Greenwich lacrosse goes on without cheers from fellow athlete

GREENWICH, N.Y. – The Greenwich lacrosse team will head to the state tournament without the cheers of a fellow student athlete.

Jake Pett was a football player who died a few weeks ago and was the Witches loudest cheerleader.

“At all the home lacrosse games he would always be out here, and he’d be yelling my name and screaming for me to go hit people all the time and it was pretty funny. It was always unique. His voice was always unique,” Greenwich junior defenseman John Hogan said.

Hogan was one of Pett’s best friends.

“I mean it was strange before because I had texted him earlier, and that was the first time he had never responded to me,” he said.

Hogan got a call after practice and found out his football teammate and best friend had passed away.

“And I just collapsed,” he recalled. “I didn’t know what to do with myself. I mean, it was like using a brother.”

“I mean it was certainly very difficult,” head coach Bob Sipperly said. “The entire school was shocked. Pretty much everything got put on hold.”

But Sipplery knew the lacrosse season would go on, and so he tried to being the healing process.

“What I was asking was to get something positive out of it,” he said. “Such a difficult situation, but if we can somehow manage a positive outcome from it, then things can get better faster.”

Lacrosse became a distraction; a break from the anger, confusion and sadness. It was something to focus on.

The Witches open the state tournament against Bronxville Saturday.

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