Tampa Bay Rowdies Jake LaCava bridges old and new

Jake LaCava is in his first year with the Rowdies. He currently is leading the team with six goals scored.

The 21-year-old forward is originally from a wonderful little New England town. New Milford, Connecticut is home of the historic Lover’s Leap Lenticular Truss Bridge, which was built in 1895 and it is where LaCava and that bridge intersect.

FOX 13’s Jeff Tewksbury asked LaCava what he knew about the origins of the name of Lover’s Leap Bridge. He shared the bit of local folklore that his parents shared with him.

"They always told me a story similar to the Romeo and Juliet story," LaCava said. "Two lovers who weren’t supposed to be together wound up jumping off together to be together forever. That’s the story I grew up on, so that’s the one I’m sticking to. "

LaCava keeps his family close by wearing reminders on his skin through tattoos with his mother’s blessing and artistic contribution.

"I told her when I was really young that I wanted tattoos," he recalled. "I’m not sure what her reaction was at the time, I think she just brushed it off and assumed I would grow out of it. But when I got older and older she was down with it and super-cool about it. And she said, ‘Okay, what’s your design, what did you have in mind?’

LaCava’s mother was on vacation in Portugal at the time and she designed what turned out to be his first tattoo. 

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"I remember her being in the hotel room and drawing it up for me, and the next day her taking me to the shop to get it. That’s one of my favorite memories," LaCava explained.

LaCava has a permanent homage to his mom behind his right ear. "Wendy" is written in cursive.

"She’s the best honestly," LaCava shared.

The Rowdies take their five-game unbeaten streak into Al Lang Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and LaCava will take reminders of his family onto the pitch with him along with the haunting memories of that lovely old bridge in New Milford.