For Baylee Modugno, it all started in fifth grade.
That’s when one of his best friends, Jason Debenedictis, made a request. Debenedictis, now a senior attackman at Sachem East High School (N.Y.), has committed to St. John’s University.
“One day, he was shooting in his backyard and shouted out to me ‘Throw on this equipment and hop in, ” Modugno, a senior at St. Anthony’s High School, recalled. “Not knowing what I was getting myself into, I hopped in with out hesitation.”
Debenedictis soon realized that Modugno wasn’t half bad.
“He called out to his dad (Rich Debenedictis) and said ‘Look at Baylee!’ ”
Rich Debenedictis told Modugno to come to his youth team’s practice later that week.
“From that point, I became the Sachem East goalie,” Modugno said. “He (Rich Debenedictis) put me on his team every year and I had the opportunity to play with guys like Mike Calvagna (committed to Stony Brook), Joe Caridi (committed to Stony Brook), James Hoffman (committed to Army) and many more guys that became such close friends.”
Like Calvagna, Caridi and Hoffman — now all Sachem North standouts — Modugno will also take his game to the next level.
Modugno verballed to SUNY Oneonta, a commitment first reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Modugno, who also plays hockey for St. Anthony’s, is lefty who loves to range out of the crease.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I wanted to select a school that would enhance my education as well as my athletics.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I have had the pleasure of visiting many schools and Oneonta meets both my educational and athletic desires.
Wingate University as well as the University of Tampa were two other options I explored. However, once I had my visit to Oneonta, I automatically knew this was the place I wanted to spend my next four years.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I am a very aggressive goalie. I like to come out of the net and be part of the play. I am also very vocal. I like having control of my defense and directing the calls.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
The area of my game that I have been working on all summer and fall is my foot speed and angling. I feel once I accomplish this, I will be much more successful as an all around goalie.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I played for Sachem East Lax Club until my 10th grade year when I switched over to Long Island Express to play with my teammates at St. Anthony’s.
The Hofstra Classic of 2013 was where I first meet (Assistant) Coach (Andrew) Daly from Oneonta.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank all my St. Anthony’s coaches, along with Jamie Allen, who was my summer-league coach and a huge part of my recruitment process. Most importantly, Rich Debenedictis, for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this game I grew to love.
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