By Chris Goldberg, 10/27/19

    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.


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    Chris Pucciarelli