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Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week:

Mix refuses to rely on surname

CdM senior doesn’t want to accept recognition based on being son of coach who is well known in lacrosse community.

April 15, 2010|By Steve Virgen

Like father, like son. That’s a phrase Ryan Mix is not really concerned with when it comes to lacrosse.

The Corona del Mar High senior admires and respects his father, the Sea Kings’ coach and a renowned figure in lacrosse circles. But Mix said he wants to achieve success based on his own work, not because of his last name.

His determination to be more independent with regard to lacrosse has driven him to become a better player, he said. Certainly he has stepped up his game for the Sea Kings.

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Mix doesn’t believe there’s pressure in being the son of G.W. Mix. Instead, the Sea Kings’ attackman calls it a standard he religiously attempts to meet daily.

“He definitely expects a lot,” Ryan Mix said of his father. “He has high standards for me. Me trying to live up to those standards has made me a great player.”

It helps that G.W. Mix never forced Ryan, as well as his two younger brothers, to play lacrosse. However, the sport has been prominent in the home.

G.W. Mix played whiled growing up in Baltimore, Md. He starred at Gillman High, a traditional powerhouse in lacrosse. He also played lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania, where he later became an assistant and, later, the head coach.

As a coach, he directed several camps on the East Coast.

Still, it wasn’t until little Ryan was in the fourth grade that he wanted to know more about lacrosse. Ryan says he struggled with soccer, basketball and baseball.

At least in lacrosse, Ryan could find help.

“I was unfortunate I had a good career in the Ivy League,” G.W. Mix said. “I certainly don’t need my son’s career to validate my own.”

“My wife is the same. She was a very talented player,” G.W. said of his wife, Mary (the former Allison) who played at Newport Harbor High and later UC Santa Barbara. “We try not to push them. Was I excited when he came to me, asking to play and learn about lacrosse? Sure. But it wasn’t something I pushed on him.”

Ryan’s mother, Mary, was a reason the Mixes left North Carolina and moved to Newport Coast. But who would’ve thought her kid would be playing so well at her alma mater’s rival school? He has improved each season and in this fourth varsity year. This season, the Notre Dame-bound Mix leads CdM in scoring with 52 goals and 11 assists.

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