Hoping for the opportunity to play football in college, the rising Whitefield Academy senior isn’t putting all of his eggs in one basket. He’s also opened himself to receiving a lacrosse scholarship after being named a Brine National High School All-American.
As an All-American, Dupree will represent Georgia and the Southeast at the Brine All-American National Lacrosse Classic held June 30-July 3 in Boyds, Md.
Twenty teams consisting of the nation’s top high school players will compete for a national championship at the event, which also serves as a showcase in front of collegiate coaches.
Other local players who qualified for the Georgia roster include Acworth resident Kyle Banks (North Paulding), Marietta residents Matt Chase (Pope) and Josh Dolan (Westminster) and Kennesaw’s Jonathan Lipman (McCallie, Tenn.). The Georgia team for the class of 2017 includes Marietta resident Cole Davidson (Harrison) and Smyrna’s Sam Hamilton (St. Francis).
“I’m very excited to showcase my skills,” said Dupree, also a two-way player for the Whitefield football team. “I’m ecstatic to get to play in front of college coaches, and I know that a showcase like this is crucial to the recruiting process. But I’m not just doing this for the college coaches. Lacrosse is a Northeast-dominated sport, so I’d like to get up there and show them that the kids from the South can play, too.”
A defenseman, Dupree led Whitefield with 98 ground balls and 52 caused turnovers this past season. He also had two goals and one assist.
“What’s really remarkable is that this is only his third year playing the sport,” Whitefield coach John Hunter said. “He’s done a phenomenal job in those three years, and that’s a credit to how hard he works on and off the field at getting better. He’s been a great team leader, too.
“Now, he’ll get a chance to play against some of the toughest competition. Putting him in an environment with so many elite players will help make him a better player. Coaches will stop by and it will be a good opportunity for him to get noticed and showcase his skills as a player.”
The 6-foot, 205-pound Dupree is built well for a defenseman. He began playing the sport after Hunter encouraged him.
“Coach Hunter told me I was going to play as I juggled with what I was going to do for a spring sport,” Dupree said. “I just fell in love with it and kept playing.”
Dupree made the Brine All-American team following a one-day regional tryout at a park in Roswell. As many as 300 players took part in drills and skill contests, competing for a chance to make the roster.
Dupree felt like he had a chance to make the team when it was over, and he found out one month later that he made the cut.
“The experience went well,” he said. “Having a background in basketball has definitely helped me become a better defender. It was easy to pick up and I enjoy dictating where the ball and the attacker can go.”
Hunter trusted Dupree to anchor the back line this past season, and he expects more of the same from him in 2015.
“He’s been our defensive game-changer,” Hunter said. “He knows and calls out our defenses for us. He’s developed into a player that knows what he has to do and what the other players have to do. He’s like another coach on the field.”