MVRHS senior Hughes to play lacrosse at Central Connecticut

Vineyard lacrosse standout Madison Hughes signed a national letter of intent, Monday at MVRHS, as her grandparents Larry and Jan Hughes and father Phil Hughes looked on. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

Madison Hughes, a senior at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, signed a national letter of intent, Monday, to play division one lacrosse next year at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn.

Madison’s parents, Alleyne and Phil Hughes, her grandparents Larry and Jan Hughes, MVRHS athletics director Mark McCarthy, and nearly 50 fellow students, friends, and faculty filled the hallway leading to the high school gym to witness the event.

Madison is a three-sport varsity athlete at MVRHS in lacrosse, soccer, and basketball.The signing was the culmination of a two-year process, which involved playing in showcase events off-island and attending clinics where she could be seen by college coaches.

“It’s really exciting, I’m done with the recruiting process,” Madison said after signing the letter. “It feels really good. I’m really excited about my future.”

Both of her parents were understandably proud of their daughter’s accomplishment. “I’m very excited for her, I’m very excited for us,” her mother Alleyne said, “It’s been two years of hard work, a lot of tournaments, and it paid off.” Madison’s father Phil added, “She’s been a dedicated lady between helping out with me and the football program, getting her black belt, and becoming an honor student. She’s become a really good athlete and is lucky enough to have achieved this.”

MVRHS girls varsity lacrosse coach Betsy Dripps, who could not attend the signing due to a prior committment, lauded her senior co-captain during a phone conversation with the Times last week. “Madison is one of the top players I’ve ever coached,” Ms. Dripps said. “She’s a hard worker who sets a good example for the younger players on the team. I’m thrilled that she will have the opportunity to continue playing lacrosse at the division one level.” Division One is the highest level of competition in college lacrosse.

The opportunity for Madison to play at CCSU came about a few weekends ago during a clinic at the university, where she met the school’s new lacrosse coach Kelly Nangle, who came to the Blue Devils from Rutgers.

The new coach was impressed with Madison’s play, the two got along well, and the Vineyard standout knew she wanted to be a Blue Devil.

Another factor in Madison’s decision to attend CCSU was the proximity of the school to her extended family. Madison was born in nearby Meriden, Conn. and lived there until she was six. “I just really like it. It’s an area where I was born, all my family is around me,” Madison said.

She will be joining an improving program at CCSU. The Blue Devils, who play in the Northeast Conference (NEC) against the likes of Quinnipiac, Bryant, Sacred Heart, and Robert Morris, set a record for wins in 2011, finishing with a 7-9 record.