PISCATAWAY, NJ – Two student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to play men’s lacrosse at Rutgers University, head coach Jim Stagnitta announced today. The two players, Colin Checcio, a 6-0, 175-pound attackman from Radnor, PA and Matt Gaines, 6-1, 185-pound midfielder from Edgewood, MD, round out a nine-player 2003 recruiting class for Stagnitta. Seven student-athletes were signed in the fall signing period. These nine players will join a Rutgers program that fashioned the biggest turnaround in Division I lacrosse last season. The Scarlet Knights went 10-5, reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991, and Stagnitta was named National Coach of the Year.
Checcio and Gaines were both named All-Americans and led their teams to impressive seasons in 2003. Checcio, whose brother, Ian, played soccer at Rutgers from 1994-1997, was named Main Line Player of the Year as a senior. Checcio, a three-year starter, shattered his own school record for goals in a season with 68 last season (his previous record was 50, accomplished his sophomore year). He added 42 assists last season to total 110 points, which also stands as a single-season school record. He graduated as Radnor’s all-time leader in goals (157) and points (250) and led the Red Raiders to a 19-3 record last season and the school’s first appearance in the PSLA final. He was a First Team Main Life All-Star as a junior and was also named to the All-Central League first team. Checcio scored six goals during a game twice last season. In the semifinals of the PSLA Tournament, Checcio scored four goals, including the game-winner.
Gaines was named the Hartford County co-Player of the Year while leading his team to a 9-5 record, 4-2 in league play. He was among the league leaders in virtually every offensive category, ranking first in face-off percentage (198-248, .800), goals (60), assists (51) and points (111). His 111 points were 23 more than anyone else in the league. The next-most points scored by a player in his league was 88. Gaines also led the league with 189 ground balls, an average of 13.5 per game.
Here is a look at the 2003 Rutgers men’s lacrosse recruiting class.
Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Last School Attended
Josh Ashcraft 6-2 190 M Carthage HS (NY)
Colin Checcio 6-0 175 A Radnor HS (PA)
Chris Doctor 6-0 195 A Skaneateles HS (NY)
Matt Gaines 6-1 185 M Edgewood (MD)
Cary Howard 6-1 170 A Dulaney HS (MD)
Rob Miller 5-11 165 A/M Nassau Community College (NY)
Rob Morris 5-10 185 M West Windsor-Plainsboro (NJ)
Daren Ohiokpehai 6-1 215 D McDonogh School (MD)
Mike Sissler 6-3 205 D Ramapo HS (NJ)