Westlake’s Jesse Cuccia proves you can get lacrosse scholarship

Jesse Cuccia, the starting strong safety for Westlake’s Marmonte League championship football team, was one of the few high school athletes on the West Coast signing on Wednesday to play lacrosse.

He received a partial scholarship to North Carolina.

That’s big news. West Coast athletes signing with top lacrosse programs on the East Coast doesn’t happen often. But it could be a trend with the growing interest of the sport.

Cuccia spent his three weeks of football dead period last summer playing for a lacrosse travel team based in New York. They went to Maryland and Delaware, among other states, for competitions.


After the summer, he decided he had more opportunities to play in college for lacrosse than football.

“I love the sport a little bit more,” he said.

He has been playing lacrosse and football since fifth grade.

“College coaches will come out here, but if you really want to take advantage and get in front of coaches, you have to go on the East Coast,” he said.

Westlake football Coach Jim Benkert said, “He’s a dynamic scorer” in lacrosse.

His signing means football is ending. Cuccia and Westlake play Mater Dei on Friday night in a Pac-5 Division playoff opener.