These days, it’s all about lacrosse for multi-sport star Curtis Russo.
The Sayville High School senior has his heart set on leading the Golden Flashes to a county championship this spring and his mind set on heading to Providence, Rhode Island, next fall to join the Brown University Bears lacrosse program.
“Getting into an Ivy League school is a dream I’ve had since I was a kid,” said Curtis, who at 17 is still kind of a kid. “It motivated me to continue to work harder than everyone else around me.”
Curtis was a stud running back on Sayville’s football team — a starter as a sophomore and junior before a knee injury led him to put football aside and focus on lacrosse. With varsity lacrosse, he has played “lefty” attack since his freshman year.
Curtis committed last fall to playing lacrosse for Brown. A formal signing day is coming soon.
“I picked Brown after a lot of consideration. Not only is Brown one of the best academic schools in the country, but they are also a top tier lacrosse program,” said Curtis, whose older brother Jacob plays baseball at Bridgeport University and whose younger brother Dominic is the starting goalie on Sayville’s lacrosse team.
Brown in 2016 made it deep into the NCAA Division I Championship, losing 15-14 in overtime to Maryland in the semifinals. Last spring, the Bears fell short of the of the NCAA tourney, losing 13-12 to Penn in the Ivy League tournament’s semi-finals.
The Bears’ 2020 roster features players from across the country, including seven Long Islanders.
“Brown showed extreme interest in me and brought me up for a great visit. The coaches showed their loyalty and faith in me — even after I tore my ACL,” Curtis continued. “I wanted to return that loyalty, and work extremely hard to be an addition to their winning team.”
Curtis, who plans to major in economic, finance or accounting at Brown, said he felt at home during his visit to Brown’s campus.
“My first goal is to win an Ivy League championship, and then a national championship,” he said. “My admittance to an Ivy League school is now a reality. All of the hard work and dedication to my school work has paid off.”
Curtis said his immediate goal is to keeping working hard toward getting back to playing lacrosse at full speed.
“Once the season comes, I will be ready to bring this team together and win some big games against some great teams on our schedule,” he said.
Photos above by Sean O’Halloran, courtesy of Curtis Russo.