Ask Michael Boehm for a fun fact and he’ll tell you his favorite animal is a lion.
It’s an interesting fact, but it’s more than that. It’s an anecdote for his character.
It’s easy to compare Michael Boehm to a lion. A lion is the leader of his pride and Boehm wants to be a leader. “I’m always striving to be the best I can be,” Boehm says.
He plays a starring role in many ways. Boehm is a two-sport standout for the Lax Cats and the Ice Cats. He is a excellent student with a 4.21 GPA. His fellow students look up to him and see him as a leader.
Fans of the Wildcats know the name Michael Boehm. A junior at Saint Ignatius High School, Boehm is a star athlete on the lacrosse field and the ice. Boehm has guided the Ice Cats to back-to-back-to-back OHSAA State Championships, splitting time at forward and defenseman. In this 3-year career, Boehm has compiled 35 goals, 67 assists, and 102 points. Boehm has also led the Lax Cats to the state final game in back-to-back seasons. In his first two seasons, Boehm set school records for career assists with 72. In 2018, Boehm notched single-season records for goals (67), assists (45), and points (112).
“As talented as he is on the lacrosse field, he’s probably more talented in the classroom,” says Alumni Director and Director of Lacrosse Operations Garen Distelhorst ’96. “He’s a very hard worker in the classroom, in addition to the lacrosse field and the classroom. It’s a combination you don’t see very often. He’s a top-notch student, one of the best in his class.”
His coaches describe him as a young man with “boundless energy.” Pat O’Rourke ’90, Head Coach of the Ice Cats, often finds Boehm doing homework in the team’s locker room at the John M. Coyne Recreation Center in Brooklyn before practice. At the end of practice, Boehm will be on the ice doing extra skating and working on his stick skills.
“He’s a super kid. He’s the boy next door,” O’Rourke says. “He’s a pretty earnest kid. The fact that he works hard helps. He’s great in the weight room, the classroom, the locker room. He leads by example with his effort at practice and on the ice. You get a guy like him every once in a blue moon, and you just try to enjoy him. He’s a joy to have around.”
A question many ask is, ‘How does Michael have so much energy? What makes him tick?’ The answer is simple, and rooted in the Jesuit term magis.
“It’s about competing with yourself and others to get better and better everyday,” Boehm says. “It starts with doing all of the little things on the field and in the classroom, like doing all of your homework. The little things eventually lead to big success – state championships and getting good grades. You always have your end goal in mind you’re trying to reach. Sometimes it’s just a quick reminder that I need to focus on the little things and grind through the day.”
If you were to watch Boehm “grind” through a typical day, you wouldn’t know that Boehm is a star student-athlete. He leads with humility.
Boehm also lives another Ignatian virtue – service to others. Boehm’s coaches often rely on him to help his teammates.
“Sometimes, I’ll get a call from a parent whose son is struggling in some way. Michael is one of the first kids I’ll ask to reach out to that kid to befriend him,” Distelhorst says. “He’s done this more than once. Those little interactions with someone who’s struggling in some way can make a really, really big difference in a person’s life.”
Boehm simply sees it as part of his job as a captain and a leader.
“I just try to make sure everyone knows that you’re not alone. You always have the team to lean on, especially in hockey and lacrosse,” Boehm says. “You have to let them know that you can get through tough days. Keep leaning on your brothers and your family. We’ll get through it together. You’re not going at it alone.”
This fall, Boehm will head to University of Michigan where he’ll play lacrosse. This spring, Boehm helped the lacrosse program reach its fourth consecutive OHSAA Final Four. He's also knocking on the door of several Saint Ignatius lacrosse records.
But for Boehm, being a lion and a successful student-athlete is not about stats. It’s about being a leader and a man for others.
“Every day is so important. It’s not just about game days or stats. I’m not where I am today without my teammates and coaches,” Boehm says. “They deserve all of the credit. I’m just trying to be the best teammate and best leader I can be. It’s all about achieving the team’s end goal.”