Peter Bashar finds the perfect fit

Peter Bashar went to an Elite 100 recruiting camp at Endicott College in Massachusetts his junior year and returned home to Stratford with an idea of where he would continue to play lacrosse once his scholastic career at St. Joseph of Trumbull was complete.

“It happened quickly,” Bashar said of his interaction with St. Leo’s University in St. Leo (Fla.). “It started with an email, then they contacted me and set up as visit. I fell in love with St. Leo’s. The close knit way of going about things reminds me of going to school here at St. Joseph. It’s a great fit for me.”

Brad Jorgensen, who began the program in 2005, agrees with that assessment.

“We loved Peter’s speed, and the combination of polished skills and raw athletic ability he brings,” Jorgensen said. “Once we were able to get him to campus, it was obvious that he was an all-around fit for Saint Leo and our lacrosse program.”

Before heading south, Bashar hopes to help coach Joe Izzo’s Cadets add to its collection of hardware.

“I’m looking forward to see how the transition goes,” Bashar said of following up last year’s run to the Class S state title with another strong season in 2015.

“We lost a lot of great players to graduation. It will be interesting to see the new guys step up.”

Toward that end, the Cadets have been hard at work.

“We’re running and lifting and on Friday’s we get in some indoor work to better our skills,” said Bashar, who believes he will continue to play offensive-midfield in college. “Then we plays for two hours on Sundays to get our sticks going.”

Bashar believes playing a strong regular season schedule helps prepare St. Joseph for the post season.

“When you compete with the New Canaan’s and Darien’s and the rest of the tough teams in the FCIAC you have to push yourself,” he said.

“You learn how good you are as a team and as an individual. Going into the season we know we’ll be playing some of the best teams in New England.”

St. Leo’s competed for the first time in the Sunshine State Conference in 2014 and reached the SSC tournament.

Jorgensen’s Lions earned the Ace Adams Sportsmanship Award and Jorgensen was named as the DI/II South head coach for the 73rd USILA/LaxWorld North-South Game.

“I’m excited to be joining a program that is moving forward,” Bashar said. “It’s a great school for me both athletically and academically.

“I plan on taking criminal justice courses with a minor in finance.

“I’d love to join the state police or become a town police officer. I like being part of the community and knowing I’m helping people. I like to be hands on.”

Bashar began his athletic career testing the water in most sports, before his friend’s dad invited him to take up lacrosse.

“It was like the third grade and I took to it right away,” he said. “The game came to be like second nature to me.”