Monroe is a small town on the western side of Connecticut. It is also the hometown of two Keene State College lacrosse players. Frank Bacarella is a 5”6’ junior midfielder, while Brandon Charney is a 5”8’ senior defender. They have both been playing lacrosse for over nine years.
According to Charney, they didn’t even have a youth lacrosse program in their hometown. “We didn’t have a youth lacrosse program in our town, so me and Frank had to travel to Shelton, Connecticut, to play lacrosse.”
Apparently, times have changed in Monroe and their town is starting to gain a bigger interest in the sport.
“I think though, since the youth program started (in Monroe), the lacrosse culture is getting bigger and better year by year; people seem excited about it in my town, so that’s cool,” said Bacarella.
Lacrosse has not only been a sport to both players, but also a bonding experience for the two of them.
“It has been the best experience to play lacrosse with Brandon; he’s my best friend, so even when I didn’t see him outside of lacrosse, I would see him every day” said Bacarella.
“Frank is the one that got me into lacrosse. He started playing before I did and we were best friends since the second grade, so we were always around each other. He is definitely the reason why I started lacrosse,” said Charney.
All of the time spent competing against each other in practice really helped each player develop their game.
“Brandon has a great competitive edge, so playing with him and against him my whole life has been great because it has done nothing but make me a better lacrosse player”, said Bacarella.
“Playing against him my whole life was tough because he knows all my moves and which way I’m going to go and how I play, so playing with him definitely made me turn into more of an all around lacrosse player,” said Bacarella.
Bacarella has put up big numbers so far this season. In six games, he has registered 14 goals and six assists. Charney has been steady on the back end in five games so far this year.
Playing on the same team has been nothing but a positive experience for both players.
“It’s the best being on the same lacrosse team in college. What’s better than playing with your best friend? Also, I always have someone I can count on or ask for tips when I need some work on a facet of my game,” said Bacarella.
“Its great to get another four years with such a good friend. We are both just trying to enjoy the rest of our time here at Keene before we graduate,” said Charney.
The expectations are high for Charney and Bacarella this season.
“I have high expectations of our season. We’ve had a couple tough losses, but I think we have a great chance to win the rest of our games, win our league championship and hopefully go far in the NCAA,” said Bacarella.
“Our expectations this season would be to win our fourth Little East Conference (LEC) championship in a row here at Keene State and make a run in the tournament,” said Charney.
Austin Sanidas can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org