The Fairport boy's lacrosse program recently celebrated the accomplishments of four of its players, as Christopher Belche, Derek DeJoe, Brian Martin and Blaze Riorden all signed their 'letters of intent' to play Division I lacrosse.
It was a night of celebration at Fairport High School on Monday, November 21, as four boy’s lacrosse players announced their intentions to attend Division I college.
Over 60 friends, family, teammates and coaches were present in room 512 as seniors Chris Belche, Derek DeJoe, Brian Martin and Blaze Riorden signed their 'letters of intent' to play Division I lacrosse. Though the young men all officially signed on to play earlier this year, this gathering was an opportunity to share the excitement with each other and those who helped them along their way.
The celebration began with a brief greeting from Fairport boy’s lacrosse head coach Mike Torrelli. Coach Torrelli took a moment to congratulate his players on their achievements, and also made sure to recognize the families, coaches, teammates, alumni, administrators and many others who played vital roles in the boy’s paths to success. After he had finished coach Torrelli revealed he had a surprise for the young men, as all four were given the podium and an opportunity to thank their friends and families themselves.
First to the podium was Chris Belche. Belche, along with Brian Martin, make up the pair of Red Raiders who will attend Binghamton beginning next fall. In fact, the two will be roommates to begin their college experience.
Belche, who plays defense, will play his third season on varsity at Fairport this spring. He also considered Fairfield and LeMoyne before finally selecting Binghamton. Martin, who plays midfield and will be in his fourth season on varsity, had interest from Hartford, Gettysburg, Hobart, RIT and Mercyhurst before finally signing on with the Bearcats. While both are looking forward to challenge of playing lacrosse at the next level, they understand that the level of competition is going to be much higher.
“The biggest adjustment on the field is going to be adjusting to the speed and size of the opponent,” said Belche shortly after he and the others took the podium. “When you get the college level you are competing against the best players in the country.”
Martin agreed with his future roommate, and is also excited to get the opportunity to contribute on the field right away.
“The players in college practice and train year-round, and the competition brings out the best in you,” said Martin. “It is going to be fun to have the opportunity to get into the mix and get a chance to play right away.”
These two, along with DeJoe and Riorden, were all a part of the 2010 Fairport team that claimed a sectional title and made it all the way to the state finals. All four mentioned that achievement among their “career highlights”, and all four feel that anything less in 2012 will be falling short of their goal.
“We are looking to win another sectional title,” said DeJoe. “When we become comfortable and trust each other on the field, we play our best and are a better team.
Page 2 of 2 - DeJoe, who plays attack and will be in his fourth season on varsity, chose Syracuse after also looking at Penn State, Notre Dame and North Carolina. In the end the proximity to home, chance to win a national championship every year and his love of “the Dome” made him select the Orange.
While all four of these young men will certainly be challenged on the lacrosse field, they will also face some tough tests in the classroom.
Riorden, who considered Maryland, Penn State and Hobart before signing with Albany, already undertands the value of an eduaction.
“While playing lacrosse and competing for a national title is great, I will also be getting a good education,” he said. “Albany is one of the top business schools in the country, and that will help me long after my lacrosse days are over.”
All four took their opportunity at the podium to thank their families, friends, coaches and teachers. And while the night was brought about by their athletic achievements, their outstanding athletic achievements were also being celebrated on this day. Before the close of the ceremony, coach Torrelli also stressed the importance of maintaining high standards on the academic side as well.
“Playing Division I lacrosse does not come without doing well in the classroom,” said Torelli, specifically to the younger players in the room. “These four young men hold a combined 88.89 GPA, and not one of the colleges they are attending would consider them if they could not keep that part up.”