TJ Ragusa made a name for himself on Long Island.
The 2013 Wantagh High School graduate was an all-conference midfielder in Nassau County Class B in 2013. He had 15 goals on 33 shots and nine assists, 54 groundballs and won 72 percent of his faceoffs. He was also a three-time all-conference selection in wrestling and starting tight end/linebacker in football.
Now, Ragusa is making his mark in the Great White North. He’s playing a post-grad season at The Hill Academy in Ontario.
Soon, he’ll be heading south.
Ragusa has verbally committed to Division II Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Ragusa, who also plays some attack, is a natural lefty with a potent combination of size and speed. You can watch his highlight reel here.
Ragusa was a linebacker/tight end on the Warriors’ football field and an all-county and three-time all-conference wrestler.
Now, here’s a Q&A with TJ on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
My family and I feel that Queens is an excellent environment where Ican gain a great education playing for great coaches on a championship-caliber team.
Another big factor is that when I visited Queens I noticed that the guys on the team are so much more than just teammates, they’re a family.
That’s something I’m really looking forward to being a part of.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I also visited and strongly considered Tampa, Saint Leo, Pfeiffer, Lynn and VMI.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
My size, speed, outside shot and dodging ability.
I love to push the ball in transition and create unsettled offense, however in a settled situation I feel that I can get a defense moving by dodging from multiple points on the field. I pride myself in being a blue-collar player and making “hustle” plays.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
I feel that something I need to improve upon as a player is my lateral quickness. Some things I’ve been working on are my first step motion and quick reflex muscles. I believe that’s a big factor for me if I am to become the complete player I aspire to be.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse?
By my father when I was in first grade, playing at MYLAX camps in hand-me-down gear my old man wore in high school. I fell in love with the sport (especially the physical aspect) and have wanted to play collegiate lacrosse ever since.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I played club lacrosse for Be The Best LC on Long Island for coach Steve Leghart of Chaminade High School.
I participated in the Great Lakes Showcase, Long Island Shootout, Nassau County Rising Senior and Junior tryouts and Under Armour Tryout. As a rising senior I was invited to Peak 200, Blue Chip 225 and Top 205, but could not attend because of prior commitments in football and wrestling.
Any final thoughts?
I’d like to thank coaches Brodie Merrill, Merrick Thomson, Jordan MacIntosh, Jason Noble, Dan Noble and David Harrison at The Hill Academy, John Cuiffo, James Polo and Steve Moriardy at Wantagh High School, my club coaches Steve Leghart and Chris Fiore, my personal trainers George Powers, Jim Schepp and Scott Schratweiser, and, of course, my parents, Mike and Debbie Ragusa.
Also, I’d like to extend a special thanks to all the coaches, administration and my teammates at Wantagh High School. I wouldn’t have gained the opportunities I’ve had or be in the position I’m in without them.
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