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It would be hard for Justin Valluzzi to say which sport he enjoys more — hockey or lacrosse.
After all, he’s played them both since grade school.
One thing is certain, though.
The sport he’ll be playing at the next level is lacrosse.
The elusive attackman from national power St. Anthony’s (NY) made that decision earlier this week, verballing to Division III Salve Regina, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section.
The 5-foot-8, 140-pound Valluzzi, a Hicksville resident, is a small but quick righty.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Salve Regina University has an amazingly beautiful coastal campus among all of the historic mansions of Newport, Rhode Island.
I wanted a New England campus that offered an excellent Catholic education. It was a good fit for me academically, geographically and athletically.
I also really connected with Head Coach Pat Cooney. I think a D-III program will allow me the proper balance between all the things going away to college has to offer.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
Scranton, Arcadia, Roger Williams, Western New England and Misericordia.
Have you decided what academic major you plan to pursue?
Administration of Justice.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
I have played both ice hockey and lacrosse since I was in grade school.
Hockey has really helped my vision on the lacrosse field. As a feeder who plays the X attack position, I handle all the contact that comes with that position.
As far as my style of play, I see myself as more of a dodge-and-feed type of player than a sniper type of attackman.
What area of your game do you need to work on?
There’s always room for improvement in all parts of my game. The top area I would say is the off-hand shooting on the run.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
My parents had me try almost every sport as a young kid, but I feel in love with lacrosse and ice hockey the first time I played each sport. I still play both sports today.
I am still a dual sport athlete (lacrosse and ice hockey) at St. Anthony’s. I play each sport 5-6 months out of the year and try to surf as much as possible in the month of August.
I also believe playing two sports keeps me motivated for both lacrosse and ice hockey when each season gets started and prevents me from getting burnt out from hockey or lacrosse.
As for showcases, I participated in the Philly Showcase, Run with the Best and Top 205 East.
Any final thoughts and people you want to thank for helping you reach this point?
I would really like to thank my parents and younger brother Jared who spent so much of their time on lacrosse fields and in I-95 traffic jams getting me to all my showcases and summer tournaments.
I was always told by my parents growing up playing sports “Don’t wish for it! Work for it!”
I also would like to thank Coach Mike Chanenchuk and the entire St. Anthony’s High School JV and Frosh coaching staffs who helped develop my lacrosse game.
Also special thanks to coaches Jack Moran and Robert Pomponio (Chaminade High School) for all their work with me during the summer season and great recruiting advice.
I can’t forget where it all started the Hicksville PAL lacrosse program ran by Mr. Frank Pallone.
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