Built in the Backyard: Wisnauskas' College Journey Ends with Tewaaraton

PHOTO BY MARYLAND ATHLETICS


Logan Wisnauskas stood on the stage at the National Museum of the American Indian, clutching the 2022 Tewaaraton trophy — his second major trophy in four days — and he couldn’t help but think of the patches of grass that led him to that very moment.

He reflected on Memorial Day, where he and his Maryland teammates unleashed months’ worth of joy on the worn natural grass at Rentschler Field. Wisnauskas, the Terps’ star player, cried as he lifted the NCAA championship trophy, thinking about the children in the stands who had dreams just like he once did.

“Going to the final four at M&T Bank Stadium with my Dad,” he said. “I was a little kid wanting autographs. I see all those kids and I think ‘Yeah, that was me.’”

More importantly, and perhaps more vividly, Wisnauskas thought back to the backyard of his Sykesville, Md. home, where he’d run around barefoot, shooting at the cage until he physically couldn’t see it.

His constant practice took a toll on the yard.

“The grass was all worn and you’d get upset,” his mother, Julie, said.

“I’d cut it to the strips,” his father, Trent, said. “I’d even set his goal up so it would be like you’re looking at a fairway. He’d just sit out there all night. I was like ’Can you go to the right side of the lawn? Work on your right hand a little bit? Can you wear out where the dog poops and pees? Can you help me out here?’”

Trent and Julie Wisnauskas watched from the kitchen table as their son built the skills that would take him to the greatest heights that a lacrosse player can experience. They couldn’t have known then that Logan would become the nation’s top player, win an NCAA title and take home the Tewaaraton all within a few months.

Even then, Wisnauskas was chasing a dream — one that he achieved when Maryland topped Cornell on Memorial Day. The fifth-year senior won the Tewaaraton Award last night in Washington D.C., but that was the icing on the cake.

“It’s awesome to look down at that grass and think that that’s where my dream was formulated,” Wisnauskas of his front yard. “I’d tell that kid ‘You did it, man. All those early mornings and late nights. All those cold breakfasts and cold dinners. They were all worth it.’”

Sure, Trent Wisnauskas may have had to pay extra attention to the grass, but it was a small price to pay.

“I worried about stuff I never had to worry about,” he said. “He had it all under control. He was a frickin’ good kid. We just gave him the tools. He just put them all in his backpack and he got to work.”







Wisnauskas reiterated that his goal was never to win the Tewaaraton, although he was honored to carry the award home. He remembered how it felt to fall to Virginia in the 2021 national title game, and it fueled him entering the spring.

The former Syracuse transfer never faltered for the Terps, who rallied off big win after big win in the regular season. Wisnauskas never tallied fewer than four points in a game this season en route to a 61-goal, 42 assist season.

In Maryland’s two closest games this season (wins over Notre Dame and Cornell), he tallied two goals and two assists — a testament to his ability to score when needed to facilitate when opposing defenses gave him extra attention.

Ultimately, Wisnauskas was as steady as any player in the nation. As highlights of Sam Handley and Chris Gray elicited reactions from the crowd at the Tewaaraton ceremony, his were remarkably consistent — pinpoint-accurate shots, timely dodges and an at-all-costs attitude toward beating opposing goalies

Wisnauskas earned plenty of accolades for his successful season, but he deflected praise to his teammates as easily as he did a short stick.

“It’s all about those guys,” Wisnauskas said, pointing at a number of Maryland teammates in the audience.

“It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen a team that good,” said Trent Wisnauskas, who won the NCAA title with Salisbury in 1994.

During his acceptance speech, he thanked an extensive list of people involved in his journey, including coaches John Tillman and Bobby Benson from the undefeated Terps. Many of those people were on the field after Maryland’s NCAA title, where Wisnauskas cried as he hugged teammates and hoisted the championship trophy.

“After the final whistle, it all hits you at once and you’re like ‘We really just did that,’” he said. “'It’s awesome.’ It hasn’t really hit me yet.”

The whirlwind week isn’t done for Wisnauskas, who will travel to Albany and play for Chrome LC in the Premier Lacrosse League’s opening season. He’ll join a team featuring Maryland assistant Jesse Bernhardt and his former teammates, Nick Grill.

There, he’ll continue fighting for his teammates and crediting them with every chance he gets.

The good news for Wisnauskas? Bob Ford Field is a turf field, so he won’t have to worry about the grass this time around.

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