Athlete of Week: Borriello boosts lacrosse on Strand

soclax-7Nick Borriello’s passion for lacrosse began well before the Grand Strand got into the game. Nine years later, both have come a long way in the sport, and the Socastee senior has had a hand in helping to grow lacrosse’s popularity to the area.

“I grew up in Long Island (NY) and lacrosse was huge there,” recalled Borriello, who was named the Mammy’s Kitchen Athlete of the Week for leading Socastee to its first playoff berth. “I started playing in the third grade and all my friends had been playing since they were 5 or 6.

“I was playing football and some of my teammates invited me to one of their lacrosse games. It turned out that they were one player short so they asked me to play, and that was it. I was hooked, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.”

Borriello’s lacrosse career appeared to be over when his family moved to the Grand Strand in his seventh grade year. He attended St. James with plans to add a team in the future, but he transferred to Socastee since it was the only game in town. His love of the lacrosse only grew as he worked with first-year coach Matt Fox and a team filled with newcomers to the sport.

“I remember my freshman year we only won two games, and now as a senior we made the playoffs for the first time,” said Borriello, who earned All-State honors after scoring 33 goals and 36 assists this season. “It was an awesome experience working with Coach Fox, he taught me so much about the game, and the friendships I’ve made with teammates that will last a lifetime.”

Borriello not only takes pride in what the Braves accomplished, but also the growth of the sport on the Strand since his arrival. Horry County went from having one team at Socastee his freshman year to boys and girls programs at Carolina Forest, Myrtle Beach and St. James this season.

“I was really happy for Carolina Forest because a lot of those guys played here before they had a team,” Borriello said. “To see them come so far, and for Myrtle Beach, St. James and Waccamaw to start programs, it’s just great to see how far the sport has come here.”

Lacrosse has also given Borriello the opportunity to pursue bigger goals while still enjoying the game. He earned a scholarship at Lincoln (TN) Memorial University, where he will begin studying pre-med in the fall. He hopes to return to the Grand Strand as Dr. Borriello someday and continue to support the sport in the area.

“The way I look at it, I’m basically getting paid to play lacrosse (with a college education),” he said. “That’s always been my dream and I had so many people help me along the way – Coach Fox, my teammates and my parents. I played on a travel team in Wilmington (NC) and my mom drove me to practice three days a week. So I hope to come back and give back one day.”

Photo courtesy of SHS Lacrosse

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