By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/13/10
Springfield-Delco junior attackman Joe Venit has made a verbal commitment to play NCAA Division I lacrosse at St. John’s University.
Venit was fifth in the Philly area last year when he scored 60 goals, while earning Honorable mention All-Phillylacrosse.com and Central league honors. Venit also competed in the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association Showcase and played for Springfield-Delco’s entry at Champ Camp in the summer.
“They definitely helped me gut introduced to the school,” said Venit, who also considered Penn State, UMass, Lehigh and Sacred Heart. “I really loved it; being in the city. And it was perfect academically for me.
“It’s in between a big school and a small school. I like the city life and yet I also like the campus feel. It has a real nice campus.”
The Red Storm went 5-9 last year and will play in the newly-formed Big East. The team is loaded with Philly products, including senior captain Tom Manes (Archbishop Ryan), senior long stick midfielder Marco Massaro (Friends’ Central), sophomore attackman Charlie Hoplenstein (Downingtown West), and freshmen Tyler Novotny (Spring-Ford/attackman), Adam Bitzer (Central Bucks East/attackman), Jarrett Carr (Hatboro-Horsham/midfielder) and Andrew Zbikowski (La Salle).
For now, Venit is focused on the coming season. Last year the Cougars went 19-6 and reached the state semifinals. They finished third in District 1 and fell twice to Central League and District 1 champion Conestoga – the team they’ll be expected to contend with for league, district and state honors this year.
“Definitely, the Central League is really competitive and we know we’ll have to go up against Conestoga,” Venit said. “The team is really fired up and we’ll be pushing for states this year.”
Venit, who wanted to credit Springfield head coach Mike Friel and assistant Tom Lemieux for helping him in his development and recruiting, also passed an assist to his teammates for his high goal total from last year.
“Truthfully, I never would have expected it,” Venit said. “Really, all the guys on the team helped me out by feeding me perfectly.
“The team is like a big family. We know where everyone is going to be on the field. We have so much chemistry. I think we’re playing now a lot better than last year. It’s going to be a great year.”