By Katie Nugent
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Senior captain of the men's lacrosse team Edison Parzanese (Edgartown, Mass.) is on a mission this season. After sitting out last season due to a knee injury, he is out to prove to his teammates, coach, and the Holy Cross community that he is still a dominant player. There is no doubt he already will go down in Holy Cross history as one of the most talented lacrosse players, but the best is yet to come. "I hope my most memorable lacrosse moment will be made this season," says Edison.
Parzanese has been successful from the start, starting all fourteen games his freshman and sophomore years here. During both the 2007 and 2008 seasons he recorded the most assists on the team and most points on the team. Three games into his junior season, Edison, who was the leading scorer on the team at the time, suffered a torn ACL and sat out for the rest of the season.
Edison's lacrosse career began in the third grade when his best friend Alex Avakian suggested that they both sign up for the new sport. From the start, his parents, Michael and Joan, have always been very supportive of his career. "My mom has spent hours in the car driving me to camps and tryouts when I was younger and since being in college she has attended almost every one of my games," he says, "even making the trip down to Texas for a game." His older brother Ben, who is a first officer for American Eagle Airlines and currently flying out of Puerto Rico, supports his brother by making every effort to attend Edison's lacrosse games whenever he gets the chance.
It was not until high school, when his coaches, Pete Ferrini and Chris Greene, pushed him to continue playing in college that Edison began to realize how important the sport had become to him. "I really wanted to play at the Division I level and then I fell in love with Holy Cross when I came for an official visit," says Parzanese. "The balance between competitive athletics and challenging academics was the perfect fit for me."
Parzanese's climb to the top has not been without challenges along the way. "After blowing out my knee it became very hard to watch the team play and not be out there," says Edison. "This experience made me realize how much I love the game and it made me work harder to get back onto the field as soon as possible."
His most valuable skill on the field is his exceptional work ethic. One teammate describes him as the "hardest working kid on this team." Edison has been like that since his first day on campus working tirelessly to be the best in the weight room, on the track and on the lacrosse field. Head coach Adam Pascal knows what he can mean to a team as he describes Parzanese as a "fearless and self-confident player who will never back down."
He is a leader by example, as one teammate remarked that "the whole team looks up to Edison as a role model." On the field he tries to balance having fun with the game and getting fired up to win. "One of the things that motivates me and my teammates is the lack of respect that we get from the lacrosse community," says Parzanese, "I feel like we are a better team than a lot of people believe and we plan on proving it this year." He hopes to lead his team to a Patriot League Championship during his senior season.
As much as his coaches and teammates look to Edison for leadership, Edison is grateful for the support he receives from them. "Coach has been there for me whenever I need anything," he says about coach Pascal, "He was one of the few coaches who believed I was good enough to play at this level."
It is most difficult for him to imagine himself playing with another group of teammates next year. "The camaraderie on this team is unlike anything I have ever experienced," says Edison on his bond with his teammates, "These guys have become my second family. It would surprise me if any team in the country is as good of friends as the guys on our team."
Off the field, Edison is an all-star in both the community and the classroom as well. He is a mentor for the Worcester Big Brothers program, where he spends one afternoon each week at the Canterbury Elementary School with his little brother. Parzanese has also had an incredibly successful academic career at Holy Cross thus far, earning Patriot League Academic Honors his freshman and sophomore years. Although he is graduating from Holy Cross in May, he is using his extra year of eligibility from his knee injury to go back to school to play lacrosse and to obtain his MBA or masters degree. Right now he is deciding between Notre Dame, Georgetown and Duke.
As Edison begins to imagine his life away from Mount Saint James, he says "this school has been everything I could have possibly wanted and more." It is difficult for him to pinpoint what he will miss most as Parzanese says that during his time here "everyone from the administration and the faculty to the coaches and trainers has been great to my family and me and supportive of all of my ambitions."
After playing an extra year of lacrosse and obtaining a graduate degree, Edison hopes to be able to continue to play lacrosse at the professional level. However, no matter what happens, Parzanese plans on always having lacrosse be a part of his life as he continues to learn how much he loves to play the game.