Sports Person of the Week
Pecora Led North Haven Football from the Sidelines
Korbin Pecora’s senior season with the North Haven football team came to an abrupt end due to a knee injury, but he remained a key part of the team, and led the Indians from the sidelines. (Photo courtesy of Korbin Pecora)
Korbin Pecora was on his way to a great senior year with the North Haven football squad when a knee injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. It was a devastating setback for Korbin, but he knew he had a responsibility to lead the Indians in any way he could. Korbin did exactly that and became a great leader from the sidelines.
“It was unfortunate the way it happened, as it put an end to my high-school sports career,” says Korbin, who will also likely miss his senior season with the boys’ lacrosse team. “I knew I still had a huge role because I was a captain, and I needed to be a captain and a leader. I just tried my best to stay the leader throughout the year and did everything I could to be a part of the team. In the end, the injury taught me more than anything really could’ve taught me. I had to be resilient.”
Korbin, who played wingback and linebacker, injured his knee when he dove through a defender to make a perfect block during North Haven’s third game of the season—a 17-14 win against Cheshire. Even though he couldn’t compete on the field, Korbin made sure that he remained heavily involved with his team throughout the rest of the campaign.
“I was at practice every day I could be there,” Korbin says. “I had physical therapy twice per week, but every day I could be there, I was there for the full practice, doing the best to be a player-coach and do what I could to help. I wanted to make sure to stay a part of the team.”
North Haven football Head Coach Anthony Sagnella says he was impressed with the maturity Korbin displayed while dealing with such a difficult situation.
“He was highly respected by peers and coaches based on his performance his junior year. Everybody was counting on Korbin, and he was a leader on and off the field. His injury was devastating, obviously to him and our team, because they lost him for the year, and he meant so much to us,” says Sagnella, whose team went 8-3 and qualified for the Class L State Playoffs. “Being the kid Korbin is, he battled through the surgery and rehab, managing to be present for the remaining weeks of the season. He still managed to be their spiritual leader and emotional leader, despite his physical absence on the field. He never sulked or pouted, never let his teammates see his disappointment. That makes him such a special person.”
Korbin played linebacker on defense and was a lead blocker on the offensive side of the ball. He enjoyed playing offense in the Indians’ system and loved taking on would-be tacklers.
“I loved blocking for my teammates. I wasn’t much of a runner, so I liked watching them score,” Korbin says. “It was always more rewarding than taking it myself. I liked blocking and the reward of the team scoring.”
As a midfielder for North Haven’s boys’ lacrosse team, Korbin had a standout junior season last spring. Korbin made the All-SCC Second Team and the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State Second Team, in addition to earning a spot on the New Haven Register’s All-Area Team. Korbin appreciates the accolades, although he says he never could have collected them without the support of the people around him.
“It was definitely cool to have those awards, but I don’t really think it’s a reflection on me. It’s more on my teammates and coaches. I see those awards more as team awards than my award, because without the rest of the guys, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I did last year,” Korbin says. “Without them pushing me all year long, I’d be nowhere. Our coaching staff was tremendous, and we had a great group of guys. I was just the one that ended up being the recipient of the award at the end of the year.”
While Korbin is uncertain if he will be able to play lacrosse this spring due to the injury, he isn’t ready to officially rule himself out for the entire season.
“At the moment, my rehab is going really well. At the same time, this injury is a seven- to nine-month recovery. Seven months is around May, which is the end of the lacrosse season,” says Korbin. “Time will tell. Maybe I’ll be back, but time will tell. It’ll be close.”