Jack Roche spends a lot of time at Rye Beach. He probably doesn’t worry about too many people kicking sand in his face.
The 6-5, 265-pound North Andover High football-lacrosse standout is one of the strongest high schoolers in the Bay State. The rising senior has bench-pressed 350 pounds.The second-team All-MVC lineman has a lot of top Division 3 academic colleges recruiting him.
In Around the Horn, we spoke to Jack about recruiting, weightlifting, starting for the 2018 state championship Knights football team, and playing sports with his gifted older brother Mike Roche.
Will you be playing football in the fall? “I sure hope so. As long as it’s handled properly, I think we can play, but you never know.”
Do you have a summer job? “No. I’m focusing on football”
I’ve been told you’re quite the weightlifter, what’s your regimen? “Six days a week at the gym lifting and running every day. It’s about 1.5-2 hours lifting and then a lot of short yardage sprints.”
What are your maximum lifts? “A 350-pound bench press and clean 270 pounds.”
How did you get into lifting? “It definitely helps in football. It’s just a passion of mine. I enjoy doing it. The football benefits keeps me going, for sure.”
Take us through your family. “My brother, Mike Roche, plays lacrosse at Maryland. My sister, Carolyn Roche, is a great student at UMass Amherst.”
How about your parents?
“My dad, Mike, went to St. John’s Prep and is from Boxford. My mom, Suzanne, is from New Jersey.”
Mike was our probably our runner-up for Defensive MVP honors and was better in lacrosse. What’s it like being his brother? “He’s definitely a great role model. He shows that hard work pays off. We both appreciate each other’s success.”
Is Mike real strong, too? “He’s definitely strong.”
Stronger than you? “No.”
What’s your favorite athletic achievement? “Sophomore year winning the state championship in football was definitely was an amazing experience.
Did you start? “I started at left offensive tackle.”
Were you the only sophomore starter? “Me and Steven Ferullo.”
What was it like playing at Gillette Stadium? “I’m never going to forget that. It was an amazing experience to play with my brother. I’ll remember it the rest of my life.”
Mike was a terror as a pass-rusher. How did you fare against him in practice? “We were on the opposite sides so we did not go against each other much in practice. He was a great player for sure.”
How big are you? “I’m 6-5, 265.”
Is all your family big? “Mike is 5-10 and my dad is 5-11. My grandfather was tall, 6-3.”
Your brother started out at St. John’s Prep then transferred. Were you always at North Andover?
“Yes, always. I attended North Andover Middle School.”
How are the academics going?
“I definitely take my academics seriously.”
Coach Dubzinski said you’ll be playing college football and you already have a lot of impressive offers. “Yes, Amherst, Tufts, Middlebury, Colby, WPI, Carnegie-Mellon and Wesleyan.”
How has your lacrosse career gone? “I made varsity as a freshman and started as a sophomore.”
Did you see Mike play at all before the lacrosse season was cancelled?
“It was great to see my brother play at Villanova. I’m very proud of him and look up to him.”
Do you play a winter sport? “No. I used to play basketball.”
Are you involved in any other activities?
“Student council and youth council at the youth center.”
Take us through an average day. What do you eat? “Six eggs in the morning and a smoothie protein shake. Later I’ll have a protein bar. For lunch, I’ll have a big sandwich maybe chicken with fruits and vegetables. I’ll have another shake after I work out. For dinner, maybe chicken with rice but no dessert.”
Do you have any pets?
“A dog, a Goldendoodle named Ryely, named after Rye, New Hampshire. We have a place there. We spend the weekends there.”
Who famous do you follow on social media?
“David Goggins, a former Navy Seal, a motivational guy. Also The Rock, Tom Brady and Elon Musk.”
When is your birthday?
“June 24, 2002.”
If you could take a selfie with anyone, who would it be?
How many texts do you send in a day?
“Not many ... 5-10.”
Tattoos, cool or fool?
“I don’t have any. I can’t see myself getting one.”
Book: David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me
Actor-actress: The Rock
Athlete: Tom Brady
Food: cheese pizza at Stachey’s
Car: Rolls Royce
Vacation spot: Rye, N.H.
Sneakers: Nike Air Max
Teacher: Coach John Dubzinski for history