Whether interrupting a teammate’s interview with the local newspaper just to praise his fellow player, whooping and hollering on the sideline to get the fans and his teammates riled up, or hitting the books with the same fervor he uses to hit people on the football field, Jed Pellicano brings the juice to the full high school student experience.
“I put 100% of whatever I have into everything that I do, into school and into sports,” said Broadneck’s senior middle linebacker.
Pellicano is a state championship winner, having participated on the Broadneck boys lacrosse team. But football is his first love, and the joy he feels between the lines is the same joy he tries to bring to his teammates, Broadneck sports fans, classmates and everything else he touches.
That starts with hitting people from a position that, while not as glamorous as throwing or scoring touchdowns, is the linchpin in a defense of any caliber.
“It’s not the sexiest position, but it’s something that I love to do,” Pellicano said. “I fill holes, I plug the line. We have a saying on the team about bringing the juice, and I bring juice to the defense. I yell, I whoop it up. When I bring them energy, it gives me joy.
“Even if we’re down by 42 by half, I’d try to get us to win the next play. We need juice to do that, and if it’s going to start, it’s going to start with me.”
Spend just one night patrolling the Broadneck sidelines, and Pellicano’s effect on his teammates becomes evident. His coaches have taken note too, and more than Xs and Os, or even intangibles.
Broadneck football coach Rob Harris described Pellicano succinctly: “He’s a good player and a great student.” The type of person people like to be around.
Putting his whole self into everything can sometimes blur the clear boundaries athletes try to set for themselves between school life and athletic life.
Nevertheless, juggling a rigorous academic schedule and the demands of an in-season sport, on top of life as a teenager, is simply part of the growing experience, Pellicano said.
“I came to a spot where I had a situation with life and football and school started getting tangled up,” he said. “When it’s tangled up, it’s hard to bring that juice in practice. It’s the person that can get above that, that’s huge. When you come out here, reset. This is where you’re supposed to have fun.
“It’s hard to be able to overcome it sometimes, but once you do, you just feel so much better.”
The Voice’s Student-Athlete of the Month is proudly sponsored by Matt Wyble of Next Step Realty. Contact Zach Sparks at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate a local student making a positive impact through sports.
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