Lacrosse player who made 80-yarder loves fame

Wed, May 25

Like many fans, Matt Borda watches "SportsCenter." Like many athletes, the high school lacrosse player always dreamed of being on the show. Even if it wasn't as a pro. Even if only through a play posted on YouTube.

But really, what were the odds of that happening?

"I never really thought it would come true," Borda said by phone Tuesday.

Oh, but it has. Borda, a sophomore at Washington's Gonzaga College High School, is the young man behind the now famous last-minute 80-yard goal, which hit the web May 9, went viral May 10 and was presented to most of the sports-watching world May 11 as SportsCenter's top play.

And it's still going. Borda's goal is approaching two straight weeks as SportsCenter's Best of the Best champion. With each day, he's moving closer to the Anthony Robles Highlight Hall of Fame.

Naturally, Borda wasn't expecting stardom when he heaved the ball downfield with his team up one, just hoping to kill clock and secure a second consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. He knew the goal was unusual, "probably a once in a lifetime experience." He knew it was on tape and would hit YouTube. But he was more concerned with the 10-8 win he just secured, an especially sweet feeling after injuries marred the early part of his season.

"I really just tried to make a big play," Borda said. "It just blew up a little bigger, I guess."

It did so almost instantly, with texts alerting him to the Internet explosion and coach Casey O'Neill breaking news of his SportsCenter debut.

He got to watch that one -- "an unreal experience," he called it -- but nothing more. You know, because of school. He also couldn't even check on poll results, because Gonzaga blocks sports websites.

But the past two days -- thanks to early dismissal -- he's finally gotten to see himself beat a pair of hockey highlights and keep his streak alive.

And now that he's on SportsCenter ...

"Hopefully I can keep going," he said. "I'm just hoping no one makes a big play soon."