Richard Bortoli is a junior attacker and midfielder for the second-year Lake Wales High School boys lacrosse team (7-4).
Bortoli has registered a team-high 45 goals so far this season and is also second on the team in assists behind Garret Reynolds, with 29. Bortoli’s strong play has helped the Highlanders to earn a playoff berth in the program’s second season.
|School: Lake Wales High School|
|Club: Apprentice Athletics|
The team is in its second season and experiencing some success. How do you think this season has gone so far?
It was definitely a great start to the season. Last year we didn’t do as well, it was our first year and everyone was still learning the game. This year was our redemption season. Everyone got in shape and everyone is doing their job, basically.
What’s it like to be part of a new program?
It’s a lot of fun. I kind of get to lead the team since I have more experience. I just to love to see improvement in everyone’s game.
Which game these past two seasons has been the most memorable?
100 percent the Lakeland Christian School game. Last year we lost to LCS in double-overtime by one goal and this year we won in overtime by one goal.
Are you hoping to play lacrosse in college? If so, how are you approaching the recruiting process?
I just started the whole recruiting process. … A big thing is to do well in school and have a higher GPA, which solidifies you to be recruited. … I’m looking for a good school overall, in a good area. I’d like to stay in state, maybe. I just want a good school with good academics.
Do you have a favorite lacrosse player you look up to?
I would say for college, right now, definitely Pat Spencer from Loyola. And in Major League Lacrosse, I’d have to say Marcus Holman.
How did you get started playing lacrosse?
I used to go to All Saints Academy and I started playing in seventh grade. My best friend said “hey do you want to try lacrosse?” I had never picked up a lacrosse stick — I had only played soccer. In Italy, all the kids there played soccer. I tried lacrosse and I started practicing and I hated it. I quit the team. … The next year, I tried again and started practicing a little more and I finished as the top-scorer of my eighth-grade season.
What was it like growing up between Italy and Florida?
It was definitely a good experience. Sometimes it was challenging — there was a lot of traveling. I met a lot of people and I thought it was cool.
Growing up between America and Italy, which place do you prefer?
I would say America. The whole education process, I think, it’s a lot simpler here and a lot easier here.
What do you enjoy learning about the most?
I definitely like studying business, the economy and maybe history.
What are you hoping to study in college?
I’d like to study international business management. My parents own an international business, so I’d like to lead from their paths and continue the business.
Being bilingual, speaking English and Italian, which language do you think in and which did you learn first?
I think in English. I honestly couldn’t tell you which language I learned first, I learned them both at the same time. English is more natural to me. It’s a lot easier of a language.
I play video games — I like FIFA, the soccer game. I was born into soccer and I love soccer. I’m just better at lacrosse.
What is the coolest place you’ve visited and where is somewhere that is atop your list of places to go?
The coolest place I’ve been to was in Italy, it was Capri. Beautiful city, beautiful beaches. A place I’d love to go to is Monaco.