Patrick Stevens

Serve. Lead. Influence. The message the Catalino brothers will use to give back to community

by Patrick Stevens May 09, 2011 in Lacrosse


As Maryland attackman Grant Catalino rode home to Webster, N.Y., last winter with his brother Michael, the two considered just how they could help pass on their appreciation of lacrosse and the opportunities it provided to others in their hometown and the rest of the Rochester area.

Soon, the brothers took a common idea and gave it their own twist—- a lacrosse camp about more than simply lacrosse.

And so the concept of Harvest Lacrosse was born. Michael Catalino, who helped Duke win a national championship last spring, is already providing lessons before he begins medical school in the fall. Grant, who wraps up his senior season in College Park this month, is not yet involved in the day-to-day operations but plans to after graduation.

“We just think it’s important we develop wholesome student-athletes instead of maybe the [stereotypical] athlete who’s ignorant or all about lacrosse,” Grant Catalino said. “Kids want to be in the shoes that we’re in now, but they don’t understand what it takes to get here. And when you get here, it’s not all lacrosse.”

His ability to thrive on and off the field—- and his plans to give back after leaving Maryland—- helped Catalino become a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.

Catalino carried a 3.44 GPA in finance into his final semester, and enters the NCAA tournament ranked eighth in school history in goals (112) and tied for 14th in points (175). As a senior, he has 24 goals and eight assists for the Terrapins (10-4), who will play in the postseason for the 10th consecutive year.

His lasting contributions to the game and community could come through Harvest Lacrosse, which will start in Rochester and potentially expand in the future.

“To grow anything that is sustainable, it’s really basic,” Mike Catalino said. “To have a huge harvest of any sort, you start with a seed, add a little water and sunlight, and it grows into something fantastic. It requires consistent attention to detail and basic necessities.”

Michael Catalino said the philosophy has already generated compliments from parents who have asked him to provide private lessons. The emphasis on becoming a better person (insisting, for instance, for players to respect authority) differentiates the effort.

And the credo—- “Serve. Lead. Influence.” —- makes it clear precisely what the brothers’ priorities are.

“It’s designed to help kids incorporate their academics with lacrosse, and it incorporates life lessons, teaching kids courage and leadership,” Grant Catalino said.

For a textbook example in how to grow from challenging situations, the Catalinos can point to their own college experiences. Michael was a freshman at Duke when false rape charges against three teammates led to the cancellation of the season. He persevered and left with a national title in his last season.
Grant Catalino’s major adversity unfolded later in his career. Maryland switched coaches after last season ended in the NCAA quarterfinals. The Terps returned a senior-laden team, and Catalino was one of the veterans who insisted no one should have a bad attitude about the change.

“We were like, ‘Whoever this, whether it’s a great guy like coach [John] Tillman or some guy who has no clue what he’s talking about, we’re going to treat him the same and we’re going to play hard for each other,” Catalino said. “’It doesn’t matter who this guy is. This guy can help us, but he’s not going to hurt us.’”

It hasn’t. Maryland won the ACC tournament in April and responded well to setbacks throughout the season. Catalino’s leadership and on-field worked helped make it happen—- providing growth for the Terps in Tillman’s first season—before he returns home to do eventually do the same for kids in his area.

“He’s very organized; he’s very prepared,” Tillman said. “He does his work. He’s a good student. Having a guy like that who you don’t have to worry about, it sends a good message. He’s such a good player, but he also has his act together. He’s a great role model for the younger guys. That helps, because when one of your best guys is that mature and professional, it sends a message to the younger guys that he’s not a bad guy to follow.”