LaxLessons.com and Epoch Lacrosse have teamed up for a new feature at LaxLessons.com in which lacrosse standouts share their epic high school memories.
West Islip High School has become synonymous with boys lacrosse success. Both in terms of New York state championships won.
Bobby Rushton knows all about both.
The 2005 WI graduate helped build a varsity program that has now won five state titles the last seven years and nine straight Section 11 titles.
He then went on to enjoy a strong four-year career at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
The midfielder scored 12 goals his senior year, starting 12 of the Pioneers’ 14 games. As a junior, he had 14 goals and 19 points. That followed a sophomore year in which he had 17 goals and 20 points and was named Colonial Athletic Association player of the week after having seven goals in wins over Hartford and Villanova.
Rushton now is a second-grade teacher at West Elementary School in New Canaan, Conn., and an assistant coach on the varsity staff for defending Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Association champion and Class M state finalist New Canaan. The Rams open up against visiting Wilton on April 3 at 7 p.m. at Dunning Stadium.
What makes your high school varsity career so memorable and meaningful looking back at it now?
The part that makes my varsity career at West Islip so memorable was being a member of the first West Islip team in history to win a Suffolk county title and now since ’04 they have won nine straight. I think it’s an honor to be a part of almost a decade of championships.
Going along with that is winning our first LI championship against Farmingdale, and then making it to the states to then compete against one of great high school programs in West Genesee.
If you had to pick one most memorable moment or game from high school what would it be and why?
It had to be my senior year against Massapequa in the LI championship. The game was actually delayed a day due to weather. There was a lot of hype built up around this game and because we were the only game rescheduled at Stony Brook the next day, we drew a big crowd.
Being down to ‘Pequa at halftime and then coming back to win 12-8 was impressive and once again clinched back to back years of Suffolk and LI championships.
However, this game is memorable because I took a big hit on the sideline in the third quarter and found out later the next morning that for two quarters of play I played with a torn PCL.
There were a lot of great memories for West Islip those are just a few that stand out. I bet you a lot of people wouldn’t have guessed that Kelly Clarkson (“Since you been gone”) was how we got loose on the bus before championship games. Our stat girls actually called up a radio station and we got a shout out on the way to the ‘Pequa game followed by the song.
Do you remember who your first varsity game was against, what grade you were in and what happened in the game?
It was in the playoffs of my sophomore year, I was just bought up for the playoffs in ’03. The first official game I was a part of on the field was in ’04 against Smithtown. This was a big game that later lead us to a 22-1 season. I was the on the second line behind some studs, Danny Galasso being one.
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‘Epic Moments’ archives
For an archive of articles in this series, click here.