College lacrosse: Dante Francis to play at AIC

Dante Francis will be attending American International College, where the Stratford High star will play for coach Tim Robbins’s Division II men’s lacrosse team.

Francis was a standout on the football field for the Red Devils, and also played baseball through freshman year.

Then came lacrosse.

“At first it was just another sport,” said Francis, who played both baseball and lacrosse starting in sixth grade and through middle school. “Freshman year all my friends were playing baseball.

“After freshman year with lacrosse I realized I was quick and could do something with it. I had fun.

“I’ve always been competitive. I love football. I played with Stratford Pop Warner since I was six, but I am too small (5-foot-7, 165 pounds) to play it going forward. Lacrosse had the physical aspect I like, plus my speed really helped.”

Francis, who scored 26 goals with 26 assists this past season, attended a lacrosse showcase at UMass-Amherst prior to his senior year.

“Originally I thought of going to St. Rose, but after did an overnight at AIC I felt way more comfortable there…The way Coach Robbins runs everything, that caught my attention.”

At Stratford High, Francis was part of the Link Crew.

“It helps transition freshman into high school,” he said. “I had that as a freshman and I know it made me more comfortable. We would meet every Wednesday. It’s good to be connected with someone.”

Francis credits his mom Jennifer and dad Dion for everything in his life.

“They have always been there for me, helping me when I needed to be helped,” he said. “I want to be a police officer, and someday maybe a detective to help my community.”

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