July 1, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Lacrosse: Medina’s Josh Kuehn is named to All-America team

MEDINA — After sustaining a knee injury three games into the season, Medina lacrosse player Josh Kuehn wasn’t sure what was in store for him.

The recent graduate didn’t let the setback slow down his play, as he anchored the Bees midfield with his ability to score and play lockdown defense.

Josh Kuehn

That play didn’t go unnoticed, as Kuehn was named to the U.S. Lacrosse All-America team earlier this month.

“It’s kind of wild,” he said. “I knew (coming into the season) that I had an outside shot of getting an honor like this, but when I got hurt, it was like, ‘Well, there goes that.’

“So to still get it, I was surprised. It’s a pretty cool honor. It’s just an affirmation of a lot of hard work that went into it.”

Just as his final high school season was getting started, Kuehn pulled a tendon in his left knee, making it difficult to cut.

That didn’t stop the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Jacksonville recruit, as Kuehn managed 38 goals, 25 assists and 57 groundballs in 17 games. He was named first-team All-Ohio and all-region.

“He hardly left the field,” Medina coach Pat O’Brien said. “Josh truly is an old-school midfielder, and that’s going to be good for him as he goes into college.

“He’s excels on both ends of the field and he played through injuries. He’s one of the toughest kids I’ve had the pleasure to coach.”

As opposed to being an offensive specialist or a defensive-oriented middie, Kuehn used a dual-threat approach to become one of the area’s top players.

It’s a skill the 18-year-old learned a while back during his basketball playing days.

“A lot of that comes from Dad,” Kuehn said of his ability to play a two-way game. “He always stressed how important playing defense in basketball is, and defense in lacrosse is the same thing.

“It’s more rewarding to play both ends of the field.”

Kuehn’s versatility will be a key attribute when he steps onto the Jacksonville campus this season.

“Not too many underclassmen contribute right away offensively,” Kuehn said. “I just want to play and make a difference and defense is where it can happen.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.