Bristol Press Athletes of the Week are Bristol Central's Justus Fitzpatrick and Bristol Eastern's Myah Croze

Published on Monday, 8 October 2018 21:03


This week’s Athlete of the Week picks are veterans, having taken up their sports between the ages of four and five. Both team captains as seniors, they are soccer midfielder Myah Croze of Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central football quarterback/cornerback Julius Fitzpatrick.

Croze, the daughter of Gregory and Tammy Croze, became the all-time leading career goal scorer for girls at Bristol Eastern when she knocked in number 43 last Wednesday in a 5-4 loss to host Enfield. The previous mark of 42 had been held by Christi Carone.

“Myah is incredibly passionate about the game of soccer,” Bristol Eastern coach Scott Redman said. “She plays all year and as a result, is incredibly gifted. She has an amazing ability to score goals in a variety of ways. She can shoot with a marksman’s mentality from distance, dribble by defenders and penetrate behind them, or finish quickly and decisively with passes and crosses from teammates.

“Her technical skill is often on display while finishing. Her tactical knowledge of the game is also a big difference for us on the field. She is a calming force for her teammates and she understands how to exploit other teams’ weaknesses.”

Croze, who also plays lacrosse for the school, was pleased with breaking the school record.

“It was good,” Croze said. “It’s been a lot of work and I wouldn’t have done it without the team. Everyone was excited. I was more happy to see that my team was happy for me. It means a lot, because I’ve been playing soccer my whole life. It’s not just me doing it, but the team. I couldn’t have done it without them.

“I’ve been playing since I was five. I like playing with my team. Everyone is so close, we are like family.”

When she ended last season, Croze was only three goals short of the school record which belonged to Carone, now residing in Florida. Carone had been following the play of Croze and made contact with her during her junior season.

“She reached out to me,” Croze said. “She said, ‘I hope you can beat it.’ That meant a lot, because I wasn’t expecting it and because I didn’t know who held the record.”

As far as talking about this year’s team, the start could have been better. The team was carrying a record of 1-4 coming into this week. The team won its first contest of the fall on Friday.

“Last year we did pretty good, we made the tournament,” Croze said. “Our goal this season is to make the tournament again. We want to be more consistent as players and we’ve had some games we could have won, but we weren’t able to finish them.”

Next year, Croze, who had five goals and two assists for the Lancers coming into this week, will be attending Castleton University in Vermont to study nursing and play soccer for its D-III program.

Fitzpatrick, the son of Mariliz and Marvin Fitzpatrick, the latter a quarterback himself when he was at Bristol Central, scored the Rams’ only touchdown in a last minute 17-9 loss to a powerful Middletown team a week ago Friday at Muzzy Field, while part of a defensive team that held true for the majority of the game.

Fitzpatrick rushed for 90 yards on 19 runs and had a touchdown, while going 7-for-13 for 43 yards passing as quarterback.

With a bye this past weekend and carrying a 1-3 record, the Rams are looking to improve next weekend and during the second half of the season.

“The team goal right now is to win out our regular season,” Fitzpatrick said. “Our offensive lines and offensive positions are going to have to step up. Our defense has been doing good and we need to keep that going.”

Fitzpatrick is a first-year quarterback, replacing his longtime friend Dathan Hickey, who is now a freshman defensive player at Yale University. Fitzpatrick took up the sport with the Bristol Bulldogs and had played the sport along with Hickey ever since.

“I like how you can let out your aggression in football,” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s getting a bond with your teammates. I’ve been playing my whole life, so I can’t imagine not playing anymore.”

While practicing for the remaining season one game at a time, the game which will be extra special for the Rams will be the annual Thanksgiving Day skirmish against the Lancers. Last year, the Rams walked away 33-27 victors.

“I feel our team will get the bell back again,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have a good receiver in my friend Jaden Laprise. He and I will be a good match-up. I’ll be the cornerback and he’ll be their wide receiver. Our families have Thanksgiving dinner together each year.”

In addition to football, Fitzpatrick plays basketball for the Rams as a shooting guard.

Next year, he plans to play football in college. He’s looking at a number of schools and his plans after graduating are aimed at being a school guidance counselor.

Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.

Posted in The Bristol Press, Athletes of the Week, Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern on Monday, 8 October 2018 21:03. Updated: Monday, 8 October 2018 21:05.