Work ethic sets UVA recruit Shellenberger apart

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- St. Anne's-Belfield School has been closed all week for Thanksgiving break. But for senior Connor Shellenberger, there was work to be done Wednesday morning in the weight room.

"It's a place where you can get away from everything else, and kind of just clear your mind," Shellenberger said. "I enjoy being in here, where some people may not."

Shellenberger worked his way through sets of power cleans and squats and other exercises, training for the next step in his lacrosse career -- playing collegiately at Virginia. He says that has been his dream since he was three, when he first started going to games at nearby Klockner Stadium.

"My friends will joke about it. My family will joke about it. I don't have much of a life outside of lacrosse," Shellenberger said. "But I'm deeply passionate about it, and it really is my life."

"Often kids think they know what they want," said Bo Perriello, the boys lacrosse coach at STAB. "But it's rare to find someone who also is going to constantly put in the daily effort that it requires."

"A typical week, it's just three to four times of lifting. Maybe one to two days of CrossFit," Shellenberger said. "Try to shoot four or five days a week."

It's that work ethic that helped Shellenberger become one of the top lacrosse recruits in the country. Inside Lacrosse rates the attackman as a five-star recruit, and the top player on its 2019 Power 100.

That work ethic is also what sets Shellenberger apart, according to UVA men's lacrosse coach Lars Tiffany.

"Everyone says they work hard. And everyone is working hard. But who actually takes it to the next level?" Tiffany said. "I don't think there's anyone who trains as intensely as Connor Shellenberger."

Shellenberger had been committed to the Cavaliers for two years, since the fall of his sophomore year at STAB. He finally signed with Tiffany's team last week.

Now Shellenberger is focused on being as prepared as possible for when he arrives on Grounds.

"When I get to the college level, I think the mental piece will be an adjustment as well," he said, "but if I can physically be ready I think the mental piece will come as I go."

"I tell most of the young men when I recruit them, "Okay, congratulations. You've committed to us. You know what my job is now? To out-recruit you. Your job is to make it so I can't,'" said Tiffany. "Connor Shellenberger has the mindset to prove that I won't be able to, and I can't wait to see him prove it."