Sunday Sports: Former Carthage coach is making a difference through social media

Updated: Apr. 19, 2020 at 7:31 PM EDT
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CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - He was one of the most successful coaches in Section 3 Boys Lacrosse history. Now, former Carthage coach, Kirk Ventiquattro has taken on a new venture during this pandemic: hoping to make a difference through social media.

Ventiquattro has taken on a second career recently, hosting his own podcast. It started out small, but now is available on Apple podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and Alexa just to name a few.

Ventiquattro says the topics on the podcast don’t focus just on lacrosse.

“You know, I’ve got a lot of experience to share and it’s not just lacrosse anymore [...] Most people don’t realize that I coached over 110 high school, junior high sports. People like Terry Coffman, Jerry Metcalf, you know, to mention a couple of my mentor along the way. Tom Gibbons, my baseball coach, those people helped me figure it out and so what I’m trying to do is help others cut to the chase," said Ventiquattro.

In this time of social distancing, Ventiquattro is using the platform for social issues as well, encouraging people to reach out to others in this trying time and to try to make a difference in the community any way possible.

“When I was coaching at Carthage, we always tried to attach ourselves in some way to a cause. In these tough times, what I’ve taken upon myself to do is to reach out to elderly family members and actually, you know, give 'em a buzz and kinda reassure them that, you know, I’m here, that we’re here, my family’s here and we care about 'em,” said Ventiquattro.

The podcast has also allowed Ventiquattro to stay in touch via social media with his old players and actually hear from some coaches and players he went up against on the lacrosse field.

“To be honest, it’s more former guys that I’ve have association with through coaching at my camp and coaching at all-star venues around the Syracuse area, and actually the country, who have kinda reconnected so more reconnecting with other people non-Carthage related because the lacrosse community here, you know, from our heyday is a tight, tight group,” said Ventiquattro.

Ventiquattro is a survivor of stage four prostate cancer and is in the high risk group of individuals should he come down with the coronavirus. Because of that, he says he his taking extra precautions and trying to ride out the storm like everyone else.

“I am concerned and my family is concerned that, you know, with this pre-existing condition that I have that I don’t need to see if I can fight this coronavirus. So actually, Tony kinda kicked me out of Florida ahead of the curve, but I feel very comfortable here. My wife’s actually a caregiver and she understands the perils, and even though we’re socially isolated like everybody else trying to do the right thing, I feel comfortable that we’re gonna make it through this,” said Ventiquattro.

Kirk Ventiquattro: continuing to make a difference both on and off the lacrosse field

This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an extension to the PAUSE Order in effect until May 15th. For the Watertown Rapids, that will be a short window to open their Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League season on time if the order is relaxed by then.

The rapids are set to open the PGCBL season at home on May 28th against the Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs.

Rapids General Manager Nick Czerow says that despite the extension, it’s still business as usual for the team with hopes off kicking off the season without delay.

“Yeah, I think a big part of that is just because the uncertainty involved in everything where we don’t have official rulings from Major League Baseball on when they’re gonna start, NBA’s not sure when they’re gonna do, NFL hasn’t made an announcement yet either. So right now, since there hasn’t been any sort of stop put to seasons for sure, or cancellations of major league seasons, I think a little bit of that uncertainty plays to our advantage that we’re still hoping for the season,” said Czerow.

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