Harrison's Jake Marino has accepted an offer to play college sports before many athletes his age even step on a high school varsity field.
Marino, who will start his junior year at Harrison High School this fall, has accepted a scholarship to play lacrosse at the University of Massachusetts. If all goes well he will join the Minutemen in the fall of 2014.
"It took a lot of stress off my shoulders," said the 16-year-old Marino. "Now I just have to keep my grades up and keep getting better and better every year; even though I'm committed I'm still going to work hard."
Marino's connection to UMass began only a couple of months ago when he received some recruiting information from the school. Lacrosse coach Greg Cannella then saw Marino play in a tournament earlier this summer and quickly setup a campus visit.
It didn't take long for the young midfielder to make a commitment.
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"I went to visit the school and realized that's the place I want to play," Marino said. "(Coach Cannella) seems like a guy I want to play for."
As a sophomore at Harrison in 2012, Marino helped lead the Husky lacrosse team on a successful run in the Section I playoffs. He is also a halfback on the varsity football team. This fall he expects to play both lacrosse and football while keeping up his grades in preparation for college.
With two years of high school lacrosse left, Marino said he is also excited about what he and his teammates can accomplish at Harrison. Last year's team was young, he said, and though they lacked experience they had plenty of talent.
"I'm so excited, I can't wait," he said. "We're only going to get better and better every year."