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Brockport campus remembers life of late lacrosse player

By Megan Badger Executive Editor
On October 31, 2011

  • Jon Fiorillo May 1989 - October 2011

Student, friend and talented lacrosse player Jonathan Michael Fiorillo passed away Thursday, Oct. 27 at 22 years old.

Fiorillo was a transfer student from Painted Post, N.Y. He graduated as an All-American from Corning West High School before going on to study and play lacrosse at Onondaga Community College (OCC) in Syracuse. From there he transferred to Manhattan College where he also played lacrosse. He joined the Brockport family last spring, studying physical education and serving as the starting goalie for Brockport lacrosse. Fiorillo was a senior this year and he was recently hired as an assistant coach for the Brockport lacrosse team.

Brockport lacrosse player and friend Brian Witmer described Fiorillo as being a "great guy who was everyone's friend." He remembers Fiorillo as someone who was always friendly and joking with everyone on the team while also being a leader.

"He came in last spring, which is a tough spot," Witmer said. "Usually all your important players have been groomed over the fall and spring and he came in and was just amazing."

Witmer said Fiorillo took the starting goalie position within only a few games.

"He wasn't a captain, but he was one of our best leaders in my opinion," Witmer said. "He yelled at the people who needed yelling at and came up with saves he had no business making."

Fiorillo's impressive lacrosse career began in high school, where he led his high school team to a sectional championship as a senior. His champion spirit carried through during his time at OCC, where he helped the team win a NJCAA Region III championship, a Mid-State Athletic Conference title and a NJCAA National Championship during his two years there. He also received personal awards for Goalie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-American in 2009.

During his time at Brockport, Fiorillo played in 10 games, recording 112 saves — a team high according to the Brockport Athletics website — and was part of the first-ever Brockport men's lacrosse team to make an appearance in the SUNYAC tournament. He was also selected as a First Team All-SUNYAC player.

"Jon (Fiorillo) was a great lacrosse player who played with heart and determination, but more importantly he was an even better person," Brockport men's lacrosse coach Ben Wineburg said in a statement on the Brockport athletics website. "The program will miss him terribly both on and off the field."

Former teammate Jason Baetzhold played goalie with Fiorillo last spring and said he helped the team a lot last year, and even more as a coach this year.

"He always had a smile on his face and was just a great kid to be around," Baetzhold said. "He was an amazing teammate and supported every single one of us no matter the situation. He really was the definition of a team player."

College at Brockport President John Halstead released a statement reflecting on the untimely death of Fiorillo.

"It's always a tragedy when we lose a member of the Brockport family, especially so early in life," Halstead said. "Jon had a significant impact upon his friends, classmates and members of the men's lacrosse team. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Jon's family and to everyone who cared so deeply for him."

Calling hours for Fiorillo were held Monday, Oct. 31 in Corning, N.Y.  

The Brockport men's lacrosse team took a bus to Corning where they attended the funeral together Tuesday, Nov. 1.

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