More Than Expected: How Mark Glicini Made it to the Show


“Take Me Back” connects today’s lacrosse stars with the next generation of players from their hometowns.

In our upcoming edition, Cam Robator, 13, of Mahwah Lacrosse in northern New Jersey, interviews Mark Glicini. A midfielder for the PLL champion Chaos and U.S. team hopeful, Glicini got his start at Mahwah High School before becoming an All-American at Yale.

Watch Glicini in action this weekend at the USA Lacrosse Fall Classic and next weekend at World Lacrosse Super Sixes.

MARK: How you doing Cam?

CAM: I’m doing well. You?

MARK: Are you stoked for this?

CAM: Yep. I’m excited.

MARK: Let’s do it.

CAM: Who introduced you to lacrosse?

MARK: I was a fifth-grader and I just finished baseball practice. I know you know where Airmount Park is. It was lacrosse family night there and I met Brian Callanan, who was the first coach to put a stick in my hand. I was getting bored in center field picking sunflower seeds out of my back pocket.

CAM: Lacrosse is much faster. I like the speed of it.

MARK: I was a multi-sport athlete. I drove my mom a little crazy. I was playing soccer and football in the fall, basketball in the winter and then baseball and lacrosse in the spring. When I found lacrosse, it changed everything. It had everything that I was looking for. It had basketball, it had the spacing of soccer, the physicality of football, all in one. I knew I was home. I want to hear from you, Cam. What is it about lacrosse that you love so much?

CAM: I like hanging out with my friends and the intimidation of players. I'm small. They're much bigger than me. I use what I have. What was the best part of playing with Mahwah?

MARK: The fact that we were such a young program. The reason I went to Mahwah High School was because of coach Brian Callanan. He started the sport in Mahwah. He had started the sport in Suffern, just over the border [in New York], as well. When he chose to become the head coach of Mahwah High School and start the program there, that made my decision pretty clear. I was going to go to Don Bosco Prep to play football, basketball and lacrosse. I chose to follow Coach Callanan. I'm glad I did. He was a guiding light. There were a lot of coaches that made Mahwah great. What is it about Mahwah and playing for these coaches that you love so much?

CAM: I like all the coaches that have helped me, especially Coach [Tim] Culloty. I also have a bunch of good friends that help push me. I just want to keep working hard.

MARK: I know you hear it from Coach Culloty and your father [Jeff], things like commitment to excellence and being a difference maker, starting early and staying late — [Callanan] was the first guy instilled that into me. What does Mahwah lacrosse mean to me? It’s the roots of where I come from. I never forget where I come from.

CAM: How would you describe your playing style?

MARK: I love the idea of the versatile lacrosse player. Now playing in this Olympic Sixes style with the national team, you see that it is going to take an athlete that can get both up and down the field, play their two-man game on offense and defense and know the game inside and out. I was an X attackman throughout my high school career. Not until I went to prep school did I become a two-way midfielder. I was playing man-up and man-down, taking the wings on faceoffs, sometimes taking faceoffs when it came to summer league. When I got to Yale, coach Andy Shay gave me an opportunity. He said, “You could either play third- or fourth-line offense or you can try your hand at transition as a defensive midfielder,” which gave me an opportunity to play right away. I used my athleticism to have an impact right from the start.


Cam Robator, 13, of Mahwah, N.J., with PLL pro and U.S. hopeful Mark Glicini.

CAM:. I'm more of a feeder. Make the extra pass rather than take the shot right away. What was the biggest challenge that you had to overcome making it to the pros?

MARK: It really comes down to never getting too high or too low. Life and sports are unfair at times. My junior year, I won North Jersey Player of the Year at Mahwah and was on track to be that my senior year. I got a stress fracture in my spine. I thought sports were going to be done for me and I’d have to choose another avenue. I stayed focused and visualized myself coming back stronger. My mom was battling cancer at the time, too. I saw her being resilient and fighting through it. I had so much love and care on the home front that allowed me to stay focused on what I really wanted. I was able to take this game to the highest level and inspire guys like you to do the same.

CAM: What advice would you give to a youth player like myself to play after high school?

MARK: More than expected. Those are the three words that come to mind — more than expected. You can do what the coach expects you to do, or you can stay later. We would have some of the longest practices known to man, and Coach Callanan was nice enough to stay after and shoot with me when I wanted to get extra reps. It’s those tiny victories. Choose to do a little bit more than expected. Cam, if you have these really high aspirations, you can't have the same actions that everybody else has, right? Either your actions come higher, or you lower your aspirations. You're going to have high aspirations. Those have to be matched with actions.

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