National Letter of Intent Signing Day
Three Wolves Commit to Playing at the College Level
Families, friends, coaches and team members gathered in John Jay’s gym on November 8— National Letter of Intent Signing Day—to celebrate John Jay High School lacrosse players Luca Duva, Nicole DiNapoli and Andrew Kiefer. Each has committed to play at the college level.
Luca Duva will be playing for University of Massachusetts, Nicole DiNapoli will be playing for Newberry College, and Andrew Kiefer will be playing for Colgate University.
“You’ve had awesome high school careers, and you are on to amazing college careers,” Athletic Director Chris McCarthy congratulated the students. “John Jay High School has prepared you for this exciting point in your lives.”
"a fierce competitor"
Luca Duva received All-Section honors as both a sophomore and junior and was named captain his junior and senior years.
John Jay Lacrosse Coach Mike Bocklet describes him as a fierce competitor and natural leader who led the offense in points both his sophomore and junior year. “Luca plays hard in all aspects of the game and leads by example.”
The senior cites his dad and his coaches at John Jay as big influences on him as a player, as well as Rob Pannell, a member of the gold medal winning 2018 US men's national lacrosse team, whom he’s been able to train with.
“I’ve loved lacrosse for as long as I can remember,” said Luca, recalling being on a travel team when he was in first grade. Growing up, he’d pass and shoot with his uncle, a former lacrosse player for University of North Carolina. “When I ask myself why I play lacrosse, it’s because of him.”
"a shifty attacker"
Nicole DiNapoli, an All-League attacker, said that her connection with lacrosse started when a family friend invited her to play. “As soon as I held the stick, I knew this was my sport,” she said.
She cites her dad, a former hockey and lacrosse player, as her biggest influence on her lacrosse career. “He moves around his schedule to make it work for me,” she said, “making sure I can get to practices, games and tournaments.”
Coach Jess McDonough describes Nicole as a shifty attacker. “She can rip the top corner with time and space,” said Coach McDonough. “Her biggest strength is her ability to make the hustle plays, especially in the ride and ground balls in the 8. Nicole understands the importance of being on a team and always seeks opportunities for her teammates to find success. Nicole's lax IQ, work ethic and positive attitude will make her an impact player at Newberry.”
The lacrosse field is Nicole’s happy spot. “No matter what, even when I’m having a bad day, everything is okay when I’m playing lacrosse.”
"a two-way midfielder"
Andrew Kiefer received All-Section honors as both a sophomore and junior and was named captain his junior and senior years.
Coach Mike Bocklet describes him as a two-way midfielder that excels on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. “Andrew's biggest strength is his athletic ability,” said Coach Bocklet. “He has a very quick first step and is a tough match-up for any defenseman.”
Andrew conjures up a game from two years ago to explain his love for lacrosse.
It was in his sophomore year. John Jay was playing Rye. It was a beautiful night for a home game. “We were the huge underdogs,” said Andrew, “and I was really nervous.” He explains that he’d been out with a fractured back the previous year. “Coach Spillane reminded me that it’s the same ball, the same team, the same game, and to go out and do what I knew how to do.” He got a ground ball and passed it to Luca, an attacker, who turned it into the game-winning goal.
Doesn’t get any better than that!