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Sep. 26—NISKAYUNA — Greyson Vorgang doesn't drink coffee, so when he had a cup on a recent trip to Denver, it was a clear sign to his father, Mike, that the trip was taking a toll.
Niskayuna High's long-time boys' lacrosse coach saw other signs from his son, indicating that Greyson would be gladly making that trip again in two years.
The Silver Warriors' star junior has made a verbal commitment to play for the University of Denver and legendary coach Bill Tierney after Greyson graduates from Niskayuna.
Greyson Vorgang still has two more spring seasons to try to get the Silver Warriors' back to Section II championship status, but in the meantime he has an important decision in the books and will become the first Niskayuna grad to play for Tierney, who has won seven national championships, six at Princeton and one at Denver.
"Greyson's my son, so I've been with him for 18 years, and I can tell immediately the difference in his posture, his body language, his face," Mike Vorgang said Sunday morning. "When he was there, I knew that he was going to choose Denver. It took 45 minutes, and I knew, just the way he was."
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Greyson Vorgang is coming off a sophomore season in which he had 65 goals and 46 assists for 111 points in 15 games for Niskayuna, which missed the Section II finals for the first time since 2002 when Shaker beat them 9-7 in the semifinals.
Mike Vorgang said Tierney compared Greyson to Ethan Walker, who was picked 27th overall in the 2021 Premier Lacrosse League draft and left Denver as the school's all-time leader in career points and assists and was a two-time Tewaaraton Award nominee.
"Coach Tierney talked about earning your time and earning your spot, but they feel like they wouldn't have asked Greyson to come out and visit if he wasn't going to be a contributor to their team and be able to help them win some games," Mike Vorgang said. "They understood Greyson's skill set, they really like what they saw on film and what they saw in person all summer.
"Coach Tierney said he had an opportunity to watch him several times and just couldn't wait to get him on campus. [Like Walker] he's a left-handed mid-range shooter with really good hands who can feed the ball. If Greyson does what he needs to do and continues to work hard and gets bigger and stronger and faster, he'll be able to contribute at that level."
Besides the lacrosse program, Denver's appeal to the Vorgangs included a trimester academic schedule that allows students a six-week break during the Thanksgiving-Christmas season, and the sheer beauty of that part of Colorado.
From a lacrosse perspective, Greyson Vorgang will be a playing for a much-respected coach who put Denver on the map by taking the Pioneers to the national final four five times in 12 seasons, after a storied career at Princeton that included six national championships from 1992-2001.
Denver won it in 2015 by beating Maryland 10-5.
"It's an opportunity to play for the best coach in the history of the modern game," Mike Vorgang said. "Then their offensive coordinator, Matt Brown, has been there with coach Tierney for the entire 12 years, I just think it's a perfect spot, the way they play and coach Brown's mind for the game. He has a lot of experience, and he's a people mover and ball mover, and I think that's kind of the way Greyson plays. It's a perfect spot for him.
"I fortunately have been able to have a lot of conversations with coach Tierney over 30 years, because he recruited our kids when he was at Princeton. Or I would see him at a convention. We went to the same college [Cortland], even though we weren't there at the same time, so when I would see him, that would come up a lot. I'll tell you, he's just an amazing man and was a true professional."
Vorgang has sent dozens of Niskayuna players to the Division I ranks, but he said he found the circumstances to be profoundly different this time, since it was his own son being recruited and trying to make a choice.
Plus, the travel plans that need to be made for a player who is in demand by multiple high-profile lacrosse programs around the country can be daunting.
He said there is some sense of relief to have it finalized, though Greyson won't sign a National Letter of Intent until November of his senior year.
"I encourage all my players to take it slowly and take your time," Mike Vorgang said. "But going through that same process now as a parent, it's a lot easier to say than do.
"As easy as it was to say to my players for the last 30 years to take your time, 'You'll know when you know' ... well, half of that's right. You will know when you know, you do want to take your time, but it is certainly a process, and it's stressful and I can only imagine how stressful it is for the kids. Social media doesn't help in any way because other kids are posting that they've committed, which pushes other kids to feel like they need to do it."
The Vorgangs hadn't ever been to Colorado, much less visited the Denver campus.
That, and the conversations with Tierney and his staff, made for an easy, straightforward decision for Greyson, Mike Vorgang said.
"The place was amazing. We went into coach Tierney's office, and he knew everything about Greyson, everything about his game. He asked a lot of questions, and you could just tell he really cared about the recruiting process. And he cared about Greyson's thoughts regarding the recruiting process.
"We visited a bunch of schools, and when we got there, it was pretty easy, almost like a no-brainer. As a parent, Colorado's really far away, but once you get out of driving distance, what's the difference at that point?
"They really understood his game and his timing and being in the right space at the right time, and his ability to get into gaps and his feeding ability. That's what they talked about. Some of the messages he was giving us as parents and Greyson, he hit it out of the park. Now Greyson can focus on his academics and his training, and will support winning a couple sectional championships for Niskayuna."