It would be hard to imagine that knew how his senior year would play out - the former Syosset Braves quarterback sat behind Alex Contino for the majority of his junior year, patiently waiting for a chance. And when that chance finally came with one game left in the regular season this year, the stakes could not have been higher.
But Ventricelli handled that do-or-die game against East Meadow with incredible poise: he completed nine passes for 39 yards, including the game winning touchdown to Chris Park in the .
For their efforts, Syosset earned a return trip to East Meadow in the first round. This time, only three weeks removed from back-up duties, Ventricelli looked like a four-year starter: he threw for 236 yards and 5 touchdowns, breaking a 40-year-old Syosset High School record as Syosset crushed the Jets, .
Although the Braves in the semi-finals, the Marist-bound quarterback has fond memories of the playoff run.
“I will never forget how I felt walking off the field after those two games against East Meadow,” Ventricelli said. “The team fought hard and never gave up."
Although the Marist football coach has invited him to walk-on with the team, the Syosset record-holder has decided to focus on his first love - baseball.
Venticelli played on the Braves varsity baseball team for two seasons, pitching and playing shortstop for Pat Fitzgerald. The senior captain tossed five scoreless innings and earned the win in a non-league game against Carey - the eventual Long Island champions - on April 7.
As captain, Ventricelli had a chance to showcase his leadership skills, relaying his love and admiration for the game to his teammates.
“Playing with 'Vent' is a blast,” pitcher Tommy Morris said. “He’s a great teammate who knows a lot about the game.”
His leadership abilities come, in part, from the lessons he learned from his two coaches - Paul Rourke (Football) and Fitzgerald.
“The most important lesson I learned from Coach Rourke is to always hustle and outwork the competition, not just in football, but also in life,” Ventricelli said. “From Coach Fitz', I learned that you can’t just be good in baseball, you have to be good at being a good person on and off the field.”
Ventricelli hopes these lessons will help him succeed at Marist and beyond. His dream is to play in the major leagues, something he will move closer to when he tries out for the Division I program at Marist this fall.
“I don’t want to stop playing baseball,” Ventricelli said. “It has been such a large part of my life since my childhood with my dad and my two brothers.”