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Bryan Costabile, Jack Pezzulla Earn Spot On U.S. Men's National Under-19 Team
Mount St. Joseph midfielder Bryan Costabile and Boys' Latin goalie Jack Pezzulla were the only two high school players from Maryland recently named to the 2016 U.S. men's national Under-19 team. They will compete in the Federation of International Lacrosse World Championships July 7-16 in British Columbia.
For both players, it's the experience of a lifetime.
"I have honestly never felt a greater honor than to be able to represent my country and school at the 2016 world games in Canada," Pezzulla said. "That being said, I am ecstatic about the opportunities that are ahead for me and my brothers on Team USA.
Costabile expressed the same sentiment, saying, "It's such an honor to be representing the USA in the games, and being chosen for the team still feels surreal to me."
Both Costabile and Pezzulla were impressed with the caliber of players during the U19 tryouts. The speed and strength of the players was the major difference from the average club tryout.
"It was the single most difficult tryout that I have ever experienced," Costabile said. "Every player that tried out, starting with the 108 in the summer to the 30 this past fall, had such unbelievable talent. The speed of the game was much quicker than what I have been used to playing, and every individual trying out was the best player from their respective high school team. The level of talent pushed me to work hard the entire summer."
Pezzulla took advantage of getting a second chance at making the team. He didn't make the first cuts but was brought back due to player unavailability and earned a spot on the team.
"This initial adversity drove me to perform my best at the Blue and White game and continually throughout the rest of tryouts," Pezzulla said. "The speed of play is unlike anything I've ever seen. The ball moves so fast that it's almost too hard to keep track of. But even with this fast paced play, our defense still manages to get stops just as much as the offense scores goals. Looking at the whole team, I can't tell you one person who doesn't give their hardest 100 percent of the time when they are on the field."
For more on Costabile and Pezzulla, read the full article here.
Q&A: Notre Dame Prep Midfielders Keegan And Brooke Barger
Notre Dame Prep's Keegan Barger has established herself as one of the top high school midfielders in the nation. Now a junior, she committed early in 2014 to play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins. Her cousin, Brooke, is a freshman at NDP and has already committed to Michigan. They discussed their relationship on and off the field with PressBox.
PRESSBOX: How much lacrosse did you and Brooke play with one another growing up?
BROOKE BARGER: She played for a different team, but we did play against each other multiple times.
KEEGAN BARGER: Whether it was in our backyard or trainings, Brooke and I have been playing lacrosse together since we could walk.
PB: How do you support one another at school and on the lacrosse field?
BB: We have always had each other's backs through everything. Keegan drives me to school every morning, and it's great to have older cousins and relatives that you can learn from and look up to.
KB: My grandmother, Mickey Barger, would pick up the cousins and take us to one another's school functions or sports games. We always loved supporting each other. Since Brooke and I play for the same lacrosse club, I always try to sneak over to some of her games during summer tournaments to cheer her on.
PB: What are each of your goals for the upcoming season?
BB: To meet new people and win the championship.
KB: My upcoming goals for this season are to be more of an offensive threat on the field, to become a leader in order to bring our team together and prepare myself for the next level of lacrosse.
PB: What went into your decision to commit early to college?
BB: I think the recruiting process goes a lot smoother when you have family, friends and coaches that have your back through everything. When you know, you know.
KB: My club lacrosse team, Sky Walkers, put me in a great position to be able to be recruited early. With the help of my high school and club coaches, I had the opportunity to visit a variety of schools nationwide. It was a great experience, and I was never pressured by any coach to make a decision. Johns Hopkins stood out to be the best fit for me, and I felt very comfortable deciding early after spending lots of time with the coaches and players.
Fore more from Keegan and Brooke, including their biggest role models, check out the full interview here.
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