Johnson recalled, “He was playing for the New Hampshire Tomahawks. It dawned on me, ‘I don’t know if he’s lost a faceoff.’ I could tell from the first visit he was just a good person. The way he carried himself.
“Lucky for us, we got him. I knew he was good. I can’t tell you I knew he’d be a third-team All-American.”
Johnson said Dattilo played with two bad shoulders this year but still was a force due to his hand speed, stick skills and strength (he bench presses 225 pounds 13 times).
“I think he’ll be real good in the MLL,” said Johnson.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Whitley helps Southern Conn. to unprecedented success
Last spring as a junior, Southern Connecticut softball player Krissy Whitley of North Andover had another banner year on and off the diamond.
A nursing major with a 3.86 GPA, she was named a third-team Capital One Academic All-American (11 players made each team). She batted .380 for the sixth-ranked Owls en route to repeating as a first-team All-NE-10 selection.
The junior captain set a school record with 20 doubles and helped lead the Owls to the College World Series (Elite 8) for the first time in the program’s 40-year history.
“She has had an amazing career here,” said Owls coach Lisa Barbaro. “Since her freshman year, Krissy Whitley was the athlete you wanted up to bat in crunch time. Her passion, work ethic and drive have been inspirational to her teammates.
“Being a nursing student and a softball player is one of the most challenging things a student-athlete can take on. She is our first softball student-athlete to receive Academic All-America honors. I am so proud of her and all she has accomplished.”
GAME OF THE YEAR Boys: Central’s biggest win in history