Athlete of the Month: Derek Caruso

Athlete+of+the+Month%3A+Derek+Caruso

Courtesy of Frank Caruso

Caruso handles the puck up the ice during one of the team’s games at the Port Washington Ice Rink.

Eric Adsetts, Contributing Writer

Senior Derek Caruso has hockey in his blood.  His three brothers played hockey, and two of them are now assistant coaches.  His father is a huge hockey fan, and his mother, Ms. Linda Caruso, is the school team’s head coach.

When asked what it’s like being coached by family, Caruso said, “It’s truly an amazing experience, it can be fun at times, but it can also be frustrating, because when something doesn’t go right they know they can scream at me because we are family.”

As a sophomore, Caruso won the JV championship with a very inexperienced team, and qualified for states in Ithaca, where the team didn’t make much noise.

“It was a long, fun season,” said Caruso.  “And to finish it off with a championship was something we never even thought could happen.”

He has been a team captain for the last two years, and he prides himself on leading by example.

“I don’t like telling kids what to do. I like to be more of a role model towards my teammates and help them whenever they’re in trouble.  I like them to feel that I have their backs at all times,” said Caruso.

“Derek is a leader to us both on and off the ice,” said junior and fellow defender Mathew Mullins. “He sets the tone during practice and has a lot to teach all of us.”

Caruso looks up to Lightning right winger Martin St. Louis.  Although he’s undersized, St.  Louis was still able to distinguish himself as one of the best players in the league, and has represented Canada, widely considered the best hockey nation in the world, numerous times.

Despite being a defender, Caruso has an eye for the goal.  This past season, he was fourth in the league in points.

Caruso has high hopes to play Division I hockey in college.