Joe DiRaimo waited two years for this. He really had no other choice.
After missing nearly half his sophomore season because of illness, DiRaimo, who started on Glenn's lacrosse team his freshman season, was thought of as a breakout candidate for 2013. The big season never happened, though.
DiRaimo suffered a fractured fibula and dislocated right ankle during an indoor lacrosse game at Huntington before the season started. "It basically popped out of my leg," DiRaimo said. "My foot was dangling off my leg. My first reaction was a scream out of fear. All I could think about was how I'd ever be walking again."
Kevin Lavey, who has coached at Glenn for eight seasons, called it the most gruesome injury he's seen. "His toes were facing behind him," Lavey said. "It was like his foot was ripped off."
DiRaimo said his foot was in a heavy cast and he used crutches for about eight weeks before rehabbing for four weeks. DiRaimo never thought about giving up on lacrosse, he said, and in the words of Lavey, "he rehabbed like a madman" to salvage a comeback.
He played in the last game of the regular season. And scored three goals. "I wasn't 100 percent by then, but it meant a lot to just play that one game," DiRaimo said. "A lot of people didn't expect me to get back on the field."
Lavey is often asked about DiRaimo by opposing coaches. "People talk about it all the time," Lavey said. "They ask me if he's still playing. I say, 'Yeah, and he's the guy you're going to have to try to figure out how to stop.' "
With 26 goals in six games, DiRaimo, committed to Division II Bentley, is Suffolk's leading goal scorer. He is finally having the season many expected two years ago.
"I definitely came into this season feeling strong," DiRaimo said. "I just wanted to have some fun. It's awesome. I couldn't ask to have a better way to end this high school career after everything. I'm so happy this year."