While has had a varsity for years, there has been no boys’ counterpart–until this year. –in his first year as athletic director–has helped start a club team for the new program.
All of the pieces fell together as the team has started practicing and scrimmaging as a club team this spring. While Kevorkian gave the club team the go-ahead, it still needed a coach.
That’s where Jim Rapuano came in. He received a notice about youth lacrosse in his stepson’s backpack from . The flyer mentioned that the high school was looking for a volunteer coach.
“I’ve always wanted to coach high school sports, especially lacrosse,” said Rapuano, who grew up in East Haven and played as a youth and at Xavier High School. “I jumped all over it and emailed Kory right away.”
Now Rapuano has his temporary coaching certificate and is in the process of getting his five-year certificate for which he needs to be CPR-, first-aid- and concussion-certification from the state.
He is not only excited about getting involved with lacrosse again after spending years as a broker, but also starting a program from scratch. Rapuano has been busy scheduling practices and games, ordering equipment and uniforms and teaching the team the fundamentals of the sport.
“For me it’s a fantastic opportunity to get in on the ground floor,” said Rapuano. “It’s setting the groundwork for the school, the kids and the overall attitude of the program.”
Many team members have a foundation thanks to North Branford Youth Lacrosse, though Rapuano said there are some first-year lacrosse players. There are currently about 18 on the roster, including 13 freshmen, three sophomores and two seniors with several others mentioning interest in joining the program.
“North Branford has a lot of great athletes and there’s no reason this team can’t go far once we become CIAC,” he said. “A lot of the kids learned a lot in youth league so they have good experience, but even the kids who haven’t played are good athletes who are picking it up pretty well. With the youth program, we certainly have a fantastic future.”