RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The goal of every team sport is to teach players how to be good teammates.
One local lacrosse squad in New Jersey is taking brotherhood to a new level, reports CBS2’s Steve Overmyer.
Even on days when school is out, Ridgewood High School lacrosse is in session
“You know, one town, one team,” said Ridgewood lacrosse coach Mike Pounds. “The kids take a lot of pride playing the game – playing for Ridgewood, and obviously their brothers are doing the same.”
It’s not uncommon for brothers to be on the same team. What makes Ridgewood High School lacrosse uncommon is the number of siblings: 10 sets of brothers.
“The fact that we have 10 sets of brothers is kind of cool, but also like the whole lacrosse team is one big family,” said Michael Bussinelli
“It makes it more of a brotherhood because we’re all closely connected,” said teammate Matthew Lia.
“It also shows for Coach Pounds the culture we’ve built here,” added brother Michael Lia.
On this day all four fields were filled with lacrosse players. The family element makes every practice more lively, adding a touch of sibling rivalry.
“Yeah, it definitely helps us try harder in practice,” said Matthew Lia.
“I’m not going to let him take my spot,” said James Hogan to his brother. “When his time, come then that’s his chance, but I’ve worked to hard for it.”
Some are connected by blood, others by the sport. Fittingly, the motto for this year’s team is “brothers.”
On some cases, the younger brothers coming up are inspired by their older kin.
“Just being around that and wanting to be like their big brother and their friends,” said Pound.
The innate camaraderie has led to success. Ridgewood is currently ranked fourth in the state.
“It’s going really good that we can succeed at, it really helps put Ridgewood on the map because we’re all really doing well,” said Michael Lia.
The team intends to keep cheering for each other, helping each other, and reemphasizing what it means for a team to be a family