Dom Pietramala Learned to Become a Leader at Boys' Latin

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


Dom Pietramala’s playing ability was never in question after he debuted as a freshman in 2019 with 43 points on 33 goals and 10 assists.

Where the Boys’ Latin attackman turned his focus in his final scholastic year was on becoming a better leader on and off the field. Some might find it hard to believe that the son of legendary college coach Dave Pietramala wasn’t a natural leader for the Lakers under head coach Brian Farrell.

“I struggled learning how to be a good leader early in the season,” said Dom, whose twin Nick was a senior defender for Boys’ Latin. “I spent many days of each week in Coach Farrell’s office asking how I could do better and what I’m doing well and how I could help the team more. It’s not something that’s come easily to me. It’s come with a lot of hard work, trying to figure out what to say and what not to say and what moments are right to speak in.”

Pietramala certainly understands the game well and wanted to lift his teammates to their highest potential. Finally a senior, it was his time to take charge and set the tone for the Lakers younger players.

“Dom from Day 1 has always been a competitor,” Farrell said. “That started his freshman year when he walked on and played a lot. He has progressively gotten better and kept improving his game every year. This year, he really shaped up as a leader and put that hat on as far as being a captain, being a voice for the guys, someone that everyone respected. That was the biggest growth he made this year as a senior.”

While the defensive end had stalwart senior goalie Cardin Stoller, Pietramala orchestrated the offensive end. He finished his high school career with his best all-around statistical line of 53 goals and 35 assists — both team highs — and helped Boys’ Latin earn the No. 1 seed in the country’s toughest conference, the MIAA, before they reached the conference semifinals and lost on a buzzer beater to finish 13-4 overall.

Dom Pietramala is the USA Lacrosse Magazine Mid-Atlantic Boys’ Player of the Year. He was also named the C. Markland Kelly Award winner as the state's top player.

“Our season was something special still,” Pietramala said. “It wasn’t necessarily what we wanted. But what our team went through, the adversity we faced, and what we’ve overcome and how we’ve grown as a team is something that in every past team I’ve been on for Boys’ Latin, it never fails to amaze me.”

Pietramala and the Lakers took on a daunting schedule that tested them from start to finish. In addition to the usual toughness of the MIAA, Boys’ Latin went out of conference to play national No. 1 St. Johns College (D.C.) and beat Culver (Ind.), Lawrenceville School (N.J.) and Florida state champions St. Andrew’s and St. Thomas Aquinas. Those challenges were part of the reason that Pietramala feels like he’s leaving Boys’ Latin prepared for the next step. He and his brother will join the North Carolina program next year.

“I’m excited for the group of guys I’m going to be with,” Pietramala said. “I’ve spent some time with them, and I’ve grown close with a few of them. I don’t think the community I’m heading into is much different from the community I’ve been a part of for the past four years. That’s my favorite thing. I’m also excited for a new opportunity, a change of scenery because I really want to keep growing. I think the best way for me to grow is to play better competition and keep playing better competition.”’







The speed of the game and the physical nature is something that every player must adjust to in college. Farrell believes that Pietramala has the attributes to make the jump as well as anyone.

“He understands the game, so I think the concept stuff and X’s and O’s will come naturally to him,” Farrell said. “He’s a smart player. I definitely think he helps an offense because he can play attack or midfield. He can play on the wings, up top, behind. I think he’ll definitely keep challenging himself to be a better off-the-ball player.”

Pietramala reflects the game sense of a coach’s child. He absorbed countless games from the sidelines watching his father. He grew up a student of the game. He never felt extra pressure from his dad, who he notes would support him in any athletic pursuit, even if it wasn’t lacrosse.

“When we go to games, he’s never been the guy to yell or be one of those dads to try to influence me on the field during a game,” Pietramala said. “But he’s also been there to tell me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear. He wants to ultimately see me succeed and my brother succeed. Everything he’s done, every sacrifice he’s made, has ultimately been for me and Nick.”

Farrell saw Pietramala become better all-around in his senior year. Opposing defenses always accounted for Pietramala and threw a range of looks at him. Those challenges helped him work at one of his preseason goals of becoming a better passer and better off the ball. He had a career best in assists this season.

“You can do a lot with him,” Farrell said. “When he has the ball, a lot of eyes are going to be on him, so if you’re off the ball and your guy’s staring at No. 9, you should be moving, and he’ll find you. He’s truly everything a coach wants to have in a program, and we were blessed to have that type of player in our program.”

FINAL MID-ATLANTIC TOP 10

1. St. John’s College High (D.C.), 19-0

The Cadets came into the season highly regarded and lived up to every expectation. They earned their first WCAC championship since 2017 with a 15-11 win over Gonzaga (D.C.). St. John’s more than tripled their opponents this season in scoring, 310-98, while playing a competitive schedule with several national powers. Caleb Fyock allowed more than five goals only three times all year in goal. Ryan Duenkel is just a sophomore but led the team with 79 points on 51 goals, 28 assists. Mac Haley scored 49 goals to go with 25 assists, Gavin Kelly was third on the team with 44 goals and 24 assists, and Luke Rhoa had 35 goals and 10 assists. Previous: 1

2. McDonogh (Md.), 13-6

The fifth-seeded Eagles knocked off three straight higher seeded opponents to win the MIAA A Conference championship for the first time since 2016. McDonogh finished off St. Mary’s (Md.) in the title game, 14-8 to avenge one of their regular-season losses. McDonogh reached the finals with a thrilling 11-10 win over defending champion Boys’ Latin on a goal at the buzzer by Brendan Millon. McCabe Millon, who will return for his senior year, paced the attack with 78 points on 50 goals and 28 assists, Luke Miller scored 31 goals to go with 16 assists, and Matt McMillen posted 30 points on 21 goals and nine assists. Previous: 2

3. St. Mary’s (Md.) 17-3

The Saints reached the MIAA A Conference final before being upended by McDonogh (Md.). They were looking for their first conference crown since 2015. St. Mary’s won their first 15 games this season. LSM George Acton caused 35 turnovers and had 65 ground balls, Riley Reese had 21 caused turnovers and 44 ground balls, Zack Overend saved 62 percent of shots and allowed just 6 goals per game, while the offense was balanced with Nick Golini (40G, 23A), Will Hopkins (40G, 13A) and Jake Adams (37G, 8A). Previous: 3

4. Calvert Hall (Md.), 15-5

The Cardinals reached the MIAA A Conference semifinals before falling to St. Mary’s (Md.) 12-9. Calvert Hall came on strong over the final weeks of the season to jump from possibly missing the playoffs to the third seed in just over two week’s time. Truitt Sunderland returned from an early season injury a year ago to lead the offense with 48 goals and 47 assists, Jordan Wray had 45 goals and 19 assists and Davis Provost had 36 goals and 18 assists. Shuey Kelly came back from injury to post 51 points and ignite a six-game winning streak. Previous: 4

5. Boys’ Latin (Md.), 13-4

The Lakers fell to McDonogh (Md.) in the MIAA A Conference semifinals 11-10 on a last-second goal. It was a heartbreaking ending for the defending champions, who led by a pair of goals with 6:34 left in the game. Boys’ Latin had earned the top seed for the playoffs with a steady season that included a win over Midwest No. 1 Culver Academy (Ind.) as well. Dom Pietramala paced the attack with 53 goals and 35 assists, Spencer Ford had 30 goals and 21 assists and Nick Brown had 26 goals and 16 assists. Cardin Stoller made 222 saves with a 67 percent save percentage. Previous: 5

6. Bullis (Md.) 15-5

Bullis progressed steadily through the year from a slow start to IAC winners. The Bulldogs won the IAC final over Georgetown (Md.) to highlight their season. Chase Band led an offense which returns in its entirety next year. Band paced the Bulldogs this season with 59 goals, and finished with a second-best 15 assists. Tucker Wade finished with 92 points on an evenly split 46 goals and 46 assists. Brayden Ferguson made 126 saves this season, stopping just over 50 percent of all shots. Previous: 6

7. Georgetown Prep (Md.), 14-6

The defending champion Hoyas fell to Bullis in the IAC final. Georgetown made it far closer than their meeting 10 days earlier when Bullis won by five goals. The Hoyas got two shots off in the final 25 seconds but could not score a tying goal. The Hoyas played a competitive schedule and earned tight wins out of conference against Malvern Prep (Pa) and Loyola Blakefield (Md.). Previous: 7

8. Malvern Prep (Pa.), 20-3

AJ Nikolic’s goal in overtime gave the Friars their fourth straight Inter-Ac League championship title with an 11-10 win over Haverford (Pa.). Joe Doherty made 15 saves including one to end a man-down situation at the start of overtime. Malvern benefited from a strong non-conference schedule that saw them fall in overtime to Georgetown (Md.) and drop a game to Lawrenceville (N.J.), but top Bullis (Md.) and New Jersey powers Delbarton (N.J.) and Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) along with Delaware’s state champion, Salesianum (Del.). Previous: 8

9. Archbishop Spalding (Md.), 12-5

The fourth-seeded Cavaliers lost to eventual champion McDonogh (Md.) in the MIAA A Conference quarterfinals. Spalding won four of its final six games. Spalding will be looking to replace the graduating Mikey Weisshaar, who scored 68 goals, added 27 assists and came up with 37 ground balls. Alex Ross caused 32 turnovers and had 46 ground balls, and Race Ripley had 68 points on 44 goals and 24 assists. Previous: 9

10. St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.), 18-5

The Saints edged Paul VI (Va.), a team it had previously lost to, by an 11-10 count to capture the VISAA championship, its first since 2019 and seventh in school history. The attack was led by the strong play of a pair of seniors – Witt Crawford (Drexel) and Will McCulloch (Loyola). They combined for seven goals in the final and put up absurd program record numbers during the year. McCulloch had 76 goals and a record 69 assists for a record 145 points; Crawford scored a program-record 85 goals and had 53 assists. Previous: 10

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