Sports Person of the Week
Gagliardi Loved Competing Alongside His ‘Band of Brothers’
Kyle Gagliardi embraced the camaraderie that came with competing for both the boys’ soccer and boys’ lacrosse teams at Morgan. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Gagliardi )
Kyle Gagliardi felt like he was missing something when he was in the 6th grade. Kyle was playing baseball, but wanted to start participating in a sport that featured a faster pace and a little more physicality. Kyle discovered lacrosse, and he’s been dedicated to the sport ever since.
Kyle went on to play for the Morgan boys’ lacrosse squad and was named a senior captain heading into this year. Kyle and his fellow senior captain Alex Amendola were ready to lead to the Huskies to a successful campaign after they went 11-8 and advanced to the Shoreline Conference final last spring.
Although the season never took place, Kyle appreciates that he played for a team that featured such strong camaraderie. In fact, Kyle competed for two teams at Morgan in which that was the case.
“I’d have to say my favorite aspect of the sport is that it truly is a band of brothers. In the same way that my soccer team is a part of my family, every member of my lacrosse team is my brother,” says Kyle. “I’ve been playing lacrosse for about seven years now, and I’m constantly working on ways to improve my game. The only way you can do that is with the stick in your hand, whether it be with wall ball, shooting, passing, or playing pickup. I know the only way I can improve is putting in the hard work and time.”
A midfielder, Kyle was ready to take on a big leadership role with the lacrosse team, following the graduation of 10 seniors who all played significant minutes last year. Kyle believes that the experience he gained as a junior was going to prove valuable to him during his senior campaign.
“My two favorite moments from last season were when I was doing face-offs. During the first game of the season last year against Valley, I had the best percentage for face-offs I ever had in a game. That was a real confidence booster and was a token to my hard work,” Kyle says. “The second was when we played against Somers, and I lost almost every face-off. Most people might not think of that as a favorite moment, but for me, it was confirmation that I still had a long way to go.”
Kyle says that Head Coach Brendan Hylan is one of his biggest motivators as a lacrosse player. Kyle knows that he made huge strides both on and off the field as a result of working with Hylan.
“Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t want anyone else to coach me. He knows how to push me and, more so for this year, let me know when I need to step up and lead,” says Kyle. “But at the same time, he’s down to earth and understanding. I respect Coach Hylan, and he respects me. That’s the way it should be.”
Hylan says that Kyle exemplifies every leadership trait a coach wants to see in a captain.
“He’s the loudest one cheering his teammates on. He is helping make sure our gear is organized. He is the first one at practice and last one to leave,” Hylan says. “Kyle is a very committed and dedicated teammate.”
Kyle also enjoyed a nice career on the soccer pitch at Morgan. Last fall, he helped the Huskies notch a record of 15-3-3 and earn a share of the Shoreline Conference title for their third-straight league crown. Aside from high school sports, Kyle enjoys spending time outdoors and has a wide array of hobbies.
“I love to get outside,” Kyle says. “I love kayaking, fishing, crabbing, hiking, archery, camping—you name it. I have video games as my guilty pleasure, as well.”
Kyle is also a standout student at Morgan and was a member of the Boy Scouts for six years. He’s also been part of the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps for four years is currently the leading petty officer of Nautilus 571 Division out of the Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton. In the fall, Kyle will attend North Carolina State University to study biomedical engineering on a Navy ROTC scholarship.
As he gets ready for the next phase of his life, Kyle will always appreciate the moments that he shared with Huskies’ teammates. It’s still hard for Kyle to believe that he didn’t get to take one final ride with them on the lacrosse field this spring.
“I was most looking forward to playing with my friends one last time. After being with the same guys for years, it just doesn’t seem right that last year was our last official match together,” says Kyle. “It really was one of those situations where I didn’t appreciate how lucky I was until it was gone.”