BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - It took a conversation between a coach and his senior offensive leader that may have shifted the outlook for the Highlander boys lacrosse team.

After a hard fought loss against Cranford, Coach Michael Provenzano told senior attackman Jason House to step up his intensity and effort on the field to help the team. "He has stepped up to the challenge with a vengeance and is playing lights out," said Provenzano. The Highlanders improved to 4-1 in the last five games played [4-3 overall record to date].

House was tasked with providing leadership on the field to help his two young attackmen achieve a high standard of play, said Provenzano. "They are feeding off the play of the senior and putting great games as an attack unit." 

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He came into his senior year with high expectations after the pandemic canceled his junior season. "Jason has grown up in front of me. I have been at GL for 10 years now and in my third year as head coach. I saw a small freshman turn into a young man this year," said Provenzano. "He was slotted to start his junior year, and we all know what happened to last year's season. So, this year, he is taking full advantage of the task at hand trying to win the school's first lacrosse banner."

House leads the team with 15 points (11 goals, 4 assists).  For his five goal game against Boonton in the 10-9 overtime victory, Jason House is named Valairco Heating and Cooling Highlander Athlete of the Week. 

Jason took the time to answer the following questions from TAPinto Berkeley Heights.

TAPinto: What are the biggest differences in your game from freshman year till now?

Jason: One of the biggest differences is definitely the foot I grew and the 60 pounds I gained throughout high school. 

TAPinto: How is the team camaraderie? 

Jason: With not having a season last year, it’s making us really appreciate the season we have this year, so we are all working very hard and are very motivated to win while having a fun time. 

TAPinto: What are your personal and team goals for the season?

Jason: Our team goal this season is to win the division we are in and one of my personal goals is to help put as many points as possible on the board for my team.

TAPinto: Do you have a favorite moment(s) in the sport?

Jason: I definitely think my favorite moment while playing lacrosse is our overtime win against Boonton. It was a great team win that we fought for until the very last second and the best game I’ve played all year. 

TAPinto: When did you first pick up a lacrosse stick, and who got you started in the game?

Jason: I first started playing lacrosse in the 6th grade.  Some of my friends who played told me I should try it.

TAPinto: Who is your role model and why?

Jason: My father because he’s a great man and an even better dad and I aspire to be just like him when I am older.

TAPinto: What do you like most about GL?

Jason: I like the opportunities it’s provided for me, and it has also helped prepare me for the next steps in life.

TAPinto: What's your favorite thing to do other than competing in athletics?

Jason: I like hanging out with my friends and going down the shore with my family in the summer.

TAPinto: Do you expect to continue your Lax career in college?

Jason: I plan to play on the lacrosse team for TCNJ. 

TAPinto: Any thoughts on what you may want to study in college?

Jason: I want to go into business in college. 

TAPinto: What advice can you give the young kids of Berkeley Heights and Mountainside about playing the game?

Jason: I think the best advice I could give to a kid playing the sport is you may not be the biggest or the fastest but having heart and hustling goes a very long way so just keep working hard and doing what you love.

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Valairco Heating & Cooling is the proud sponsor of the Highlander Athlete of the Week. Kevin McHugh, Valairco Owner and President and Berkeley Heights resident, is an alumni of Gov. Livingston High School.

Valairco Heating & Cooling is celebrating 50+ years in business. They are family owned and operated and know that keeping your HVAC systems running smoothly is important to the comfort of our customers, their families, and their guests. That is why their family is dedicated to taking care of yours, no matter what the issue may be. Using only top-quality parts to perform a higher-standard of service and all their services are backed by their 50 years of professional experience and 5-year comprehensive warranties. This means that when you call our team at Valairco, you benefit from their total commitment to your complete satisfaction.