Wilton childhood friends prepare for Air Force Academy

Life after high school can be a turbulent journey. For two childhood friends, it will be one they embark on side-by-side.

Tyler Previte and Ethan Grandolfo have both committed to playing lacrosse at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Grandolfo is graduating from Fairfield prep and Previte will graduate from Wilton High.

The Wiltonians say they have known each other since they were born.

“Ethan and I were friends, honestly, since we were babies,” Previte said. “Our parents were friends and we even had play dates.”

The friends’ connection would be sharpened through their love of lacrosse, he said. The two would end up on the same youth lacrosse team.

For Tyler, football was his first love. However, a few of his friends were involved with lacrosse and once he got involved he couldn’t stop.

“I fell in love with it,” Tyler said. “I love how fast-paced it is. It’s a combination of size, speed, and skill. You can be creative with it.”

For Ethan, he has always loved lacrosse. His father played lacrosse in college and both his sister and brother played.

“I fell in love at a young age,” he said. “I really love this sport. It’s been my main sport my whole life.”

Ethan said he always knew he wanted to go into the military. He looked at the three major branches — Army, Navy, Air Force — for lacrosse. One eventually stood out from the rest.

“When I went to the Air Force Academy, I really fell in love with Colorado and the school,” he said.

Ethan said he looked forward to sharing the experience together with his best friend.

“It feels really good to have one of my best friends going out there with me,” he said.

Originally, Tyler had committed to Lafayette College. After considering a change, Ethan told Tyler to give the academy a visit. Tyler said when he visited the academy, he instantly fell in love with the location and atmosphere. He was also happy to be alongside his childhood friend.

“I knew I could have a best friend there to support me and we could push each other,” Tyler said. “I think that definitely helps.”

Tyler said he was excited to be joining the academy with his best friend. He added the academy will help him to grow as a young man.

“One of the key things they focus on and something I hold to myself is integrity,” he said. “Having integrity, being a hardworking person and being truthful, that’s what carries you and makes you successful.”

Both have already started making preparations for their journey in the academy. Over the summer the two have worked out and are making sure to finish strong academically. Ethan said he was ready to begin this new stage in life with his best friend.

“I’m excited for all the opportunities and everything that comes after college,” he said. “I’m looking for something I can do that I’m going to enjoy and also serve my country to the best of my ability.”