Men’s lacrosse awards special jersey

To many, there’s nothing unusual about junior lacrosse goalie Patrick Buono’s number 30 on his uniform.

But for those with close ties to the Catamounts’ lacrosse program, the significance of the number is obvious. John Scotnicki, nicknamed “Scotch” by his teammates, was an anchor on the defensive end of the Catamounts during his playing career in the late ‘80s, according to UVM athletics. After graduating, he served as an assistant coach from 1990-1991, further exemplifying the values of team pride, helpfulness and effort.

Scotnicki died from cancer in June of 2013, according to UVM athletics. Now, with the 2015 season underway, Buono’s demonstration of all the values Scotnicki exhibited is the reason he is being honored with the number 30 jersey, according to UVM athletics.

IMG_5500Despite being a newcomer to the team, Buono said he is aware of the history behind his number.

“I knew who John was prior to receiving his jersey number,” Buono said. “I was in attendance of the game last season as a fan, and watched as the team honored John with the plaque that now hangs in our locker room,” he said. “I knew that he lost a hard-fought battle with cancer, and was a proud UVM lacrosse alum who always held up the values UVM stands for.”

Head coach Ryan Curtis summarized the importance behind the number 30 jersey. “John’s jersey is a representation of his legacy; that of the consummate teammate,” Curtis said. “John’s pride for his team, his support of his teammates and his ever-positive attitude are just a few of the many attributes that stand out.” The decision to award Patrick with that jersey was based on those attributes, Curtis said.  Curtis believed that Buono, who was new to the team this fall, showed his support for his teammates from day one.

Despite being honored, Buono said he knows how important it is to display his own character separate from the jersey he wears. “I think that my most important contribution to the UVM men’s lacrosse team is bringing an attitude of perseverance and support every day,” he said. “I’m not the strongest, fastest or most skilled player on the team by any means, but I refuse to give up and let that beat me down, and continue to improve each day.” Buono said.

Curtis was to the point in his assessment of the jersey’s symbolism. “John’s jersey is a testament to his own life, a remembrance of what he stood for and a reminder that we shouldn’t take any days for granted,” Curtis said. With the season now underway, look for the number 30 jersey.

Men’s lacrosse plays Albany State University April 4.