When you play at St. Anthony’s (N.Y.), winning championships is the rule not the exception.
While finding a college program that achieves similar success is a challenge to say the least.
Greg Rivera thinks he’s found what’s he’s looking for in SUNY Cortland.
The rising senior attackman verbally committed to the Red Dragons last week, a commitment that was first reported when it was made by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s “Lacrosse Insider” section.
St. A’s, whose run of four straight CHSAA titles ended this past season against Chaminade, has 15 members of the Class of 2013 who will be freshmen on college teams this fall. The Class of 2014 now has nine college committed players.
SUNY Cortland, which won the Division III national title in 2009, has been to the national title game four times the last seven years.
Rivera is a lefty with good quickness and shifty moves outside the crease who is effective at drawing and dishing as shown in his highlight reel.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Greg on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
The bottom line is Cortland wins national championships. I liked the facilities and the coaches, they offer what I would like to study, my grades were acceptable and my family can come and watch some games.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited Tampa, BU, Fairfield and York. I was also going to visit Hobart, St Leo’s, Lynn and Washington & Lee, but I really felt comfortable with Cortland.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Over the years I have played every position on the field except goalie, so that helps a lot. I like to set up the offense and strategies with my coaches.
Scoring is great but I like dodging, drawing attention and making that extra pass for an assist. My past training with a long pole has also helped me defensively with my riding. I like checking and regaining ball possessions.
What part of your game do you need to work on?
Shooting on the run with my off hand. Once I feel comfortable doing that more often, it will help my game and my team even more.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Lacrosse is huge in my hometowns school district. My dad signed me up after his good friend coach Bob Hoppey (Mike’s dad) gave me my first stick when I was 6. I also played soccer, football, wrestling and baseball. I called defensive plays in middle school football. I used to call audibles and drive the coaches crazy but my friends and I had the best times in that huddle.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I play for the Long Island Express which is affiliated with St Anthony’s. We played at Lax Max, Under Armour, Hofstra Warrior and another event in Pa. The Under Armour tryouts on Long Island had a lot of coaches there and I am still receiving emails from that tryout.
Any final thoughts?
My mom and dad have driven me all over the East Coast since I was 9 years old. They also come to almost every game. I have had several travel coaches but Jamie Allen of the LI Express and I will always be best buddies. One college coach tried recruiting me because he liked the way Jamie and I communicated both on and off the field. He noticed that we were loose and always talking to each other and not stessed out.
I also have to thank (St. Anthony’s Assistant) Coach (Doug) Schreiber and (St. Anthony’s Head) Coach (Keith) Wieczorek. They are tough but we also have a good relationship. They have helped me a lot and we have another year together to get the title back from Chaminade. I have many friends that go there but ever since Freshman year, nothing pleases me more than scoring against and beating that School.