Barron Collier lacrosse team honors former teammate killed in crash

A community and loved ones honored a young man who was taken too soon — a talented lacrosse player, a beloved son, a brother and an individual loved by many others.

Joey DiPascale, 18, was killed in a crash in Tallahassee recently. He was attending FSU to study sports management. He leaves behind his parents and three sisters.

The former Barron Collier lacrosse player was honored by the team that held a moment of silence for him ahead of their game at Barron Collier High School Tuesday night.

It was a sea of blue at the game in honor of DiPascale. Everyone wore blue ribbons with his number 23 on them. The lacrosse coach said it was their biggest turnout they’ve ever had.

“He was the kindest person I ever met, and everyone loved him,” cousin Alyssa Pezzano said.

Pezzano and other family members held each other tight, as the lacrosse team honored their “fallen brother.”

“I’m just kind of in shock,” Pezzano said. “It doesn’t feel real to me, but we’re just sad. We miss him.”

DiPascle’s best friend, James Leach, was with him the night before he was killed in an early morning crash.

“He went out to take a friend home and never came back,” Leach said. “Waited and finally got the call, and it was heartbreaking.”

DiPascale’s coach, John Silvio, said he was everyone’s friend.

“Joey was a great kid. He was full of life,” Silvio said. “It was a pleasure to be able to coach him … the kid that was there for you. He was also the kid that would bust your chops.”

Friends and family are doing what they can to hold onto his memory.

“We’re not going to be the same without him,” Pezzano said. “But I know that he would want us all to get through this.”

“I could not have asked for anybody better in my life,” Leach said. “I’m so glad I got to know him when I did.”

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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