Sports Person of the Week
DeLucia Honored to Wear the Captain’s Hat
Marchello DeLucia was a rising senior as a singles player for the East Haven boys’ tennis team entering this year. He was also named one of the Yellowjackets’ captains. (Photo courtesy of Marchello DeLucia )
Whether he’s playing on the tennis court or preparing for the courtroom, Marchello DeLucia knows that he has to stay focused. That’s exactly what Marchello has done as a member of the East Haven boys’ tennis for the past few years. Coming into this year, Marchello was named a senior captain for the Yellowjackets.
Marchello got his first taste of tennis when he was seven. His father would take him and his sister to East Shore Park in New Haven, and Marchello found that he had fun playing the sport.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing there, but I enjoyed it,” Marchello says. “It was really fun, hitting the ball around with my dad. It was enjoyable.”
In the summer before his freshman year, Marchello joined the Silver Sands Beach & Tennis Club in East Haven. After playing at Silver Sands, Marchello started to take tennis seriously and began enjoying the sport more.
“It was something I really did enjoy doing. It got a lot more serious than just hitting the ball around,” says Marchello. “I wanted to get into that. I wanted to play more. I wanted to be serious about tennis. I just really enjoyed it.”
Marchello was a little nervous when he first signed up to compete for the high school team. He only knew a few of his teammates from Silver Sands and “just wanted to fit in.”
However, throughout his three seasons with the squad, Marchello formed strong bonds with his teammates as they all worked hard together. Marchello’s favorite part of competing for East Haven was how everyone supported each other by cheering on their fellow Yellowjackets during matches.
“It makes me feel like we’re family,” Marchello says. “It makes me feel good knowing that my tennis family cares about me and wants me to keep going. It gives me the fuel to keep going when I’m in a match.”
Marchello received a big boost of encouragement from his teammates when the Easties faced Platt Tech in last year’s finale. Competing in the No. 3 singles match, Marchello dropped the first set, but rallied to take the next two sets and spur East Haven to a 4-3 win.
It was a pivotal victory for both Marchello and his team. Head Coach Anthony Perrotti was proud to see Marchello grind out the win in a tense three-setter.
“You could see after he lost the first set, he was really down on himself, but he didn’t let that carry over to the next set,” Perrotti says. “That’s the biggest thing with high school athletes—quick memory, moving on to the next point. Marchello was able to move on. He battled back and won that third set, which was huge for us.”
As Marchello got ready for his senior season, he was selected as one of the Yellowjackets’ captains with junior Mat DiVito. Although East Haven was unable to play due to COVID-19, Marchello still felt honored and humbled to earn his seat in the captain’s chair.
“It made me feel happy and proud in a way,” says Marchello. “Knowing that I would be looked up to by my other teammates made me proud to be their leader.”
When he graduates from East Haven, Marchello plans on attending Keene State College in New Hampshire. He’s hoping to keep playing tennis, while doing a double major in criminal justice and sociology.
Marchello has a long-term goal of becoming a lawyer. After taking a law class in his junior year, Marchello realized that the courtroom is where he wants to be.
“I’ve always been interested in trials and criminal cases,” Marchello says. “I took a criminal law class in my junior year. We did a mock trial for the first time, and I got to be the defense lawyer. I was able to win a case. That’s when I felt like I really wanted to be a lawyer.”
Coach Perrotti describes Marchello as a motivated tennis player and says that it’s easy to see his passion when he’s competing. Marchello’s dedication to the game has driven him throughout his high school career. Even after he graduates, Marchello will always be rooting for the Yellowjackets.
“Even though I’ll be gone next year, I want everyone to feel optimistic when they get to play again,” says Marchello. “Even though I’ll be gone, I’ll always be cheering them on, whenever they play.”