CEDAR GROVE, NJ - He may only be a sophomore but Mario DeSena has already proven himself as a versatile, dedicated and skilled player on the lacrosse field. With an impressive record and passion for the game, it is no wonder DeSena has earned himself this week’s TAP into Verona/Cedar Grove’s Panther Athlete of the Week honor.

“It feels great to be chosen as the high school athlete of the week,” DeSena said. “Especially for lacrosse since this is my high school’s first varsity season.”

DeSena currently has 41 ground balls this season and one assist, a record that has helped his team win five games so far this spring. Although the Panthers also have five losses, DeSena and his teammates are proud of their wins.

Sign Up for E-News

“Our season is going well so far,” DeSena said. “This is our first year as a high school varsity lacrosse team and we already have five wins and we are looking to win more games.”

DeSena is especially proud of the team’s first varsity win of the season when they beat Pompton Lakes 10-9 at home.

For the team, DeSena hopes the Panthers continue to win games and play cohesively as a team. With this season being the team’s first year as a varsity team, the star athlete said the boys are still getting used to the talent they are facing but are doing well so far.

Personally, DeSena wants to improve on his skill and help his team to victories.

“The challenge for myself is that I switched positions and I am adjusting to my new position as a long stick middie,” DeSena said.

Coach David Bucchino said DeSena is adjusting well to the position though and is a great player in every aspect of the game.

“Mario just began playing the long stick midfield position this season and has really been a natural with it,” Bucchino said. “His work ethic and athleticism has become a huge part of this team.”