Saturday afternoon, the Harvard men's lacrosse team will take on Dartmouth in its last game of the season. For captain Mike Porter, this game marks the end of four years of wearing the Crimson.
Porter has been a starter on the team since his arrival, but his lacrosse roots go back much further.
"As long as I can remember, I was on the fields with my father," he says.
His father--a high-school coach of lacrosse, football and wrestling--spent a lot of time honing his son's lacrosse skills.
"It was guilt by association, I guess," Porter says with a grin.
By the time he reached his senior year of high school, colleges from all over were calling to recruit him for lacrosse.
"I had no clue where to go," he admits, "It came down to my father saying [Harvard] is the place for me."
Lacrosse was always important to Porter, but he always kept it in perspective.
"The genuine quality of [Harvard] kids really was great," says Porter, recalling a visit with the lacrosse team before he came to Harvard. "They made me comfortable."
"It was more important walking through the Yard and seeing the people going to class," he says. "Something stirred inside, me."
His perspective on lacrosse and life is attributable in part to his close relationship with his family.
"It's always been academics first, and do things for the right reasons," he says. "I've seen the things that made my father successful, and it's carried over into my life."
Experience also taught Porter well.
"I struggled academically in my first spring term here," he says. "It took a few mistakes to realize why I came here didn't all have to do with lacrosse."
Nevertheless, Porter has been a terror on the field.