By Chris Goldberg
Chris Pucciarelli was hardly bothered by the wind and the cold Saturday at the Beast of the East National Showcase at the Delaware Turf Complex in Frederica.
After all, the 2021 attackman from Team Turnpike and Monroe Township High (N.J.) was making his first appearance on the field after missing four months due to a broken left foot.
So, being named the Beast National MVP was just an added bonus for a player itching to get back on the field.
“I was very excited because I couldn’t play all summer and it was hard to see all of them playing throughout the summer and being unable to play,” he said. “To have this impact means a lot.”
Pucciarelli was one of over 100 players in the event run by Victory Events. (see the full All-Star list below). He said the clammy conditions actually favored him.
“It was a little windy and cold and actually I’d rather it be cold than hot,” he said. “Once I started going I warmed up and just kept going.”
Pucciarelli said his dodging and passing picked up as he began to learn his teammates.
“My dodging from behind went well,” said Pucciarellui, who was one of seven MVPs chosen at last year’s Victory Events’ Fall Showcase Camp. “I might have forced from inside a few times, but I kept dodging and finishing and getting to the center of the field to get a shot.
“No one knew how each other played so between games I talked to the attackmen and asked where they would rather get the ball, from their left or right. Then we meshed real well.
“The competition was good; the d-poles were big – at least they were bigger than me – so I had to catch them off guard with dodges. I had to find their weaknesses and find their weak leg.
Pucciarelli said earning the Beast of the East honor is a big confidence boost as he looks to be seen by college coaches. But he said he always has confidence.
“Your confidence has to be that you are the best player on the field,” he said. “That’s just the way I see it. If I have confidence, I can play up to expectations.”
Pucciarelli said he played his first summer tourney on the broken foot before it was diagnosed. The good news? “I broke it right on the growth plate and they said I have five inches left of growth in me. So there was some good news in all that.”
Especially on Saturday.
BEAST NATIONAL MVP #102 Chris Pucciarelli 2021 Team Turnpike Team 6 ATTACK #102 Chris Pucciarelli 2021 Team Turnpike Team 6 #11 Kellen Hurst 2021 SJ Shamrocks Team 2 #18 Ethan Parkhill 2021 PA Roughriders Team 5 #26 Dylan Wilson 2021 Zingos Elite Team 2 #25 Michael Sweigart 2021 Mavericks Team 1 MIDFIELD #41 Jacob Nottoli 2022 Rock Elite MD Team 5 #43 Darren Romaine 2021 Team 91 NJ South Team 5 #40 Gavyn Naranjo 2021 IM3 Team 4 #33 Mathew Dorrian 2021 Team Turnpike Team 1 #42 Jonah Revelant 2021 True New Jersey Team 2 #52 Jeffrey Woosnan 2021 Fusion Team 3 FACEOFF #32 Thomas Desouza 2021 Cavalier LC Team 2 #45 Damian Swech 2022 NXT Team 4 LSM #57 Dylan Mann 2021 True New Jersey Team 3 #59 Manuel Puente 2021 Dukes Mainline; Bandits Team 2 DEFENSE #87 Mason Russo 2021 Patriot Team 1 #82 Brady Palmer 2021 Kooper’s Team 5 #67 Jordan Campbell 2021 True New Jersey Team 5 #68 Justin Coates 2021 Black Bear 2021 Team 6 GOALIE #98 Jonathan Singer 2020 Swarm Team 5 #92 Connor Flanegan 2021 NXT Team 4