Considering he’s still just a sophomore in high school, you might be surprised to know that Riley Forte is already a varsity veteran.
Forte, after all, has been a member of the Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.) varsity squad since the eighth grade and started every game as a ninth-grader this past spring, registering 11 goals and 22 assists.
After following that up with a strong summer at showcase events, Forte, an attackman/midfielder, became a target recruit of many major Division I programs.
He decided on a destination on Dec. 3, verballing to Hofstra University, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound Forte, who is Hills West’s first sophomore verbal, played well at several summer showcases, joins Wantagh (N.Y.) goalie Bobby Casey as 2016 tristate verbals for ‘Stra.
The righty is an unselfish playmaking with a high lacrosse IQ.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Riley on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
I have always thought that I would be a kid who stayed closer to home. It means a lot to me to have my parents see me play. Playing for (Hofstra Head) Coach (Seth) Tierney on Team 91 for the last three years gave me an opportunity to see what a good fit Hofstra is for me, and it will be an honor to continue to play for him.
Hofstra has an excellent academic reputation and I would like to study Civil Engineering. That was a good match for me.
I appreciate the support that will be given to me at Hofstra in order for me to compete at the D-I level and do well in school. I am excited to become part of the Pride.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
The schools that I considered were Stony Brook, Binghamton, Fairfield, Siena, Air Force, Brown and Sacred Heart.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I have been told that I have the ability to play smart on the field. Groundballs are a strength for me. I generate offense and am a playmaker. I am a team player and I am able to get the ball where it needs to be. I love the game and always look to compete.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
There is always work to do to improve your game. I have been working on my shot and have improved this summer. I am always willing to work harder to play better. I know I will continue to work on speed and agility.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
I have played lacrosse since second grade, when it was introduced in my town on the youth level in Half Hollow Hills. At the time, I also loved football and played that as well, through junior high, along with volleyball and basketball. In high school, I have played soccer and lacrosse so far but intend to add to that list.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I have played on Team 91 Orange since it started.
I was excited to compete at Maverick Showtime this summer.
My biggest honor so far was to be chosen as one of the Top 20 in the Long Island Showcase for Suffolk County, and scored in that game. I spent the summer traveling to the Philly Showcase, Crabfeast, NSCLA, NXT Invitational and Hofstra Blue and Gold.
This fall, we showcased at the Philly Fall Invitational, Terrapin Fall Classic, Hofstra Blue & Gold and Shoreham-Wading River Classic.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank my coaches who help me to become a better player. Brian Spallina and Jim Mule have always supported me and I appreciate that so much . Coach Tierney has been a great mentor and brings out the best in me as a player. Thank you to Tom Martello, Brad Weinman and Brian O’Keefe. They are great coaches and really make us want to play at the next level.
Thank you to HHH West Coach Nils Haugen, who brought me up in eighth grade where I got the opportunity to play with my brother Brendan, who was a senior attackman. It was an awesome experience. I appreciate his support and belief in my ability on the field.
Most of all , I would like to thank my family for encouraging me to do what they know I can do. My parents have believed in me and I am most grateful for what they have done for me . I am also thankful for my siblings, Brendan, Lexie and Mikayla for always coming to my games and watching me do what I love most, playing lacrosse.
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