In class at Bergen Catholic, Matt Pedrick may not be the most talkative of his peers, but once he takes the lacrosse field everything about this 5'9" New Milford native changes.
The once quiet and reserved Crusader transforms into an imposing force between the posts and is now taking his experience to the younger generations as he spends his summer volunteering at a skills camp after benefitting under the tutelage of not only Bergen's head coach Joe Haemmerle but lacrosse legend Bob Turco as well.
"I feel that because I have been playing for so long that I can relate to their way of thinking and turning what I need to express as a coach into their words," Pedrick said.
As the Crusaders' head net-minder, his main responsibility at camp is to work with campers during the morning on goalie specific drills and then to take what they worked on and translate that into excelling during the afternoon matches. Along with volunteering at the Central Bergen Lacrosse Camp he has worked at the worked at the River Dell junior lacrosse clinic as well.
"There is an intensity and momentum during the game that fills you as a goalie," Pedrick said. "It's like being a quarterback in that you see everything."
Coming from New Milford, Pedrick first got involved in lacrosse with the River Dell junior youth league in third grade where he played with many of his Bergen Catholic teammates early on. While playing in the Golden Hawks black and gold he learned the basics before joining the red and gold his freshman year.
"There is a huge difference between playing for River Dell and Bergen Catholic and a lot of that has to do with the caliber of the shots," Pedrick said. "My freshman year I started in goal against Mountain Lakes and that was the toughest competition I had ever faced. River Dell taught me the fundamentals and because the coach teaches at Bergen, he knew what I would need to know here so that I could apply it to leading the team."
And learning from two coaches has paid off as Pedrick recorded a season high 127 saves his freshman year and then 115 sophomore year for a total of 242 to place him in seventh on Bergen's All-Time Saves Leaders board and is ranked 10th in Bergen's Top 10 All-Time Save Percentage with 51.9 percent. With his junior and seniors years ahead of him, Pedrick will easily move up the ranks on both accounts. He previously earned Sophomore of the Years honors on the All-Suburban Team by the Ridgewood News and Third Team-All County.
And while the records and awards are a great honor, he is instead looking ahead to how he can continue to lead the Crusaders and preparing the next group of lacrosse players.