RESETARITS CONTINUES HIS EDUCATION
8/3/12 9:48 AM
By Craig Rybczynski
Joe Resetarits stood outside the Hamilton Nationals’ locker room at Selby Stadium and talked about his first season of professional lacrosse. With a pivotal game against the Ohio Machine an hour away, the rookie’s enthusiasm for the game was evident in his pregame interview.
“It’s awesome. I like just how things are run. Going from college, it’s a lot faster and everyone is good,” he said. “Guys I watched when I was younger, now I get to compete against them.”
Resetarits has continued his education this summer. The former University at Albany star has received some valuable post-graduate training outside of the classroom as an attackman with the Major League Lacrosse Hamilton Nationals. One of his teachers is Head Coach Regy Thorpe, who sees a lot of promise in the young offensive star.
“Joey is a great kid, has a bright future ahead of him. He meshes well with our guys having the box experience and having that experience in the field side. He is very explosive and makes good decisions. We are excited about the rest of the season with him.”
The Nationals know they have a star in the making in Resetarits, who was one of the most prolific scorers in his school’s history. This past season, he helped Albany rebound from a 0-7 start to advance to the America East Conference title game. Despite falling one win short of advancing to the NCAA Tournament, he was honored as the conference’s Player of the Year. A First Team selection for the third time in his career, Resetarits averaged 5.60 points per game against America East opponents. He also duplicated the feat achieved by his brother Frank, who won the Player of the Year honors in 2007.
UAlbany and Resetarits fell 14-8 to Stony Brook, but he ended his career with a goal in 49 consecutive games. His four goals in the Semifinal victory over UMBC helped the Great Danes advance to the America East Conference Finals. Resetarits, who finished third in goals per game at the Division I level, was awarded Honorable Mention All-American honors in 2012. He finished his career with the Great Danes with 169 points (125+44) in 50 games.
“We realized we had to win our conference to have a shot at the tournament. We fell short in the Championship game in our conference, but it was a great year,” said Resetarits, who followed his brother to the university. “Since Frank was there, I knew it was the place I wanted to be and play for Coach (Scott) Marr.”
Frank and Joe were products of Hamburg High School lacrosse. Both played for the late great Ed Van Tine, who passed away in February after a lengthy illness. Van Tine was known as the “godfather of Buffalo lacrosse,” founding programs at Buffalo State College, Canisius College, Hamburg and St. Francis High School. He groomed the Resetarits boys while working as the head coach at Hamburg, coaching Joe for two seasons. Joe reminisced about the impact Van Tine had on lacrosse in western New York and the lessons he learned from the educator, coach, father and US Marine.
“He started Buffalo lacrosse and loved the game. He was a tyrant out there, but looking back he yelled at you for a reason. If he took time with you, you knew he liked you. Little things I do now are stuff that at the time I wondered ‘why do I have to do this’, but it made me who I am right now. He was a great guy and a great coach. Lacrosse wouldn’t be there without him.”
Resetarits was a lacrosse prodigy, playing five seasons of varsity lacrosse. He led Hamburg to two sectional titles en route to three All-Western New York selections. In 2008, he established a Section VI record with 98 goals as he led the Bulldogs to the 2008 Class A state championship with a 21-3 record. The son of Frank and Donna Resetarits was a top prospect attending national showcases and twice being chosen to the U.S. Lacrosse High School All-America squad. He even played in the Under Armour® All-Star Game as one of the nation's top 46 players.
After leaving Albany this May, Resetarits moved back to his hometown, where he works local lacrosse camps and plays in Buffalo-based tournaments. He also travels to Canada quite frequently. He has become accustomed to making the 90-minute commute from Hamburg, playing for the Nationals and the Major Series Lacrosse Brampton Excelsiors. He has even considered getting a NEXUS pass to decrease his wait at the border.
“We always talked about getting one,” said Resetarits, who recommends taking the Peace Bridge. “I am looking forward to getting one of those in the future. There are times when it’s tough to get over and those can be clutch.”
Even having to wait at the border on occasion, Resetarits still looks forward to his trips to McMaster University for home games with the Nationals. In eight games, he has had four multiple-goal efforts and has notched points in his last five contests. He has started showing the promise and potential that led the team to take the Albany attackman in the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft. The 21-year-old has increased his Lacrosse IQ with each drive down the QEW to Hamilton.
“This is where I wanted to be and where I wanted to be playing,” said Resetarits, who admitted he has learned more poise from Assistant Coach Gary Gait. “It’s also nice for my parents who like coming to games.”
Last summer, Resetarits honed his box lacrosse skills with the Brampton Excelsiors. He recorded 29 points in 18 regular season games, but was even more valuable in the MSL Playoffs. In just 11 games, he scored 15 times and added eight assists. He was a surprising contributor in the MSL Finals, where Brampton upset the defending Mann Cup Champion Peterborough Lakers in five games. It was not only a chance to learn the indoor game, but united the Resetarits brothers for the first time in their careers. They finished the MSL playoffs fourth and fifth on the team in points, respectively.
“That was great playing with guys like Dan Dawson and finally getting to play with my brother. Growing up, I never played on an actual team with him. When I found out I could play with him, I jumped all over it,” said Joe Resetarits. “It was an awesome summer and I am glad I played there.”
The Excelsiors capped off their remarkable season with a five-game victory over the Langley Thunder to capture the Mann Cup. Brampton clinched the Cup with a 6-3 win on September 12th, but Resetarits was not there. He was back at UAlbany in his apartment, cheering on his team as he watched all the games on his computer. It was a more subdued celebration than what was occurring in Langley.
“I was disappointed. I was there from the start of the season to there. Playing for the oldest trophy in lacrosse and to not be there was devastating,” he said. “I wanted to go out there because I thought I could help the team out. They did a great job out there.”
Resetarits is back with the Excels this summer, hoping to play to play for his first Mann Cup. He has the benefit of playing with Nationals’ teammate and fellow American Joe Walters. The lefty continues to build his indoor resume with the National Lacrosse League Entry Draft just months away. By most accounts, he could go in the first round. But according to Resetarits, he will just be happy to play.
“I can play anywhere. I can be that perimeter guy or play inside. I like playing indoors because I like going to the net. There are obviously things I still need to work on,” he said. “Anything they want me to do, I will do. I just love playing.”