The following feature on Army's Larry LoRusso was written by Jim Furlong and appeared on Patch.com on April 1, 2011.
Leadership, service to his country, family and lacrosse.
When Rocky Point's Larry LoRusso hears those words, many images fill his head. He's a leader for the nationally ranked Army men's lacrosse team and he's a junior at West Point learning and training to be a future leader and officer in the U.S. Army.
LoRusso is attached to his parents, Elizabeth and Lawrence, and his three older brothers -- Nick and Kevin who are West Point graduates; and Brian, who is also currently attending the United States Military Academy. LoRusso also feels a strong bond to his 2011 Army teammates. The No. 9 Cadets have a six-game winning streak and are the front runner to win the 2011 Patriot League championship and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Tournament.
"When I go on the field, you have prepared enough, worked hard enough, you are ready to win," LoRusso said. "When we huddle up before a game, we talk to each other. We are playing for more than ourselves. We are playing for people who can't play. Other people (on active duty) in the military. Our season is not only for ourselves. It echos through the world of the Army."
This season, LoRusso is proving himself a premier long-stick close defender.
"My job is to shut people down," said the former wrestler, football player and lacrosse standout for the Rocky Point High School Eagles. "I'm physical, try to play smart, hit (opponents) when I can and be aggressive with my stick."
After playing in one game during the 2009 season, the sturdy 5-foot-8-inch, 195-pounder has started 26 consecutive games for the Cadets.
"Larry has been taking everyone's No. 1 attack," said Army head coach Joe Alberici. "I never doubt Larry on game day. He's always ready to play. As he gets older and more mature, his practice habits continue to improve. When you look at one of your leading players working hard in practice, pushing hard; that helps everyone else to0. Larry is a very vocal player; a guy not afraid to speak his mind. A positive for us."
LoRusso followed his three older brothers to West Point after spending a year at the USMA Prep School in New Jersey.
"We all had our reasons," LoRusso said. "Nick sparked our interest. It is a way to set up your life and be successful later. You feel you are doing something productive with your life. . . . I would say I am patriotic. So I think it is good to give back."
LoRusso has served as a cadet sergeant and been a squad leader for eight Cadets. After he graduates, he aims to be a platoon leader for field artillery. His two older brothers have both served overseas in war zones. Nick, a 2007 graduate, was a reserve goalkeeper for the Cadets.
Kevin, a 2009 graduate, was a a team captain and two-time all-conference midfielder. Brian LoRusso, also a member of the 2011 lacrosse team, hopes to play again soon as he recovers from shoulder surgery. The four brothers always have steady support from their mother and father.
"I am proud of them to be so dedicated," said Elizabeth LoRusso, a teacher at Longwood High School. "We have always been a patriotic family. We don't miss games...we travel to every game."
Alberici has coached all four brothers, and watched them prosper.
"They all played and contributed," Alberici said. "I am most pleased with (Larry's) continuing development in all areas. This place (West Point) has had a profound affect on him, both as a person and player."
All the LoRusso's are looking forward to April 16 -- the annual duel against Army's biggest rival, Navy. Thea team's next game is Saturday, April 2 at Colgate in Hamilton, N.Y.