He was described by his high school coach Andy Hilgartner as having a “zest for life.”

McCabe Millon can talk lacrosse for hours on end and in a state like Maryland there’s plenty of lacrosse chatter to go around.

“In Texas, it’s Friday night lights and in Baltimore it’s Tuesday and Friday Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) lacrosse games,” he said. “It’s a huge deal. Everyone around here knows about it, follows it.”

It is ingrained in the culture of the state at the high school level and collegiate level with local universities such as the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins boasting extraordinary programs. He and his friends would sit on couches at each other’s houses and watch college games on Saturdays.

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Many people within the lacrosse community know his name, and he is aware of the talented competition. He’s the nation’s top recruit in the Class of 2023 by Inside Lacrosse, the son of two Hall of Fame lacrosse parents and a star attacker for McDonogh.

Meet McCabe Millon; a 5-foot-10-inch sensation who is in full pursuit and control of his own destiny.

A big decision

His friend and teammate AJ Marsh describes him as “humble” and “a really good guy” who does not let the notoriety get to his head. In fact, Millon rarely talks about it even though he has been in the spotlight for quite some time and relishes the coverage he receives.

Millon enjoys having the cameras in his face and Marsh says he’ll always be humble. His social media presence and follower count has grown exponentially. His Instagram profile picture shows Millon with hair slicked back and heavy eye black covering his cheeks.

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Then the high school senior had a big decision to make. Who he will play for after he reopened his college commitment. Millon was originally committed to Duke University.

“My decision to make a change was very difficult and solely based on me and my comfort level,” Millon wrote in an Instagram statement to his over 22,000 followers.

He opted for Virginia, which won back-to-back NCAA titles in 2019 and 2021. The 2020 season was cut short due to COVID-19.

Millon’s decision created seismic waves throughout the lacrosse community. While Millon says lacrosse recruiting happens extremely fast, his approach was to nurture his decision and let it marinate. He was in no rush to commit.

While he originally chose to be in Durham, his “heart of hearts,” was in Charlottesville. He posted about signing his national letter of intent on Instagram on Sept. 5 which garnered nearly 9,700 likes.

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“I thought I’d be a little happier there over four years,” Millon said.

The monumental decision is only one part of Millon’s journey to fame.

No pressure

Millon was in the spotlight for as long as he can remember. It was never really just the last year and a half. He says it comes with the territory of being the child of Mark Millon and Erin Brown Millon.

Mark was a two-time Major League Lacrosse MVP and a two-time NCAA Division I first-team All-American. Erin was a two-time member of the U.S. World Cup Team and a second-team All-American at the University of Maryland in 1990.

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“Even as a little kid at camps, I’d be out there playing and some of the guys go ‘Oh you’re coach Millon’s son,’ and that grows in and of itself,” Millon said.

Now lacrosse outlets and aficionados are comparing Millon to his father and he loves it. Millon thinks it only adds to their already strong relationship.

A recent cover of USA Lacrosse magazine depicted Millon and his father doing the same attacking move and running with the ball.

“I watched so much of my dad’s highlights on YouTube and he’s always been my coach,” Millon said. “(It) naturally develops; the way I run, the way I carry my stick, the way I shoot etc. It’s all born from watching him.”

While he watched his parents dominate the lacrosse scene growing up, he was never pressured to take part in the family business. He could have played any other sport or put his talents elsewhere in another medium. Millon fostered his love of lacrosse himself by going to his father’s lacrosse camps. It was one of his earliest exposures to the game.

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“My dad was traveling all summer doing camps,” Millon said. “Next thing I know I’m being exposed to all these camps and seeing what it’s like and at some point I’m like ‘well maybe I wanna play,’”

Had the opposite transpired and his parents placed pressure to play lacrosse, he believes it might have been less enjoyable.

Curtain call

As for his first three years at McDonogh, he is proud of what he accomplished. Last season, Millon had 50 goals and 28 goals to help the Eagles to the MIAA A Conference championship.

Millon has made leaps and bounds since being a wide-eyed 5-foot-9, 155-pound 8th grader. He constantly bugged the juniors and seniors on the team about lacrosse moves and tactics. He wanted to be the best.

Hilgartner said when he practiced back then, Millon held his own.

“He was gonna be very good but he was very humble and looked up to those guys and they were incredible role models for him,” said Hilgartner, who has been McDonogh’s coach for 15 years.

That year was impactful for him and affected the trajectory of his lacrosse career.

“That was really important for me and I’m very grateful to the seniors, especially my freshman year,” said Millon who hinted that that team may have been one of McDonogh’s best.

His goal for this season is to replicate that atmosphere and be an inspiration to the underclassmen in the same fashion the seniors were to him three years ago in addition to competing for a title.

“That’s really been the greatest thing I’ve learned leadership wise,” Millon said. “Take care of the younger guys and make them feel at home because they did the same for me and increased my confidence. If I can do the same for freshmen, that would make me very happy to be able to pay it forward.”