The Hudson Valley lacrosse team has a group of student athletes who come from different areas, cultures, and backgrounds, but Kresimir Krtalic has one of the most interesting backgrounds on the team.
Krtalic was born here in New York’s Capital Region, but moved to North Carolina when he was young.
Krtalic said that other than the weather of the two regions being different, the two places aren’t that much different in daily life. “It’s cold up here,” he said.
He also said the biggest difference between the people of New York and North Carolina is the way people express their emotions. “People say what they feel up here, but down there they try to be more polite,” he said.
He added, “You get a lot of ‘bless your heart’s down in North Carolina, but people around this area wear their opinions on their shoulders.”
Krtalic said that he did not have to do so much adjusting because the people are not so different. “People are pretty much people,” he said.
Head Coach Matthew Johnson and the team saw him more as a hard-working teammate than anything else, but still saw some interesting characteristics about him.
Johnson said, “He’s a man of many traits.” According to Johnson, Krtalic is very outdoorsy and had a more interesting upbringing than most.
“He’s had a lot of different experiences,” said Johnson. Krtalic has told him about going salmon fishing in Alaska, and several other stories that Johnson said he found entertaining.
“He’s pretty knowledgeable on just about anything,” said Johnson, “whether it’s gourmet cooking or something like construction.”
“He’s a very interesting person,” said Johnson. Johnson also said that Krtalic’s traits from his upbringing help with his work ethic and willingness to do more.
Krtalic said, “[This season was] fun, but I wish it could have turned out better.” He also said that the team struggled, but it was not what defined them.
Captain Nicholas Clark said,“He’s one of those guys that won’t be quiet on the sideline.” He said, “[Krtalic] always wants to contribute, and he is willing to work hard for the team.”
“It means a lot to me as a captain, and it means a lot to the coaches,” Clark added.
Clark also said of Krtalic, “He brings intensity to the game, and he always wants to be in the game. We had a system, and he did what he needed to.”
Krtalic said that lacrosse is a lot different in college than in high school. “It is a lot faster, a lot more aggressive, and there is more of a mental component to it,” he said. “Passing and shooting well in high school made you a really good player, but at this level it’s not even close,” he added.
He said, “You have to play smart, and that’s really the key.”