Where did you grow up?
I grew up in North Massapequa NY on Long Island.
Growing up, were you a. "multi sport athlete", or did you strictly focus on lacrosse?
I was a multi-sport athlete, I have almost played every sport I possibly could. Soccer, basketball, football, golf, hockey, bowling, wrestling and a few others. Playing multiple sports only helps with your conditioning and athleticism and all relate back to lacrosse in some way.
Can you suggest any drills to get lighter on your feet?
I am always hitting the ladder and doing cone drills to work on my change of direction, change of speed and getting lighter on my feet. You can Google cone drills and there are plenty of exercises to use on the ladder as well. I try to keep my feet underneath me at all times and not lunge out and become off balance. Stay as tight to the ladder as you can and stay low at each cone when changing direction and explode out.
What is your favorite lacrosse memory?
My favorite lacrosse memory may be being a part of the 2012 UMass Men’s Lacrosse team. We were the first team in UMass history to go 15-0 in the regular season and conference playoffs before the NCAA tournament which was an unbelievable accomplishment. On top of winnign our first CAA Title it was one of my best years in the sport being named a 1st Team All-American, conference player of the year, New England player of the year, and a Tewaaraton Finalist along side names like Steele Stanwick, Peter Baum, CJ Costabile, and Mike Sawyer. I will never forget that team and my best friends/teammates who fought every day to achieve those goals.
What is your stick set up (head, shaft, mesh)?
As an STX athlete I have been and am currently using the “Surgeon” line. I have a Surgeon head with East Coast Mesh, with a double V and a nylon for some hold and a quick release on both my shot and passes. I also use the “Surgeon Sci-Ti” shaft. It is great for attackman with its light feel and sturdiness. I am a candy cane guy so I have tape from the top of my stick to the butt end just for a little more feel on my gloves while dodging, feeding, and shooting.
Do you leave all your stringing to Sean Rooney, or do you string some yourself?
Yes, I leave all of my stringing up to Sean at Lacrosse Unlimited. He has been stringing my sticks since I was in 8th grade and I haven’t changed it since. If I was at UMass and needed a head strung and or dyed, he would have it done for me in a day or two and it’d be ready to go without even breaking it in. He is a master at his craft and myself and Tom Schreiber (we were all high school teammates) would be lost without Sean.
What drills do you recommend for increasing shot speed?
Shot speed has a lot to do with technique. I use the 3 P’s method. While holding your stick your hands should be about hip width apart while attempting to shoot. Holding the stick with your top hand that is the first “P” for PUSH. You are always pushing towards your target with your top hand. The second “P” is for PULL. You should be pulling that bottom hand down as hard as you can to your back pocket when shooting. The last “P” is point. At the top of your release you should point the head of your stick towards your target and follow thru towards the cage for the most accuracy and speed. If you think about the 3 P’s while kissing your shoulder (meaning your hands are extended as far back as possible, as opposed to alligator arms) and get repeitions 7 yards in font of the cage and work on your form, your shot will develop quicker than you can imagine. It worked for me!
Why did you decide to go to U MASS?
In my college search I always dreamed about playing for 4 years and making a difference at a Division 1 school. I wanted a larger student body environment and an opportunity to play right away and UMass had given me that opportunity. Every school I was going to visit, I’d first check their roster and see their depth chart regarding how many attackmen would be at the school when I would arrive on campus as a freshman. When I got to UMass they would be graduating 2 senior starting attackmen so there were 2 spots open, and I wanted to take advantage of that. Coach Cannella made me feel really comfortable with the school and I really took in the blue collar mentality and work ethic that the team displayed at practice and throughout my visit, and I wanted to play my 4 years of college lacrosse in Amherst, and am fortunate it was able to happen, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Did you dream of being an MLL player?
Growing up I wanted to be a professional athlete in almost every sport, I just loved watching and playing and didn’t really know what I wanted to be. Starting around middle school, throughout high school and into college, each year grew on me and I told myself I am going to work as hard as possible to get to the pinnacle of the sport. So yes, I did dream it, but to be honest I didn’t know if it would become a reality until I was in college and I knew if I pushed myself every day both on and off the field, I would have an opportunity to play in the professional league of my favorite sport, the MLL, and I don’t regret a day, I am as happy as ever right now and it’s this sport that has gotten me to where I am.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Lacrosse wise it would be something one of my favorite coaches had once told me. No matter what size, shape or form you are as an athlete, if you have a stick (can catch throw and handle the ball) there is opportunity for you to play this sport and that is what is so great about it. If you don’t have to worry about your stick skills (though you should always work towards them) that is when you become a better lacrosse player and understand IQ situations and the rest that comes with the game. From a life perspective, the quote that we use at UMass every day “BE THE BEST” will always stick with me. Approaching every obstacle head on whether it’s on the field, in the classroom, at an interview, etc. you do it to the best of your ability because you never know what will happen tomorrow.
"Yo 1, If you could pick two Attackman, to play with on the Boston Cannons, who would you pick?" -Stephen Berger, former Boston Cannons.
By far the toughest question and “10” (Bergs) knows I loved playing with him but I’d have to go with a player I grew up admiring in Mikey Powell (to compliment my left hand), and Matt Poskay to finish everything that is thrown inside to him.