (Pa.); Anthony Panetti, Landon (Md.); Graham Stevens, Pingry (N.J.)

McDonogh appeared vulnerable to outsiders following that one-loss season, in part because of how much talent graduated to college.

“Losing the talent that we lost and with a lot of type-A leaders from that team last year that we had, I think that was part of it,” Hilgartner said. “The leadership and the talent level that we lost. And then I think the pressure, too. We tried not to talk about the three in a row, and all we wanted to do was get this championship for the senior class.”

The Eagles lost an early game when Millon was held to one assist by Haverford (Pa.), which chose to shut him off after watching Millon torch Gonzaga (D.C.) for five goals and four assists in the season opener.

“That game was definitely one of the most frustrating,” said Millon of the loss.

But his one assist against Haverford? A behind-the-back strike from X.

McDonogh stumbled in back-to-back losses to Calvert Hall and Archbishop Spalding that tested the Eagles’ resolve midway through the conference season. By the next week, they showed a renewed commitment as the lone MIAA team to beat Boys’ Latin in the regular season.

“This year it was just kind of doing everything we could,” Millon said. “We had so many freaking film sessions, so many early morning offensive practices before school this year. It sounds cliche, but there was so much love and brotherhood and just drive to do what everyone thought that we couldn’t do, which was threepeat.”

Millon had put in his work to be ready for increased attention from opposing defenses this year. The idea that he’d get everyone’s best cover guy motivated him.

“I put in a lot of preparation over last summer and in the offseason, a lot was just trying to make my game more well-rounded,” Millon said. “A lot of that came with just literally living in the weight room. I felt that I wasn’t as fast as I maybe could be my past two years.”

Millon returned better equipped physically and mentally to shoulder more of a load and handle expectations. And his lacrosse IQ continued to grow as well, with him time and again making the right play, setting an unselfish tone with his own playmaking.

Millon credits some of his growth to practicing each day against college-bound defenders at McDonogh. And he’s been forced to develop each game by the stacked MIAA schedule.

“I’ve definitely learned a lot from playing in the league,” he said. “I definitely wouldn’t be the player I am today without going against incredible defenders, incredible goalies, incredibly smart defensive coaches, and being able to learn from offensive coaches as well. I can’t even thank the league enough for just being the way that it is, how talented it is.”

Millon isn’t resting on his laurels this summer. His broken metatarsal will keep him off the summer circuit for the first six weeks following the high school season, but he plans to try out for the 2025 U.S. Men’s U20 National Team from June 28-30 at USA Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Md.

The World Lacrosse Men’s U20 World Championship is in South Korea in July 2025.

“I always want to try and play at the best possible level, and I literally cannot wait to learn from a lot of those guys and quite frankly get beat up a little bit by some of these great defenders,” Millon said. “I’m looking forward to kind of getting used to playing at that level, even higher than I guess where I am right now with some college guys and mostly those ‘24s.”

Millon played a year up with his Team 91 Maryland club team while growing up, and he’s making sure he can perform against older, stronger players, something that’s fresh on his mind for this summer’s national team tryouts and for his college future. Seeing his brother’s success at Virginia has him confident and excited about his choice to join him in Charlottesville.

That reunion on the field will come after serving as a senior leader for the Eagles next spring, beginning with trying to be the mentor that McCabe and the 2022 seniors were to him his first two seasons, and then focusing on getting everyone involved on the attack. He also hopes to add to his arsenal.

“I’m going to be working the entire summer on specifically shooting on the run and trying to get an incredible amount of range, so I’m going to doing that with my dad and my offensive coach probably a little bit,” Millon said. “That’s probably next on my list. And then the last thing is kind of obvious, but we’re going for four for sure.”

Lawrenceville (N.J.) finished 19-1 and atop the Mid-Atlantic Boys' Top 10.
Kevin P. Tucker

Final Mid-Atlantic Region Top 10

1. Lawrenceville (N.J.), 19-1
2. Malvern Prep (Pa.), 20-3
3. Haverford (Pa.), 20-2
4. Salesianum (Del.), 17-2
5. McDonogh (Md.), 15-3
6. Boys’ Latin (Md.), 14-3
7. Landon (Md.), 17-2
8. Archbishop Spalding (Md.), 13-5
9. Gilman (Md.), 12-7
10. Calvert Hall (Md.), 10-7