CEDAR GROVE, NJ - “Breaking ankles” and “ripping twine” are the two main concerns of Cedar Grove High School’s Boys Lacrosse team.

Just a few weeks ago, the second year team gained their first victory of the season at a scrimmage against Saddle Brook. As the program begins its second official season, Coach David Bucchino has high hopes, expecting to be victorious just like last year. “I am expecting us to improve each game, working hard and battling through each practice,” says Bucchino.

After going 5-1 in their premiere season last year, the team is playing other towns such as Pompton Lakes, Caldwell, and Livingston in a full Junior Varsity schedule this year. However, in order to win these games, some players express the needed improvement. Senior Captain, Gerard Castellano states, “We need to be a lot more conditioned.”

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“We need to improve on ground balls,” says Captain Joe Dibari. “Once we get those ground balls we will have a strong offense.”

Other younger players agree with both captains, elaborating on the importance of mastering stick skills. “We need to work on the simple stuff- passing and catching. Everyone has a good understanding of how to play,” says midfielder Joe Amati.

Through practices everyday, the team has grown together as athletes, encouraging other students to play. “It is better than any other spring sport,” expresses midfielder Max DeVito. “We learned a lot about how to be aggressive for the ball.”

“If you are debating playing, I would just watch a lot of lacrosse on TV or come see our games to get a feel for it,” states Joe Amati.

Coach Bucchino explains that the team’s chemistry has much to do with the captains, guiding the the players to really love and engage in the sport. “Our leadership has been great with our three senior captains, Gerard Castellano, Michael Dougan, and Joe Dibari,” says Bucchino.

Next year, Bucchino hopes to master stick skills and the concept of the sport. Since it will be the third year of the sport, lacrosse will be varsity for their next season. “For next year, I expect a lot of leadership from the assistant captains, Joe Moreno and Joe Amati,” states Bucchino. “Nick Lopresti and Alex Lopresti have shown a lot of leadership and improvement, so they will be crucial next year as well. But, I just want to focus on this year.”

Their game opener is just two weeks away- April 6 at Panther Park. “Let’s win some games and have some fun this season,” says freshman midfielder Anthony Iannacone.

Rachel Bucchino is a senior at Cedar Grove High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove.