On this day 22 years ago, the boys’ lacrosse team won its first Suffolk County Championship. Here is a recap of the game from the September–October 1994 edition of Parents Plus Monthly.
Sometimes there are quirks in the rules that govern interscholastic competition. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association does not allow graduating seniors to compete in games once they have received their diplomas. For the Bears, this posed a problem since the lacrosse team earned a shot to play for the Suffolk County Lacrosse Championship on June 5, 1994—graduation day.
For seniors Jonas Fischer, Angelo Gagliano, Alistair Green, Dave Johnson, and Mark Russ, this meant that they could walk through the graduation ceremony, but they would have to wait until after the game was played to receive their hard-earned SBS diploma.
After the ceremony, the Bears’ lacrosse team boarded the bus en route to Smithtown High School to compete in the Suffolk County Championship against defending champion Half Hollow Hills West. The underclassmen watched as the seniors changed from their cap and gowns to their helmets and jerseys. With the support of the graduation crowd, the Bears downed the Hills 4-3 and claimed the Suffolk County title.
Jake Kenney, Spencer Niebuhr, and Sam Hanchett scored for the laxmen. Dave Metz proved invaluable as he controlled 95% of the faceoffs. Defensively, the Bears were led by goalie Matt Avitable. Matt stopped eleven of West’s shots, two of which were one-on-one situations. For his outstanding effort, Matt was awarded the prestigious Suffolk County Coaches Association MVP Award. The defensive unit long poles Alistair Green, Ed Hughey, and Dave Johnson, and the defensive midfield of Mike Hoskins, Evan Tiska, and Evin Steed stymied the vaunted Hills West offense all afternoon.
For the senior laxmen, it was a memorable graduation day; not only did they take home their SBS diploma, but they left their mark on Long Island lacrosse and raised aloft the County Championship plaque.