John Zulberti made a lasting impact on many in the lacrosse community, and tributes to the legend poured in over the last week since his death Aug. 1. He was 54.
Considered one of the most dominant players ever in Upstate New York lacrosse, John Zulberti had illustrious playing careers at West Genesee High School in Camillus, New York, and at Syracuse, earning All-American honors with the Orange four times, winning the Jack Turnbull Award, and clinching two national championships in 1988 and 1989. His 267 career college points ranks him sixth in Syracuse’s history.
“‘Z’ was a great teammate and captain in ’89 a true leader on the field,” Tom Marechek, Zulberti’s attackman teammate at Syracuse, told Matt Kinnear of Inside Lacrosse on Aug. 2. “I think the best pure feeder I’ve ever seen play the game. He was also a lot of fun to hang out with on the golf course or just having a beer and reminiscing about old Syracuse days.”
It wasn’t just his on-field production that gained him recognition. Zulberti was also notorious for his orange Chuck Taylor’s, which became synonymous with his mystique.
His impact on the game didn’t just stay on the field. Zulberti coached high school and youth lacrosse for more than 30 years, and for nearly a decade, he coached lacrosse in the Atlanta area with Thunder LB3, which has helped consolidate the city’s talent and elevated the sport in the Georgia capital.
“‘Z’ was an unbelievable teacher, mentor and friend to so many kids and families,” Andy Pons, the director of Thunder LB3 club, said to Kinnear. “His energy and bigger-than-life personality made everybody around him a better person, and you instantly bonded to Z-man. John Z will be missed, and the entire lacrosse world is down one guy today. Rest In Peace.”
Though his time on earth was short, the impact of John Zulberti on lacrosse will continue to be felt for years to come.
Now for the other news for the week of Aug. 3-9, 2021.
Last Week in Lacrosse
Brian Holman stepped down from his position as Utah men’s lacrosse head coach, setting in motion the program’s search for its second-ever head coach. Holman held the role for three seasons and led the team through its elevation as a club sport to a Division I competitor.
The Lake Placid Summer Classic was played from Aug. 2-7, returning after COVID-19 caused a one-year hiatus for the summer staple.
Drexel has tabbed Maisha Kelly as the next head coach of its women’s lacrosse program, appointing the former Stony Brook assistant as the team’s ninth all-time head coach.
Penn State announced the addition of Mike Murphy to its men’s lacrosse coaching staff. Murphy has 19 years of college coaching experience and has spent time recently coaching in the PLL as well.
Anne Harrington will serve as the interim head coach of Richmond women’s lacrosse, filling the shoes of Allison Kwolek, for at the time being, after Kwolek left to take the head coaching position at Clemson.
Maryland women’s lacrosse has added five key transfers to its roster in the offseason – Aurora Cordingley (attacker, Johns Hopkins), Abby Bosco (defender, Penn), Clancy Rheude (defender, Albany), Shannon Smith (midfielder, North Carolina), and Natalie Pansini (midfielder, Princeton) – as the Terps look to avoid another early departure from the NCAA Tournament.
Lacrosse is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and reaching more and more parts of the globe with every passing year. Nathaniel Marrero of OrangeObserver.com spoke with one of the people helping to spread the game, Jojo Marasco, about his work in supporting lacrosse in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Get Caught Up on LAS Content
Miss out on what we did last week? Here’s a recap of some of our top content from the last seven days.
Wall Ball Drills That Will Make You Better
Wall ball is one of the most simple ways to improve your game. These are a few wall ball drills you can do to get better at lacrosse.
How Performance Mesh Took Over the World
Performance mesh has become the standard in lacrosse, but that wasn’t always the case. This is how it overtook wax mesh and become the prominent option.
Six Lacrosse Recruiting Tips From a College Coach
Mike Schanhals has coached college lacrosse for a while, so when he gives you six tips for lacrosse recruits, you should probably pay attention.
PLL vs MLL Champions Comparison: 2019 Whipsnakes vs 2005 Bayhawks
The 2019 Whipsnakes and 2005 Bayhawks were both outstanding teams, but which one do you think would win in a neutral-site game?
Building the Ultimate Defender
Which PLL players would you pull which attributes from to create the ultimate defender? Nick Zoroya tried his hand at the exercise.