By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/28/15
Episcopal Academy attackman Curtis Zappala, who earned US Lacrosse and Under Armour All-America honors in 2015 and was ranked among the nation’s top recruits, has de-committed from the University of Maryland and has enrolled at Drexel University where he currently is not playing lacrosse.
Zappala had 44 goals and 39 assists and earned First-Team All-Inter-Ac honors in 2015 while sharing the league’s Most Important Player honor. He helped the Churchmen to a 14-7 season, a second-place league finish (tie) and a regular position in the national rankings. He was ranked as the No. 4 recruit heading into his senior year by Inside Lacrosse.
Zappala was among the first two in his class to commit to a Division I school during the summer heading into his sophomore year. He was a four-year starter and set the school’s all-time mark for scoring with 122 goals and 123 assists.
Zappala said he made his decision early in the summer.
“I wanted time away from lacrosse; I really haven’t had any time away other than a couple weeks since I was 10 years old,” said Zappala. “I talked to my parents and coaches at EA and at Maryland and felt if my heart wasn’t in it I’d take time away and figure out what I wanted to do. I am stepping away and looking at it from a different perspective.”
Zappala said his decision to not play lacrosse this year had nothing to do with his commitment to Maryland and that he remains in contact with Terps coach John Tillman.
“I am just keeping an open mind to anything and taking a break from lacrosse,” he said. “I am seeing if I really miss it and seeing if I want to do it in the future.
“Coach Tillman said that door is always open and if I want to call and talk about anything I can.”
Tillman gave this statement from the school’s sports information department: “Curtis will not be enrolling at the University of Maryland this fall. I have had several conversations with Curtis and his family and we have agreed to keep the line of communication open. Curtis is well aware that he has our full support and the door is always open at the University of Maryland if he regains his desire to play college lacrosse.”
Zappala, who played club lacrosse for the Duke’s L.C. and FCA, is enrolled in a new program at Drexel for undecided majors.
“I am definitely happy where I am, I am happy to be close to home and happy to be going to Drexel,” he said. “It’s a great school and a good opportunity for me as I try to figure everything out and see if I want to pursue lacrosse.
“I definitely love the game. I played in a men’s league this summer and even after I decided in my head that I wasn’t playing. Right now I am definitely happy. I was relieved to be able to tell my parents. They were OK, coach Tillman was OK and everybody has been supportive.”
Zappala fell short of giving advice to young lacrosse players that are making tough decisions at such a young age now that freshmen are committing to Division I colleges. But he did recommend that lacrosse players keep options open.
“I would say that kids should keep an open mind going through the whole process,” he said. “People feel pressured into doing things, but no college coach I ever met pressured me. You shouldn’t jump into every offer. You need to see every option.
“I didn’t choose wrong. I love Maryland and I love coach Tillman. I don’t regret anything about choosing Maryland. I think that kids should keep an open mind when committing while making sure they are happy and staying true to their commitment.”
Tags: Episcopal Academy