Sports

Senior Captain led North Salem Lacrosse by Example

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North Salem senior midfielder Jesse Pezzillo runs the offense during a regular season game. Credits: File photo
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North Salem senior Jesse Pezzillo was a team captain and midfielder on the varsity lacrosse team.

How old were you when you first started playing lacrosse and how did you get started?

I started playing lacrosse in second grade. My dad played in college and introduced me to the sport.

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What was it like this season with new coaches in Jared Knowlton and Matt Garrity?

It was our fourth year in a row with new coaches so once again we had to adapt. They both are knowledgeable about the game and want to make North Salem a good lacrosse team.

The team came on strong in the second half of the season after a slow start. What was the key to picking up some wins and getting some momentum going?

Yelling — lots of yelling. The captains had to build up the team and break them down to make them better players. And yelling on the field improved our communication and helped us play better.

What do you expect out of the team in the future and what will be the key for them to build off this season?

I think the team might have hit rock bottom with this season so we can only go up. The boys just have to keep working hard for it and keep their heads up.

As a senior, how did you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?

The team unanimously voted for me as captain so they saw me as a good leader. You have to lead by example on the field so the younger guys can learn from you.

What was your favorite team activity, pre-game or post-game ritual that you share with your teammates?

We always ate gummies on the bus to our away games. Before we took the field Kenny (Martin) would give us a speech that usually didn’t make sense. But it always got us hyped.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I did the impossible. The few guys who know what I’m talking about will understand.

Do you plan on continuing to play lacrosse in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

I plan on playing club lacrosse. I’m going to Villanova so I probably couldn’t make the varsity team, but that would be the dream.

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

I want to study finance in college. There’s a lot of money to be made and I’ve always been good with math.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

My favorite college team is the Maryland lacrosse team. They always have a good team and the sexiest looking gear.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?

As long as Kenny (Martin) or Gibb (Good) has the aux cord the music was pretty lit.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Whatever Thor’s got, his powers are pretty cool. Plus he’s got that sweet hammer and I’ve got the long flowing hair like him.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

Either Utah or Colorado in the winter. I’ve been snowboarding for a while and have only been to east coast mountains, and I hear the mountains out there are phenomenal.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

We went to Burger King a lot before games. Otherwise it was a lot of junk food before the game. Afterwards it’s whatever mom made for dinner, you’re just hungry at that point.

Best place to eat in North Salem and why?

The Blazer because our teammate big Steve works there.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

I don’t have any of them.

For a young athlete growing up in North Salem, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the lacrosse program and why should they go out for the team?

The team is like a brotherhood. The guys are always watching out for each other on and off the field. And what other sport lets you beat each other with sticks?

Did you play any other sports at North Salem?

Nah, lax is life.

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