Matt: I can speak for everyone here - we have known each other since elementary school. We all ended up attending the same middle school, which is where we became a tight group of friends. There’s a big group of about nine of us who all have known each other for a long time.
Matt: I started playing lacrosse in first grade with town clinics. In 4th grade I took a year off and played baseball but next season came back to lacrosse.
Mike: I actually began a bit later in 5th grade.
Anthony: I started in 1st grade with Matt doing the town clinics.
Matt: I started out playing defense actually, and played that up until 7th grade.
Mike: I’ve always been a defenseman from the beginning!
Anthony: I started at attack and played that until 7th or 8th grade and afterwards I switched to midfield.
Anthony Perhacs, Midfielder
Matt Dansecs, Midfielder
Matt: Growing up, my older brother’s friends were constantly playing in my backyard and I would join them but they wouldn’t take it easy on me, which was a good thing looking back. In 8th grade is when I started playing travel lacrosse. A year or so later when I realized that I could get into college with lacrosse is when it really ramped up for me.
Mike: I started getting serious around the same time as Matt, when we joined a travel team. As for lifting, it was really the foundation I got during freshman football season. Once I got into the weight room I just kept getting after it and pushing myself.
Anthony: Ever since lacrosse was introduced to me I stuck with it and it became my sport. I definitely played other sports, but around 6th or 7th grade is when I started playing travel lacrosse like Matt and Mike. I realized I had to step my game up when I went to a tryout and thought to myself that there were a lot of other kids who were better than me and I don’t know if I am going to make the team! That motivated me to step my game up.
Matt: Right now I am playing Football in my senior year in addition to lacrosse. I played football for a few years when I was younger but then didn’t get back to it until this year. I played a ton of street hockey growing up as well. It was pretty popular in Roxbury. I think the street hockey went until 6th grade – I loved playing that.
Mike: I played pretty much every sport I could when I was really young. I stuck with baseball until 5th grade, and then gave it up for lacrosse. I have also played football since 3rd grade, which has been a lot of fun to play.
Anthony: I started playing football in 3rd grade, about the same time I started playing lacrosse. Also, I played competitive basketball until 8th grade, and then continued playing for the rec league in town, which actually draws a pretty huge crowd!
Putting Roxbury on the map and that’s something we have always talked about
Matt: There were actually 3 moments for me. The 1st moment, which I am most proud of, is that we brought Roxbury to a top 20 ranking in the state. As a town, we have never really been close before so it was awesome to see all our hard work finally paying off. The second (and third) moments were two games that both came down to the last minute, of which we came out on top of both of them. It proved to me that the team I was on was as committed and dedicated to winning as I was.
Mike: We always dreamed of putting Roxbury on the map. Everyone always thinks of the same towns around us: Summit, Delbarton, Chatham etc. so playing Delbarton in the final four was awesome. Even though the score wasn’t as close as we wanted, just the crowd, atmosphere and experience was really incredible.
Anthony: 2 things. First, all of our hard work paying off. Putting Roxbury on the map and that’s something we have always talked about. To be playing in the state championship game with your team that was never discussed as a contender was awesome. We’d obviously like to have that game back. Second, getting to see the seniors graduate and have an awesome senior year. We had been playing with them since 3rd grade. I even remember the first goal I scored in 3rd grade was assisted by senior David Bianc (SUNY Cortland)!
Play your game, be yourself, and trust your instincts.
Matt: The fact that we are from Roxbury. We have had to work really hard to get to where we are now, most people don’t think of Roxbury as a super athletic town to begin with. We hope we can change that perception. Being from a non-traditional powerhouse is what motivates us. We work and we grind to prove people wrong.
Mike: From our neck of the woods, there hasn’t been a long tradition of extremely talented lacrosse teams from Roxbury so we take that to heart and have worked hard to change that perception.
Anthony: I absolutely echo the sentiments of Matt and Mike. One thing I think of was when we used to trying out for club/all-star teams and coaches would tell us that we were going to have to tryout “harder” than the other players because nobody knew of Roxbury lacrosse. Those coaches would look at Delbarton or Chatham helmets and give them the benefit of the doubt and then look at our helmet and be like where the heck are you coming from?
Matt: One thing that might not be obvious from the outside but is definitely a factor to our success is the ultra-competitiveness within our friend group. Everything we do is a competition, and we love every second of it. We also rub it in each others face when we win which has made us even more competitive. I think that really gives us an edge when we go out on the field and play other teams and even in practice.
Mike: For me it’s always being in the weight room. Once football season ends, Anthony and I hang out in the weight room a ton.
Anthony: All of us have done speed and agility sessions at Athletic Republic, an athletic training facility nearby. We have been going since we were freshmen, which has helped us develop speed and training over the course of the last few years.
Matt: The biggest one is hanging out with our group of friends (there is nine of us). I know people just say that but I genuinely don’t think that someone from the outside can understand how close we are. I’m not big on TV because I can’t stay focused so if I am home I will just go out in the backyard with my stick.
Mike: Like Matt said - hanging with friends is the main way. We are always hanging, and before every football game and lacrosse game we have a pasta night at Anthony’s house.
Anthony: We have a really tight group of friends that are always together (maybe too much). I love snowboarding in the winter as well and my family will take a bunch of trips to ski/snowboard together.
Matt: I would say have patience; both athletically and with the recruiting process. If you don’t think you have what it takes right now just be patient and it will happen if you continue to work hard!
Mike: I agree with Matt as well. Keep working hard, and don’t get psyched out. Play your game and do you, be yourself and trust your instincts.
Anthony: Patience is huge. I trust my coaches completely at Blue Star and they will get me to where I want to be. On the flipside of the coin I try to never be outworked. You know that the kid next to you is somewhere out there taking reps – you need to go out and do more than him!