Advertisement
High School sports

Sons of a lacrosse legend, Boys’ Latin twins Dom and Nick Pietramala are creating their own paths: ‘They play like their personalities’

Dom and Nick Pietramala, fraternal twins and standouts for the Boys’ Latin lacrosse team, took vastly different paths to their senior seasons.

Advertisement

Dom, a dynamic left-handed attackman who Inside Lacrosse rates the No. 2 player in the Class of 2022, has effectively navigated through the lofty expectations playing on his terms. Nick, a smart defenseman who banks on preparation and disciplined play, has worked on overcoming a significant knee injury to work his way back onto the field.

As the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference regular season hits the homestretch and the defending champion Lakers, now 10-3 and 5-2 in league play, take aim at another title run, the brothers are cherishing every day with their teammates and coaches, and welcoming the hefty competition every game brings.

Advertisement

Mostly, though, the 18-year-old twins — Dom is one hour older — are grateful to be on the field together.

“For me, it’s special to have somebody in your life that you can always consider a best friend and brother,” Dom said. “Basically, we were born together and built-in best friends. It’s a person that’s there for you no matter what. And whether you like it or not, they’re going to tell you the honest truth, not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.”

The Pietramala name is synonymous with lacrosse, as the twins’ father, Dave, enjoyed a decorated playing and coaching career at Johns Hopkins. Now an assistant coach at Syracuse, the senior Pietramala always told his sons he would be just as proud if they showed passion and a desire to be great at something other than the sport that has built his legacy.

But there was never any doubt; all three share a love for lacrosse. So it’s no surprise that Nick’s favorite childhood memory involving Dom happened on the lacrosse field when they first began organized play.

“My first goal was an assist from Dom,” Nick said. “At first, I was really bad at catching and throwing. So he would always get me the ball and feed it to me and feed it to me and then, finally, I got my first goal. After that, I decided I liked defense more and went to that.”

Like most twins, the brothers share many similarities. Their fierce competitiveness and team-first approach stand out on the lacrosse field, and their general kind nature and respect toward others is a constant everywhere else.

But unlike most twins, the two have carved out their own identities. Dom is more brash, Nick is more calculated, and their respective positions on the lacrosse field speak to the fact. Both will watch game tape to prepare for an opponent, and while Nick goes on to break it down, scout it and go as far to write a report that he shares with coaches, Dom is antsy to finish up so he can get on the field to practice more shooting.

“They play like their personalities,” said their father, Dave. “Nicholas is very structured, not a risk-taker, very analytical about the game, and Dominic is like: ‘I’m going to rip it and if it goes in, great, and if it doesn’t, I’m going to keep firing.’ So I think their personalities are indicative of how they play the game. And I think the way they view the game is the way they view life.”

Advertisement

For Dom, a 33-goal, 10-assist freshman season validated much of the hype that continues to grow, along with his continued fine play as he’s further developed as a team leader and more complete attackman with 42 goals and 27 assists so far this season. How his family, teammates and coaches feel about him — and helping the Lakers win — is what drives him on the field.

“To me, there’s no point in [player rankings] because you’re not proven to be a player based on other people’s opinions and what they write about you,” he said. “It’s more of what you show people and how you act on and off the field. As for the expectations [with the family name], it’s hard at times. But we have a father that’s so loving and caring and no matter what will be there for us, whether it would be school or lacrosse or anything we may be going through.”

As a freshman, Nick played a major role in leading the Lakers’ junior varsity team to a championship. With the pandemic canceling the 2020 season and a torn ACL, he’s seeing his first varsity action this season. The time off the field gave him an appreciation of all the people close to him — making note of how his brother helped him with all things big and small during his recovery — and the game of lacrosse.

“I got to see and learn the game differently,” Nick said. “Instead of just doing everything fast, I got a chance to learn the ins and outs, what I can do more efficiently to help my game more. I also think I learned to look at my teammate differently, like to truly understood how it may be stressful for them. They’re worried about making mistakes, but all still working on getting better for the common goal. So I think I learned how much of a team game it is — the team aspect to it and family.”

Boys’ Latin coach Brian Farrell is ecstatic to have both twins on the field this season.

“Both of them are competitors. They want to do well and win, succeed, but you call them Dom and Nick — not the Pietramalas — because they are their own person,” he said.

Advertisement

Former Boys’ Latin standout Matt Brandau, who played alongside his twin brother, Chris, and also served as an assistant coach at the school last year, got a close look at the relationship between Dom and Nick.

“They’re very different people, which is very rare [from what I’ve seen with twin brothers],” he said. “My brother and I are very similar, but I think Dom and Nick have very different personalities. I think they’re just as close as any twin brothers and it actually benefits both of them that they do have such different personalities because they’re able to balance and work off of each other so well.”

Varsity Highlights

Varsity Highlights

Weekly

Get the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.

Having enjoyed the family environment that surrounds them at Boys’ Latin, the Pietramala twins found what they consider to be a similar situation at North Carolina, which they plan to call home the next four years. Nick was the first to commit at the end of September 2020 — appreciative that Tar Heels coach Joe Breschi and his staff still supported him despite the knee injury — with Dom following days later.

Advertisement

“I really got to know Coach Breschi and got to like him a lot as a coach and family man. Like Coach Farrell, he really harps on family,” Nick said. “For me, the fact I was coming back from injury and not playing, yet he trusted my abilities to play — that really meant a lot to me.”

The duo will be as prepared as any high school senior to make the jump to the college level, largely because of the invaluable experiences they had being around their father’s teams at Hopkins during their childhood.

“They got to be around people that are great role models, that know the game, but also understand what it means to have character and integrity and a work ethic. And they got to be in a locker room and see what it was like after a big win and after a tough loss. They got to see what practice was really like and the amount of work that the young men at the college level put in to succeed,” said Dave Pietramala, who guided the Blue Jays to two NCAA Division I championships in 20 years at the helm. “I like to believe all those things are a benefit to them and have helped create their perspective as to what the game means to them and what they need to do to be successful.”

First things first, however, and that’s the chance to help bring home another MIAA A Conference title to the storied Boys’ Latin program.

After experiencing the joy of winning the crown last season, Dom is cherishing his role as a leader in his senior year as the Lakers bid for another crown. He constantly harps on teammates about the importance of supporting one another. It’s something that has come easily to both him and Nick as they’ve done it all their lives. And while winning in the end is a huge reward, the journey in trying to get there is equally special.

“I feel it’s important to note that this year’s team is different from last year’s team. While there’s some similarities, we’re not that team and we want to build our own legacy,” Dom said. “In such a short period of time, we’ve gotten to know each other so well and built relationships and bonds that will last much longer than any success. So whether we win or not, that’s the most important thing that can come from this season.”


Advertisement