If you’ve been to a Sleepy Hollow High School (N.Y.) game the last couple of season, it probably didn’t take you long to notice Ben Parens
After all, the two-way midfielder never leaves the field. Well almost never.
He’s also had games where he’s won every faceoff. Literally. Including wins against Briarcliff and Dobbs Ferry this past season.
So it should come as no surprise that the Class of 2014 standout will be taking his talents to the next level.
Parens, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound righty, is a hard-nosed and aggressive player who thrives in the possession gain, getting groundballs as well as winning faceoffs.
What were the main factors in your decision?
A school with strong academics was first and most important. At a small school like Clark I will get that. Also when I visited Coach Cohen made me feel at home and I can see myself working very well with him. The program is headed in a positive direction bringing in new talent and I can’t wait to be a part of it.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I considered Franklin & Marshall, Williams, Ithaca, Rollins, Union, Washington College, But only visited Union, Franklin & Marshall, Williams, and, of course, Clark.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Definitely winning faceoffs ahead and creating transition off of the face off. The team that maintains possession usually wins the game and I feel I can bring that to Clark.
My style of play is aggressive, gritty and fast. I’m big on hustle and winning every groundball. Aside from being a face off man I like to stay on the field and create offense as well.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
My off hand is something I always work on. Being a lock-down defender is something I aspire to be and I work on that a lot. In scenarios when a face off is not won, I need to be able to play defense and I have been training and working on my one-on-one defense.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I was introduced to lacrosse in fourth grade when I attended an after school program and I instantly got hooked. I have been playing year round since freshman year and I also run Cross country in the fall to increase and maintain my endurance.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for Roy Colsey’s Team Superstar 2014 team in both the fall and summer. This summer, I attended many tournaments and showcases, including the UMass Mid-Summer Classic along with Peak 200 and Southern States Elite. I made the all-star game at both Peak and Southern States Elite.
Any final thoughts?
None of my lacrosse would have been possible without my parents. Providing transportation, funds and support for all of my events and sticking with me throughout this whole process has been amazing.
My high school coach, Gary Divico, has changed me as a player so much. Starting in middle school he allowed me to come to varsity workouts and practiced and that helped me excel and mature as a player.
A close friend, Roniel Bencosme, has been a mentor throughout my early and present lacrosse career. Training with me on weekends, allowing me to play in mens leagues and advising me throughout this process has been huge and I appreciate it so much.
Jorge Ventimillia my modified coach taught me early fundamentals as a middle schooler and definitely grew my love for the game. I give him all the credit in the world for helping me through this process at the most difficult times.
My support system could not have been better.
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