“He was always willing to put himself out there,” Lagon said. “He was always one of the first players ready for practice. “He was selfless.”
Nathan Brooks, the varsity lacrosse coach for three years, noticed the same attribute when he put Simuel on varsity as a sophomore after volunteering to play backup goalie.
By the end of the season, he was starting between the pipes and continued in the role during his junior year, despite being a natural midfielder.
“To have the guts to go and stand in front of the goal showed he was a heck of an athlete,” Brooks said.
Simuel admitted he was shell-shocked at times.
“I would come home with purple blotches on my body and legs and, I think, I even cracked a rib,” he said.
After he took some time off last spring to focus on his studies, he returned to the midfield with a vengeance.
That was most evident in a 6-5 loss to Carver when Simuel sparked the team with a crunching hit.
“I said ‘Tony, go get me the ball,’ and he did and the hit was legal,” Brooks said. “He could deliver quite a blow.”
“I beat this kid to the ball and I hit him so hard he came out of his cleats,” Simuel recalled.
“He was a spark,” Brooks said. “When I put him back on the field at midfield, he took his opportunity to make up for everything he missed. He proved he could play long stick midfield.”
The physical play didn’t surprise Brooks, considering Simuel’s background.
“I love when my guys are wrestlers,” Brooks said. “I’ve enjoyed coaching him the past three years.”
In the end, that turned into his passion.
“I love all the sports, but I believe wrestling is probably my favorite because it taught me how to control myself,” he said.