By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/28/09
Hatboro-Horsham senior goalie Dino Vitale has committed to play Division III lacrosse at Fairleigh Dickinson University (N.J.).
Vitale is a three-year starter who has earned All-Suburban honors each season. Last year he was a Second Team Continental Conference pick and helped the Hatters finish 15-4 and reach the second round of the District 1 tournament.
Vitale was recruited by several Division I colleges and actually committed to Hartford in the summer, but he de-committed and was happy to settle on the Division III power Devils. FDU won the Middle Atlantic Conference and went 13-5 last year.
FDU is coached by ninth-year mentor Pat Scarpello, a former assistant coach at Delaware and the former head coach at Cabrini College. Scarpello also founded the boys’ lacrosse program at his alma mater, Salesianum High School in Wilmington, Del.
“Coach (Scarpello) thought I was a Division I caliber goalie and he wasn’t recruiting me at first,” said Vitale, who an All-State Academic wrestler in 2008-09. “But I’m 10 times happier to commit there.
“My whole dream was to play D1 and go to a Syracuse, but if I had anything to say (to others), I’d say to pick academically. That’s what is most important. I can play lacrosse and have fun.”
Vitale plans to major in Elementary Education and enter a program that would earn him both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees after five years.
“I see kids at school and they ask. ‘Why aren’t you going to Division I to play?’ I tell them I’m not really worried,” he said. “I’ll have my Master’s degree in five years.
“And I always liked working with little kids. I coached at a lot of camps and I always tend to work with younger ones. I just love seeing kids want to learn.”
Vitale is optimistic about the coming season. Two other Hatters, senior Ryan Mullen (Penn State) and Eddie Coombs (Marist) have signed with Division I programs and Hatboro-Horsham returns several other key players.
“This has always been a solid program since I’ve been here,” Vitale said. “We did see some key players, but some guys are ready to step up and they’re going to do the work, as they say.”