Charging towards the goal – Todaro scores during a Rebels’ home game against Roslyn.
By Jarett Greben
The score is tied with twenty seconds left on the clock. Coach calls a timeout, and the Wolverines group together by their bench.
At the center of the huddle, one player rallies his teammates. “We have worked too hard and have too much talent to let this game slip away. Put your heart and all your effort into these next few seconds, and I promise you we will come out on top.”
The referee blows his whistle, and both teams skate to the face-off circle.
The other team steals the puck and rushes toward the Wolverines’ goal. Thirteen, twelve. They take a shot that ricochets off the crossbar. “DINGGGGG.” The puck lands on the stick of that same player who made the speech. He knows he’s got one shot and one opportunity to shine.
He pushes himself back toward the opponent’s net, dekes one defensemen, two defensemen, and finds himself face-to-face with the goalie. Five, four. Fakes right, goes left. Three, two. Goal. The puck hits the back of the net and drops silently to the ice.
That combination of grit and intensity has led Ben Todaro to become captain of three varsity sports his senior year: soccer, hockey, and lacrosse. In fact, he has held the captain position of the lacrosse team since tenth grade. “Ben comes into every season in shape and ready to play,” said varsity lacrosse coach James Morrow. “He is very competitive and plays hard regardless of the score or level of competition.”
Todaro’s longtime teammate Brett Kleinberg said, “I’ve co-captained teams with him since we were six in many sports such as hockey, lacrosse, basketball, and soccer. The players on the team always look up to Ben, and he plays every game like it’s his last. He’s a great vocal leader and always gives positive input throughout each game.”
“The most important thing for me in being a captain for any team is to set a good example in showing that hard work can outdo any amount of talent, and that if a team works together without giving up, any team can win any game,” said the five-foot-ten multi-sport athlete.
A varsity soccer player since his junior year, Todaro has won an All County soccer award as well as made the senior All Star game. He finished with a team high 12 goals along with a few assists. Todaro feels that the team showed their true character in the second half of the season. “Even though we started off slow, we never gave up on our goal, and hard work and determination helped us make the playoffs,” he commented.
When Ben Todaro isn’t leaving it all on the field and making his teammates better with his great leadership qualities, his favorite thing to do is play guitar. “Music and sports are my two favorite passions,” he said. “And they both get my mind off of anything that stresses me out.”
A four-year varsity lacrosse player with an All Conference honors, Todaro has high hopes for the spring. Not only does he hope that the team can make the playoffs but also that the Rebels can make it past the first round – or even further. But he admitted, “Being that it’s my senior year, one of the most important things to me is winning the North game.”
“Ben, as a junior on a very young lacrosse team, stepped it up and helped keep us in games,” said Coach Morrow. “Ben leads by example.”