One month after winning the NJSIAA Non-Public A Lacrosse game, we close out this school year’s Humans of Delbarton series with a profile of the player responsible for the decisive game-winning point, newly minted alumnus Nick Faccone ’23.
As a recent graduate, Faccone reflects on his journey at Delbarton. “I did not take the traditional path to enroll in Delbarton for freshman year,” he began. “I attended Pingry School for my freshman year of high school as I had initially chosen Pingry because my older brother was a senior and I wanted to go to school and play on the same hockey and lacrosse teams with him.” After the Covid-19 pandemic greatly impacted his freshman year, Faccone decided to apply to Delbarton, attracted to the School’s Catholic ethos and dynamic academics, athletics and spirit. “While the distance from home was much further than my previous school, I felt Delbarton would be a better fit for me,” he said. He is pictured below with his family after receiving this year's "Red" Green '56 Fighting Spirit Award, a special award presented to a Delbarton senior in recognition of his persistence, composure and leadership.
Growing up in Warren, NJ, with his parents and older brother, Joe, Faccone quickly hit the ground running as he entered Delbarton as a sophomore. He quickly got involved with the Thanksgiving Food Drive, Christmas Toy Drive, A-Team, as well as Culinary Club.
Aside from academics and club involvement, Faccone invested much of his time with Green Wave athletics as a Delbarton varsity hockey and lacrosse player. At age five, Faccone fell in love with both sports. “It is difficult to pick a favorite between the two as they complement each other," he began. "For example, my hockey experiences provided the grit needed to become a successful FOGO (Face Off Get Off) in lacrosse, and the importance of the face-off in lacrosse gave me the focus to value puck possession in hockey." As the years went on, he eventually settled in as a center for hockey and became the Green Wave Lacrosse face-off specialist.
Both sports require quick speed and reflexes, as well as strength, solid technique and communication. Faccone found the transition between seasons relatively easy as he has a short window of time between the two. "When it was hockey season, I loved the competition, the physicality, and the thrill of scoring. But when I hung up my skates and took about a week to regroup and shift to lacrosse, I was ready to rejoin my lacrosse teammates for the new season ahead...There is no better feeling than to be competing in a game, winning face-offs to give my team the ball and maybe even have an opportunity to score myself!"
Earlier this year, for the first time in nearly five years, Green Wave Hockey brought the Gordon Cup back home to Delbarton. Having grown up playing club hockey with most of his teammates, Faccone and the team were excited to finish the season on such a high note. “It was a fantastic feeling to bring the Gordon Cup back to Delbarton this season. It was a total team effort and winning the championship game against CBA, a longtime rival and a perennial state hockey power, made it even more special,” said Faccone.
Segueing from a successful hockey season, Faccone was ready to kick off what turned out to be a historic lacrosse season for the Green Wave.
As the team approached the NJSIAA Non-Public A title game against Seton Hall Prep, Faccone was reminded of their last regular season game against the Pirates and how closely matched the teams were; the Green Wave lost by one point in overtime. Faccone and his teammates had confidence in one another, their coaches and an electric fanzone on the sidelines and remained motivated to win the Non-Public A championship title.
“We spent many months training for this game, this opportunity, and we believed that we could win," said Faccone. "Personally, this was my 5th state championship game (between hockey and lacrosse) here at Delbarton, and I had lost the other 4 times, with the last one just three months prior in OT at the Non-Public Hockey final against St. Augustine. So, since I had been in this position before, I was not nervous, and I was ready to do whatever it took to finally secure a win."
As the Green Wave had a fierce comeback with the tie game going into double, then triple overtime, Faccone said the team’s morale was higher than ever as they worked together to make the last plays of the game count. “We tapped into the countless hours of practice and did indeed tie the score with only seconds left in the game,” he recalls. “The first two overtimes were back and forth. I knew that if I got a clean win I was going to take a shot on net.”
It was time face-off time, and Faccone was more than ready to give it his all. “After securing the final face-off, as I played over in my mind before I fell asleep the night before, I ran through the center of the field, took the shot and, as soon as I released the ball out of my stick, I knew it was going in.” He immediately threw off his gear and raced to the sidelines to share the celebration with Delbarton fans where pandemonium ensued.
Throughout his time at Delbarton, Faccone reminisced on several great memories, but nothing can top winning his final Green Wave lacrosse game. "The effort led by our coaches, the determination of my teammates, our will to win, the presence of the student body packing the stands, the many alumni in attendance, Fr. Michael on the sidelines, the triple-overtime victory, all combined to make the experience absolutely unforgettable."
Love of God and Neighbor, Prayer and Worship, Listening, Community and Stability, Discipline, Moral and Spiritual development, Hospitality, Stewardship, Humility, Obdeince, Work and Conversatio: These are the twelve hallmarks that each student at Delbarton embodies. The quality that Faccone feels most connected to is humility: "Humility is a core value that I take very seriously. It is an essential component of my moral character that is manifested in modesty, being empathetic, and acknowledging and respecting others."
During his time at Delbarton, Faccone credits Coach Head Coach Matt Kovachik and Hockey Head Coach Bruce Shatel as two people who left a lasting impact on him. Both coaches inspired him and his teammates to be great players on the field and ice, while being responsible young men beyond the sport. “The most impactful thing they provide is their desire to be great, which then translates to us as players becoming the best versions of ourselves, every single day, no matter where we are or what we are doing.”
This fall, Faccone enters Lafayette College as a recruited lacrosse athlete and looks to study chemistry or biology. His goal is to become a physician like his parents John and Jaqueline Faccone. He looks forward with great anticipation to this new chapter and says, “The most exciting thing is probably being able to meet new people. While I will always have my Delbarton brothers, meeting new people, having new opportunities and being able to be in a new environment is something that I am excited to experience.”
As of 49 recruited athletes from the class of 2023, a record-breaking year for Green Wave Athletics, Faccone looks forward to competing for Lafayette. Choosing between his two loves of hockey and lacrosse wasn't easy. “Being a two-sport athlete, and loving both, I never fully committed to only one of them. It seemed that many recruiting events for one or the other took place in one of the off-seasons and I was not necessarily able to attend them because I was playing the other sport,” he says. “For the majority of junior year, I thought I would just apply to colleges and figured that my athletic career would end in high school. However, in August at the start of my senior year, Coach Patrick Meyers at Lafayette contacted me and the rest is history.”
His time as a Delbarton student has ended, and Faccone leaves his younger Delbarton brothers with this advice: "Cherish every moment because it does go by very fast. While these friends and memories will last forever, our time on campus and with each other will not."
The Delbarton community salutes Nick Faccone '23 as he moved on to Lafayette. Videos and photos of his final goal for Delbarton Lacrosse will live on in infamy!