By TJ Millman
Looking at rising senior lacrosse goalie Shane Gaglione, there are four letters written in black sharpie on a piece of tape wrapped around the bottom of his helmet. PHHF. These four letters stand out against the gold, but to many they probably don’t mean anything. For Gaglione, they mean everything.
“Before every game I’ve ever played, my parents have always told me to play hard and have fun. It helps me to not lose my cool during the games, and it reminds me that the game is meant to be fun,” Gaglione said.
Having played sports since he was young, Gaglione’s two favorite sports are ice hockey and lacrosse. He plays goalie in both of those sports, a position that not many people have the mental strength to take on.
“The main ingredient in a good goalie is a short term memory. You have to forget about the bad goals, maybe remember the good saves, but always be focused on the next shot. Another big thing is having a game day routine. I listen to music, drink an AdvoCare Spark, and then warm up with a player stick. I do that every game, and I’ve been taught that consistency can help get rid of anxiety,” he said.
Though Gaglione loves hockey, his focus for college is going to be lacrosse. There are only so many schools for hockey, and with all of the players out there he feels that he would have more success with lacrosse. He has narrowed his choices down to 4-5 different schools, but is taking his time with making his final decision.
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Academics will also play a large role in his final decision. Gaglione takes all Honors and AP classes, and was named to the Academic All-Conference Team this past spring. He plans to major in a STEM field, but has not yet decided on one in particular. Some examples that he bounced around were computer science, programming, and mathematics.
For many athletes, inspiration can be found in the coaches that lead them. There is the saying, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life,” and with Gaglione this is no different.
“The coach who has impacted me the most is (Milford Lacrosse Head Coach) Blake Faulkner. The example that he sets by his commitment to the sport is unparalleled. He is always looking over film, analyzing our depth charts, and thinking of ways for us to improve. He has shown me that as long as I am fully committed to what I am doing, I am going to succeed,” he said.
Gaglione played in Milford’s various youth programs growing up, and his advice for the young athletes of Milford is simple. “I would tell them that with whatever it is that you are doing…play hard, have fun, and never skip leg day.”
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