You have heard about folks who can't see the forest for the trees, those whose focus on the minor details eclipses their view of the big picture.
Totino-Grace senior Giuseppe Palermo (his friends call him Joe) is not one of those people. He has wanted to play Division I lacrosse since the sixth grade, and achieved his goal by signing with Quinnipiac. But he got there by working on the little things. And he owes part of his success to cutting down trees behind his family's home in Lino Lakes and creating a space to practice.
"We cut down trees, brought in dirt to level the ground, laid sod and
put a goal back there," Palermo said. "I'm back there every day,
shooting from a standstill or on the run and working on getting my shot
off with either my left or right hand."
Being ambidextrous, Palermo said, helps separate good college players
from great ones. But Palermo's focus is not squarely on the next level.
He is busy helping Totino-Grace to its most competitive season in three
years. Palermo, a midfielder, leads his team in goals (17) and assists
(16) as the Eagles started the season with a 6-2 record. They won just
five games in the past two seasons combined.