When Boys Lacrosse Captain Ben Garozzo ’23 first felt the sense of connectedness within a team all striving to achieve the common goal of winning, lacrosse became his favorite sport. Garozzo, the goalie of the team, has a unique perspective of the whole field which he uses to mentor his teammates.
Garozzo uses what he learned from his previous captains to guide his leadership. He mentioned how important it is for the upperclassmen to connect with the lowerclassmen to mentor them and make them feel a part of the team.
“The biggest thing on the team that I try to emphasize is, at least for the older guys, is to be there for the younger guys because you know how much power an older guy has, how much influence they have. I think a lot of people don’t realize that when you’re in the position, but I think that in my role of being a captain, I have tried to realize that more because I remember looking back at my first captains and I remember them so vividly and everything they said to me. I remember I took everything they said super seriously and that really impacts the way I am a captain,” said Garozzo.
According to Co-Captain Charlie Ferguson ’23, Garozzo’s goalie skills are vital to the team. He also noted Garozzo’s vocal leadership style.
“Ben’s a really solid goalie for us. He has kept us in a lot of games and he’s a really valuable asset for our team. He’s also a loud leader, who’s really passionate out there,” said Ferguson.
When discussing what he does to build a healthy team culture, Garozzo highlighted the importance of trust. He shared how necessary it is for the older members of the team to connect with the younger ones to create both an inclusive and trusting environment.
“[To connect the team, I] organize stuff for the team, like team dinners, but in general, just not being a stranger to the younger guys. I think that’s the biggest thing. I think sometimes there can be a divide between the older people because they’ve been there for so long. They’re already boys, they’re already friends. It’s important that you include everyone, so that at the end of the day, you can trust your teammates to do anything for you. I think that’s what that kind of culture builds,” said Garozzo.
Coach James Beaudoin highlighted how important Garozzo’s ability to stay focused during a game is and how it translates into his leadership. Garozzo is able to get the team excited while also keeping them centered.
“Ben doesn’t get too high or too low, which is the ideal for a goalie. You don’t want someone who freaks out every time you get scored on or gets too excited with one save. You want them to be a little bit even with small ups and downs. And I think that’s the kind of the way he leads as well as making sure the team isn’t getting too crazy one way or the other and making sure they’re focused. Just like he is at every play,” said Beaudoin.
Teammate Josh Heaney ’24 noted how much of an energetic force Garozzo is on the team. Heaney also emphasized his ability to be vocal and lift the team up.
“Ben’s great. Ben’s like the soul of our team. He’s got the most energy. And that kind of comes with being a goalie, the goalie’s got to be one of the loudest players on the field and he definitely is. And the whole team just kind of radiates his energy when he’s having a good game, the team’s having a good game, and that’s another thing that you want from a captain,” said Heaney.
Garozzo has the advantage of being an experienced player who has played with many different types of athletes, which he uses along with his knowledge as a goalie to lead the team. With this viewpoint, he is able to specifically help players from all different positions excel.
“Being goalie, I kind of have a lot of experience just from playing and from observing for so long. And also, this is my fifth year of high school, so I’ve seen a lot of lacrosse players. I think that especially the offensive guys shooting, I feel I help them out a lot with that because obviously I know what shots are gonna go in on me, so if they’re gonna go in on me I feel that I can help them score on other goalies as well. I try to give them advice in that way. And then for the defense, mostly just I want us to be a unit, and I want us to be a tight group of people, so I always try and give feedback that is constructive and helps everyone realize that they’re a part of a machine, not just an individual,” said Garozzo.
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