The clock hits 2:45 p.m. While most students are packing up, wiping down their desks, and heading home, Sixth Former Michael Bozzi remains seated, working on his homework or chatting with his friends to pass the 30-minute window. When 3:15 rolls around, Michael is off to the locker room to change into his lacrosse gear and grab his stick—the less time he spends in there, the sooner practice can get started. After warmup and position drills, the players continue into 4-on-4 drills and eventually move to work across the full field.
Having played lacrosse since Form I, Bozzi is no stranger to the dedication and work ethic required to succeed on the field. His time on the varsity lacrosse team during his first three high school years has given him valuable experience applicable not just during matches, but also during practices. As a senior captain, Bozzi strives to set an example for the younger players by giving it his all during practice, working with them to elevate their game.
“Giving 100 percent every single time on the field and showing the younger kids what it’s like to be on the Haverford lacrosse team is something that I think about every day,” Bozzi said. “Sometimes what the younger kids lack is just a little bit of confidence, and the senior captains alongside Coach Dawson try to build that up and hopefully push their game through the ceiling.”
In addition to his increased importance within the team, Bozzi’s playstyle caters to the team’s needs. As a midfielder, Bozzi adapts to both offense and defense.
“Whether it’s dodging or defending guys, he [Bozzi] plays angles really well and refuses to lose.”Mr. Jeremy Hart
“He’s a fast player,” Assistant Coach Mr. Jeremy Hart said. “Whether it’s dodging or defending guys, he plays angles really well and refuses to lose. If we need a short-stick defensive mid to go in, or if we need someone to do the nitty gritty, he’s someone who can do that.”
“If we ask him [Bozzi] to focus specifically on offense, he can score a lot of goals. If we ask him to focus on defense, he can be a great defensive player,” Head Coach Mr. Brendan Dawson said. “He’s selfless and does what the team needs and what the coaches ask of him.”
In Coach Dawson’s eyes, Bozzi’s selflessness makes him an exceptional leader and player. Still, Bozzi remains humble and is not worried about being a star.
“The ‘whatever it takes’ mentality means sacrificing something that the players individually want, and Michael has never hesitated to do that.”Head Coach Mr. Brendan Dawson
“The ‘whatever it takes’ mentality means sacrificing something that the players individually want, and Michael has never hesitated to do that. He’s a guy who understands that it is a really important part of being a teammate and a captain,” Coach Dawson said.
In addition, he never gets complacent, maintaining a strong work ethic both on and off the field.
“He’s one of the most humble guys I know. He walks the walk and talks the talk,” Coach Hart said. “He has expectations of guys and doesn’t let himself not live up to the expectations he sets for others.”
Going into competitions, Bozzi keeps a calm mindset in contrast to the stereotypical, pumped-up pregame routine: “I don’t listen to any hyped-up music prior to the actual game. Instead, I stay calm and try not to get too much in my head. We always have a gameplan, and I know if we stick to that, we’re going to be in a good spot.”
It is clear that the midfielder has been—and will continue to be during his final year—a vital part to the lacrosse program, and this is reflected in the team’s current record. After starting the season with a loss, the Fords have bounced back and won four games in a row. They began Inter-Ac play with a 6-4 victory over Germantown Academy, getting their league schedule started on the right track. As of April 18, the team currently stands at 6-1.