Lions Club Names Ellis Tucci Athlete of the Month for May
By Mitch Silver
Rye High’s ninth, and final, Lions Club monthly honoree for 2018-19 is a captain of the Boys’ Lacrosse team, Ellis Tucci. His head coach, Steve Lennon, describes his long-stick midfielder this way: “Ellis is one of the best leaders we have had at Rye lacrosse. He’s had a dream senior year, ending the regular season as one of the top long poles in Section 1, with 52 groundballs and an astounding 47 caused turnovers.”
Lennon added, “Not only is he one of the best on the defensive end, Ellis is a constant threat in transition, with five goals and four assists. He is well respected by everyone, and holds everyone on the team accountable. Our defense has let up an average of only four goals a game this year, and Ellis Tucci is one of the main reasons for that.”
The Garnets started the season slowly, but they’ve come on with a rush, depending on that lockdown defense to earn the top seed in the ongoing Class C playoffs. Tucci was asked whether he felt any added pressure as captain.
“In the beginning of the year I did. I’ve been on the team for all four years, and always saw myself as a quiet leader, someone in the background. Now, instead of just worrying about my own game, I have to speak up and help my teammates play their best. So, there’s pressure that way.”
The Lions Club Award, chosen with the help of the Rye High Athletic department, values academics, extracurricular participation, and community service along with athletics. A National Honor Society member, Ellis has maintained a 3.7 GPA while winning Student of the Quarter awards in English, Pre-AP Calc, Physics, Chemistry, Algebra/Trigonometry, and Global History.
In addition to playing lacrosse for the Garnets and his club team, the Predators, May’s winner has earned two letters playing for Dino Garr’s football squad. As befits a young man who will start pursuing a business degree in the fall at the University of Texas at Austin, he’s also a member in good standing of Rye High’s Investment Club.
Ellis is an enthusiastic volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, working summers to build houses and assist in the H for H retail store. He’s also been involved with Part of the Solution (P.O.T.S.), a group that helps feed the homeless in the Bronx.
He says, “I have to thank my parents for all this. The genetics, sure. But they didn’t push me or put pressure on me to play a sport. As a result, I enjoy undertaking challenges, both on and off the field. I give them credit for helping me know where I am in life.”
And now we all know where Ellis will be in life on June 10 — at the Lions Club year-end awards dinner at The Osborn. That night, the winner of the vote by the Rye High student body for Athlete of the Year will be announced.