EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 16, 2014

Around the Horn with John Oteri, Andover lacrosse

Michael Muldoon
mmuldoon@eagletribune.com

---- — John Oteri is a physical presence on the football field and on the lacrosse field.

The Andover High senior was being recruited for both sports but recently decided to play lacrosse at Pace University 30 miles outside of New York City.

In this week’s Around the Horn, Oteri spoke about future lax showdowns against his brother, meeting Denzel Washington and his favorite sports memory.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming lacrosse season? “I think we have a great opportunity to do something pretty special. There is a lot of buzz around the school about what we can do.”

What goals have you set for yourself? “I definitely want to get all-conference again and possibly higher. The ultimate goal is to be playing at the state championship game at BU. Whatever gets us there is my goal.”

Are you healthy? “One hundred percent right now. Full steam ahead.”

How big are you? “6-3, 212 pounds.”

What are your strengths and weaknesses? “I’ve been described as a strong, downhill middie who can shoot both left and right. I feel like I’m a pretty strong defensive player as well. On defense, I can have a better understanding of some team concepts. I can work on my run shot and left hand shot.”

Do you have any college plans? “I just verballed last night to Pace. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. The recruiting process wears you down. It’s nice to have the commitment and be happy with where you are going.”

What will it be like playing against your brother, Tim, who plays at Merrimack? “It will be wild. Usually he’s had the upper hand. Hopefully in college I can get him.”

Do you like lacrosse better than football? “Most of my career I pursued lacrosse. I’m a little more of a lacrosse player but football has place in my heart, also.”

When did you start playing lacrosse? “Second grade.”

What’s your favorite personal athletic achievement? “Definitely Thanksgiving junior season. It was pretty special to get the W against Central and to play in front of like 8,000 people. It was pretty surreal.”

Do you play any other sports? “In the winter I just fine-tune my skills for lacrosse season.”

Who is the best athlete you’ve ever played against? “My brother is a pretty good athlete. He’s a big dude (6-4, 200), strong and fast.”

Do you work? “It’s sports and school. I coach at Lazer Lax, Coach Pug’s (Andover coach Wayne Puglisi) camps, in the summer.”

Who is the most famous person you’ve met? “Denzel Washington. It was weird. He was in Boston walking down the street and I got his autograph.”

What’s something people don’t know about you? “I can juggle, I dabble.”

Who’s your dream date? “Rachel McAdams.”

Do you have a nickname? “Too many to list.”

Who do you follow on Twitter-Facebook? “A lot, Brandon Spikes, Skip Bayless, Johny Manziel.”

Do you have any pets? “A dog, a Boxer-Basset Hound mix, named Opal.”

What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “That’s confidential. OK, ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ by Mariah Carey.”

If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “Oh, man! Get rid of the hall monitors and bring the school dances back to what they were.”

OTERI’S FAVORITES

Group or singer: Rick Ross and 50 Cent

Song: Deep In the Game by Fat Trel

Book: Where the Red Fern Grows

Actor-actress: Leonardo DiCaprio or Denzel Washington

Movie: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

TV show: Workaholics

Athlete: TB 12 Tom Brady

Food: Spaghetti and meatballs

Car: Panamera

Restaurant: Tokyo Steak House