When Jackie Ceccolini became head coach of the girls lacrosse team at Branford (Conn.) High School nine years ago, it was a heady moment. After all, she’d been there at the start of the program as a player, back in 1999, when she was a freshman.
Back when lacrosse was beginning to explode across Connecticut.
"My dad played in Long Island and the sport has always been a part of who he is," Ceccolini said. "He introduced it to us before it was even a sport in our town, and so when they started the programs, my brothers and I jumped right on it."
After playing for four years at Springfield College, Ceccolini returned to Branford High to serve as an assistant under Jason Dittert. When she took on head coaching duties, she enlisted family to help her on the sidelines. Specifically, her father, Joe, and her brother, Billy, serve as her assistants.
Together, they have built a program that has steadily progressed toward excellence.
Last year, Branford reached the state’s Class M semifinals before falling to powerhouse New Canaan, 15-6. Branford finished the season with a 16-4 record.