Former Duxbury (MA) goalie Nick Marrocco will begin his second season in net for the Boston Cannons tonight, as the Cannons open their 2019 season against the New York Lizards. The game will mark the first contest at the Cannons’ new home venue, Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, in Quincy, Mass.
The pride of Duxbury was a decorated high school netminder, as the two-time All-American (2013 & 2014) helped lead the Dragons to a 2012 D1 State Championship, while also earning numerous postseason accolades, including being named our first BostonLax.net player of the year, along with earning MVP of our inaugural All-American game.
The former Georgetown University All-American is excited to open the 2019 campaign this evening, and we were lucky to have a chance to catch up with him, as he reflected on his lacrosse experience.
Can you talk about the preparation you have had for the 2019 season and how excited you are to start the season for the Cannons?
I am Beyond excited for the start of the 2019 MLL season. There has been a significant amount of preparation from the Cannons organization, MLL, my teammates, and myself as last year’s season ended and we moved onto the 2019 year. I have had some things in my game that I have worked on and feel confident in my ability as we start this year. Another big change I have made is in my physical health and my diet. My senior year of college I started working out more and that helped my game. After my first MLL season and heading into the offseason, I have been working out a lot more and trying to eat a healthy diet in order to put myself at the best when the season starts.
You guys have a strong representation of former Massachusetts High School stars on the Cannons this year. What is it like to represent your home state, playing for your home-city team, with guys you are familiar from your high school days?
It is incredible to be able to play back in Massachusetts. It was pretty surreal for me last year as I began my career with the Cannons. When I was a young kid, I used to watch the Cannons play and looked up to some of those players. So, for me being able to continue my career and reach this level by playing for the team I used to cheer for as a kid, is a dream come true. It is also very cool to be able to now play with guys I grew up playing in high school and even played in college, including Danny Seibel and Jay Drapeau.
What was your most memorable high school lacrosse moment or experience?
My most memorable high school experience was beating Xaverian in the D1 South Finals at Harvard stadium. It was amazing to be able to play at Harvard stadium and at the time, we both were considered probably the top 2 teams in the state.
Looking back on high school and your recruiting process, how did you end up deciding on Georgetown and could you talk a little about your recruiting process?
For me, I was very fortunate to have people on my side who gave me great advice during the recruiting process. I knew I wanted to attend a school with both great academics and a strong lacrosse program. During the process, I was passed up by some schools which made me play with an edge. But I also was given the advice to take my time with the process, and not just pick a school because THEY like me. You really need to love the school you are planning on attending, not just the lacrosse. I am very happy now that those schools passed on me because when Georgetown came along, it was the perfect fit. I do not regret a single moment of my experience there, on all fronts. I received an amazing education, made some of my best friends, had an incredibly fun time, and had experiences I will never forget on the lacrosse field.
Is there any advice that you would give to student-athletes regarding the college recruiting process?
With the recruiting process, the best piece of advice I would give to student-athletes is to take your time. There will be several schools who will “love you”. But at the end of the day, this is 4 years of your life we are talking about. You need to truly love the school. The way you should see it is that if lacrosse was suddenly taken from you, would you still want to be at the school you chose?
How did playing for Duxbury, and having success in high school, help you prepare for success at Georgetown?
Duxbury definitely challenged me and allowed me to be ready for Georgetown. Duxbury has been a lacrosse town for a long time now. Because of that, we took pride in the program we played for and every game and every moment mattered. When it came to Georgetown, I brought that same passion and wanted to leave Georgetown better than it was when I got there.
You guys made a heck of a run your senior year at Georgetown – can you talk about your experience during your senior season?
At Georgetown, our lacrosse careers were not all positive. When I say we, I am speaking about my 2018 graduation class, who all stayed and grinded out the 4 years together. We were all best friends. From day 1, we were all committed to being the best and wanted to find success during our four years at Georgetown. So, when it came to our senior year, after two bad years, we knew it was our time. We had the talent and we had the heart. When we combined the two, we knew that we would find success. That resulted in Georgetown’s first ever Big East Championship win and one of the best moments of my life.
What role has fitness and sports training had on your career as a professional, and how different was it compared to how you trained in high school and in college?
In college, it is very easy to stay in shape and fit. Typically, you will have a trainer to push you and keep you on track, from the time you step on campus, to the time you leave. If you slack off, you have people to set you back on track. In the pros, a lot of that is on you. It is your job to get in shape and do what you have to in order to win. That means working out during times that you may want to relax or sleep. For me, that means a big emphasis on a healthy diet. It is the little things that set you apart from college to pro.
You also played hockey in high school. What kind of role did playing multiple sports have on your development as a lacrosse player?
I think it is incredibly helpful to play multiple sports in high school. It ultimately makes you into a much smarter athlete. I certainly feel there are things in lacrosse that translate to lacrosse, but also just learning the sport of hockey certainly helps as you step onto the lacrosse field.
Who were some coaches and players that influenced your game from a young age up until now?
For me, there are several people who have influenced me quite a bit in my career. For one my family (Mom, Dad, sisters, grandparents, etc) who always supported me. My dad was always the guy I would go to for advice on sports, and he always gave me the brutal honest truth, which I respected. Another influencer in my career was my goalie coach in high school, Tillman Johnson, who taught me everything I know about the goalie position. Then there were people like Jack Runkel, my Duxbury coaches, and my Georgetown coaches, especially Coach Shriver, who was my “goalie mentor” through our senior year run.
Lastly, what is the best piece of advice that would give you a young player growing up in the game that you may have had or that you could provide?
As cliché as it is – you need to put in the extra work when other people are not looking. I think realizing what you can work on and actually going out and doing it elevates your game incredibly. Also, another big piece of advice is to find your “why”. This is something I was taught at Georgetown. Find the reason you do what you do. This can be in sports or life. Try to figure out why you are playing lacrosse. Is it for a specific person, a dream, money, fame? Find out your reason and that will push you to levels you never knew you could reach.