YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. — There are many families where sports are passed down from generation to generation.
However, there are few families that could match the excellence of the Fusco family when it comes to lacrosse.
Yorktown senior girls lacrosse standout and captain Rilea Fusco, who is Syracuse University-bound, continued the family tradition in fine style this spring as she was named All-American.
Her dad, Frank, was an All-American defenseman for Yorktown in 1980. That was followed by her two brothers, Frankie, a midfielder, who was All-American for Yorktown in 2012 before going to Drexel University with her other brother, Austin, a defenseman, earning All-American honors in 2013 and 2014, the latter when he played on Yorktown’s Class B state championship squad, the seventh state title in its illustrious history, before going to Syracuse.
“It's just such an honor and I'm very thankful to be named All-American,” Rilea said. “My dad and two brothers were also given that honor at Yorktown so I definitely felt a little pressure from that.”
Rilea stressed that the pressure to excel didn’t come from her brothers or father.
“The pressure wasn't put on from anyone else but myself, but I tried to keep it out of my head and just play my best,” Rilea said. “I always wanted to work hard and have no regrets. The most important thing to me was Yorktown lacrosse and winning. I'd like to thank all my coaches, trainers and teammates for always pushing and supporting me. A major thanks to my family. Each person in my family has showed me endless love and support and I'm so lucky for them.”
Austin likewise feels grateful to have Rilea as his sister and is genuinely excited for her.
“She has shown unbelievable leadership throughout her senior year and it was complemented by her captainship as well as the spoken opinion of her teammates,” Austin said. “Rilea has always been and will always be Frankie and my little sister but she has grown up. I am always proud to tell my friends about my sister and her accomplishments. I would get choked up nearly every time I saw her interviews or articles on her this year because I knew how much she deserved it.”
Rilea is now looking forward to playing at Syracuse, where Austin will be a red-shirt junior, though she said him being there didn’t play much of a role in her decision.
“I just fell in love with the school, coaches, team and overall feel of it when I went to my first camp there,” Rilea said. “Being a couple months away from actually going there and knowing that he will also be there, is definitely comforting and I think it will be a great experience to be with him there.”
Austin is looking forward to having his sister on campus.
“I am excited to have her at Syracuse with me and I am excited to watch her college career unfold,” Austin said. “All in all Rilea has made everyone in our family proud and we can't wait to see what the future holds for her. It's time for her older brothers to step back and let Rilea have her spotlight that she earned and deserves completely.”
While Rilea is looking forward to playing at Syracuse, where she joins 2016 Yorktown graduate and former teammate Casey Duff, a two-time All-American as a Husker, her heart will never leave Yorktown.
“I'm going to miss playing for Yorktown so much it actually hurts,” Rilea said. “I'm going to miss the hangouts and playing with my best friends and especially making crazy connections with Michelle Seger on attack. I'm going miss the families always cheering us on and always having a bunch of alumni show up to our games. I’m going to miss our celebrations after we do something awesome and getting chills. I'm going to miss literally everything about Yorktown lacrosse and would do anything to get another season. I love Yorktown girls lax and can't wait to see them do great things next year.”