So what can we all expect from A View from the Dome”?
Well, I can assure you I wont spend the scarce available time I have to help out LaxLessons.com with mindless banter about SU lacrosse. Nor will I wax poetic about life on the SU campus. (No, and not the night life either! Though it can be creatively constructive when the proper mood strikes.)
This weekly blog will be totally driven by YOU, the viewer. Often you have a lot to say and sometimes what you type gets lost at the bottom of a thread that has dozens if not hundreds of responses. Ive been there. You want your voices heard, but sometimes what you say gets dwarfed by the John Jay Army or the Long Island Brigade. (I hear they are both club teams that will embark on an ambitious box league schedule this fall at a homemade rink/lax utopia Joe is currently constructing with the use of taxpayer bailout money on his sprawling expanse of property inside his Connecticut compound.)
So what I plan to do each week is respond to your e-mails by either offering opinions or by following up on your suggestions on great features, profiles or interviews that YOU, the reader, want to see.
Now that the introductory shenanigans are over and done with, I wanted to jump into something that is a bone of contention with many in Section 1.
Why do the teams up in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess always seem to fall short against Long Island when the chips are really on the table? Im talking June. Im talking Hofstra. Im talking West Point.
Will this year be any different?
I know. I know. What about Yorktown? Well, I ask you, what about Yorktown? The ‘Huskers havent won a state title since 2003. Though they have six state titles, they have never won a New York state Class A crown. Some of you my age or older might say, wait a second there Cuse, Yorktown won arguably the greatest game in New York state history back in 1984 when they beat West Genny 6-5 in the state final, ending the Wildcats run of three straight crowns and their pursuit of the national record for consecutive wins (91, tied with Sewanhaka).
Thats all true and I was there to see it, but remember this: Back in 1984 there were no classifications in the state. Everyone was lumped together into one big pile and only the strongest survived. Classifications started in 1986.
So, yes, I may be nitpicking here, but in truth Yorktown is still looking for Class A state crown No. 1. No one will ever argue that Town isnt one of the premier programs in this grand country, but when it comes to dominance on a global level, you arent a world beater until you win Class A in New York. Its the hardest state title to win anywhere on the planet as far as high school lacrosse goes. This is why when I rank the five greatest programs in the history of the state, Yorktown comes in at No. 4, behind West Genny, Ward Melville and West Islip (were talking public high schools now I can just see the St. Anthonys folks gnawing on their laptops right now). Garden City, Manhasset, Lafayette and Corning East would also be in my Top 10.
And chew on this why don’t ya: Yorktown hasn’t been to the Class A final since 1987 and that year they lost 13-1. And believe me when I tell you the Genny folks had a ball rubbing it in. I know Yorktown played in Class B for the bulk of that time since, but sooner or later you knew that enrollment would jump back up and Town would once again be matched against the monster programs of the state.
Knowing all this, I commend Yorktown and coach Dave Marr for not taking the easy way out this year. They could have dropped down to Class B and dealt with Nisky and whoever else survived upstate, but they didnt. They said, We want to win Class A, because, as Cuse so deftly pointed out on LaxLessons.com, thats what its all about.
Bravo Town. Bravo.
Besides Yorktown, only one other Section 1 school has ever won a state crown Mahopac in 1996 and I can spend a week discussing that one because to do what the Indians did back then during a three-day or whatever it was stretch is unfathomable beating both Ward Melville (I think the final was actually 2-1) and West Genny (4-3) on their way to glory.
The 96 Mahopac team is often overlooked in the annuls of New York lacrosse, but let it be said right now: I havent forgotten and neither should you. Its what coach Haddeland and everyone else who lives up in Putnam County longs for to get back to what used to be.
There have been near misses for Section 1 as well. John Jay beats the best team in the country in Huntington and then lost to JD in the Class B finals back in 2007. Thats still a bitter pill for Jay fans to swallow and they dont like talking about it.
Somers got a taste of the high life back in 2003 but lost by 127 goals to Lafayette in the Class C final. Im sure the mighty Rabidou brothers know a little about the pain I speak of. Lakeland, way before the merger with Panas, lost to West Genny 10-5 back in 1991. I know people who played on that team and they often threaten bodily harm when I bring it up.
Right now, Section 1 has the players, but not the depth collectively to break through. There simply arent enough premier programs in this area to match the everyday depth of Long Island. Why does Ward Melville rarely travel outside Section 11, save for the Yorktown game, which is more of a nod to friendship and history than it is a need game to prepare for sectionals and states? Because the Patriots dont have to. They get their fair share of challenges from teams in their neighborhood.
West Genny upstate? Same thing.
Its just not the same here yet. I think strides have been taken, however. Section I is producing more D-I caliber talent than ever before and feeder programs are sprouting up all over the place like dandelions on my lawn. Lacrosse is now a tradition in towns like Rye, Somers, Katonah/Lewisboro, Mahopac and Suffern, and is fast becoming the only sport to play in Pleasantville, Briarcliff, Chappaqua, Nanuet and Bronxville.
Section I has the coaches as well. It has the fan base. It has the parental support.
The only thing missing is the hardware.
To quote the immortal Jimmy Malone from The Untouchables, Now, what are you prepared to do?
Id like to know, from each of you. Post your comments here. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted In: Long Island lacrosse