Zach Mermelstein knew he was in store for a unique lacrosse experience even before he arrived for his post-grad year at The Hill Academy this fall.
After all, in The Hill, the 2013 Pelham High School (N.Y.) grad was headed north of the border to play, in Vaughan, Ontario, north of Toronto, to be precise.
But being a student-athlete at The Hill has also allowed Mermelstein to see a part of the world he otherwise may never had a chance to, and to be a part of a record-setting experience.
Mermelstein, a righty attackman, and The Hill post-grad team joined other Hill teams in playing 25 straight hours of lacrosse, setting a Guinness World Record for the longest indoor lacrosse game in January.
And talk about unique, Team White came back from a 72-goal deficit to win in Hour No. 25. The game’s leading goal scorer, Austin Cloutier, scored 84 goals in the contest, including the game-winner.
Hill went the distance to raise money to send the PG class on a Humanitarian trip to Nicaragua.
Now, here are Zach’s thoughts on both of those unique and unforgettable experiences.
How did the longest lacrosse game idea come about and can you did describe how it went and what the experience was like?
At first, we had no idea what big event we could do to help spread our word about raising money for our Humanitarian trip to Nicaragua.
After thinking about it, we all found one thing we had in common, which is lacrosse. One of my classmates, AJ Kluck, from Alberta said he had heard about a bunch of men who broke the original world record. After that, we all decided that we could break that record and play for 25 hours. We decided that this was our main fundraising idea to help spread the cause.
The game went extremely well. Going into the game, I was kind of skeptical about how both teams would react to playing for that length of time. We put a lot of thought and effort into designing a game plan. We decided to split our U18, U16 and divide a few our the U18 girls team into one team consisting of 22 players with two goalies and they would face the PG team.
It took a while to figure out how long each shift would and we decided to break each team into three lines that would alternate time that they would be on the floor. We were very lucky to have great sponsors for the game who delivered food, snacks, and drinks along with an awesome facility to us plus a trainer available for each team.
As the game kicked off everyone was putting max effort into it, and I didn’t know how long both teams would be able to go for.
But as the 25th hour was winding down, both teams were still battling for every lose ball and putting 100 percent into all aspects of play. In the end, the game was a great experience that allowed us to get one step closer to our final goal.
How did the Nicaragua trip idea come about and can you did describe how it went and what was that experience was like?
(Hill post-graduate team) Coach (Jeremy) Noble has had the idea of going on a humanitarian trip for a couple years now, but this year was the first year that his vision became a reality.
We are all very thankful because without him, this trip would have never happened. He was the constant force behind all of our fundraising and detection to making this trip a reality, and we all can’t thank him enough.
The trip to Nicaragua was an unbelievable experience. Going into the trip a lot of us were very excited to make a difference and help build a part of a school for a community called El Trapiche. We all wanted to help as much as we could.
One of the biggest things at that all The Hill Academy coaches preach is legacy. Coach Noble reminded us of this many times during the week we were in Nicaragua and he told us that it would go by very quickly and we should try and absorb as much as we could and that when we leave we should try to have zero regrets.
We worked incredibly hard to make the most of every opportunity we had on this trip. In the end, the trip was a major eye opener to everyone on how fortunate we all are.
Also it brought our team closer together than we have ever been which is awesome considering we have the PG Cup coming up in the first week of May.
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