Congratulations to poster “ATTACK,” a laxer from Darien, whose post on our “Name the Top 5 laxers of all-time” thread was selected as the winner of our $100 Dick’s Sporting Good gift card giveaway. You can check out what he wrote by clicking on the link and scrolling down to Comment No. 23.
Now though, we have another chance for you to win.
Tell us who you think the Top 5 varsity boys programs in the LaxLessons.com region (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess, Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York and Greater Fairfield in Connecticut) and why. These programs should be ranked based on history, traditions, quality of coaching and players produced and recent success.
The poster whose response wins will have a choice of getting either a free LaxLessons.com player profile or a free LaxLessons.com coaches’ playbook.
Be sure to weigh in with your comments below on this thread, and exercise your right to vote by weighing in with your opinion in our poll.
Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse, Long Island lacrosse
Here’s my five from top to bottom, looking mostly at the criteria set forth by Joe (and some personal bias which I will admit):
#1 – Huntington – a LI powerhouse from the very beginnings of the sport at the HS level, peaking in the late 1970’s and a big-time resurgence in recent years.
#2 – Manhassett – much like Huntington, with much tradition and success over an extended period.
#3 – Ward Melville – super program, tradition, many titles.
#4 – Garden City – always a contender.
#5 – Yorktown – loads of tradition, many great players, but not LI.
In all of these programs there have been a relative consistency of very good to excellent coaching over the years, but in my opinion what has been more responsible for their enduring success has been the depth of commitment by the communities to the sport, in most cases resulting from a truly great coach (and person) being involved in the early periods. And all of these programs have been blessed by having many outstanding athletes within their geographic areas who were then drawn to play and focus on excellence in lacrosse (as opposed to other spring sports and “country club” sports) by the coaches and/or community commitment. Many will notice my bias towards LI programs, and that is because if you add tradition to the mix, in my opinion that means decades, not years, and in my honest opinion there were very few if any programs outside of LI that could compete at all with the likes of those I have listed above, including NY and CT.
And to clarify the last sentence, I meant to say “could compete at all with the likes of those listed above, including NY and CT, before the 1980’s”.
1. West Genny
2. Ward Melville
5. Garden City
8. New Canaan
My list is pretty similar to fD1Laxer altough I added West Genny and put them at #1. I think Chaminade is worthy of the #6 slot. I put New Canaan at #8 because I wanted to put a CT team down which narrows it down to Darien, Wilton and NC. New Canaan has a longer winning history than Darien and Wilton dropped off in the mid 90’s (consistency). New Canaan had the best coach CT has ever had in Howard Benedict (1974-2007) who always made his teams very competitive
EDIT: Take West Genny out, they are not in the laxlessons.com regions
Im going to respectively disagree with Ron on New Canaan vs. Wilton CT. Wilton indeed dropped off but it was in 1999-2000 not in the mid 90’s. In 1995 they were the number two team in the United States, going undefeated with a schedule that was unbelievable. They won numerous CT state titles back to back and then alternating many times with Darien leading up to their down turn. Moreover, while New Canaan has more all time victories than Darien, Wilton has more than New Canaan. While Howard Benedict was a fantastic coach who brought NC to prominence, I never saw a coach as effective as Guy Whitten at Wilton.
My list of all time programs in the region would be:
1. Ward Melville ( No question)
3. Garden City
It is important to note that in many ways, this is a “rock paper scissor” listing. Melville has the most titles and dominated in a fashion that puts them at number one. Yorktown can verify this. However, Garden City has many titles and also has Melville’s number. Yorktown who also has titles, has Garden City’s number, beating them in key state play-off games on more than one occasion- ending a tremendous win streak in 86, crushing them in 91, and beating them convincingly in 93 before dropping the last meeting in 94. You have to have Manhasset on the list and when it comes to all-time history, my Ct choice is Wilton, with Darien a possible alternate for this spot because the past ten years at that program have been unreal.
I think Wilton will be making a comeback, perhaps even as soon as next year. For New Canaan to be mentioned in this group, the younger coach Whitten will have to win a big game. He’s going to have some competition- that’s for sure.
I respect your analysis Indian J. I think Wilton has shown signs of a comeback. New Canaan has struggled under the younger coach Whitten. To be fair, although New Canaan was undefeated in 2003 and ranked high nationally, in 2004 Wilton beat them in the State Finals.
I think you could argue the top program in CT is either Wilton, Darien or NC respectively. However the more I think about it, it may be between just Darien and Wilton based on the last few years. Darien has been GREAT the last few yrs and Wilton has showed signs of life. NC was very good in 2007 (beat Darien, Prep, Wilton) but ever since they lost Benedict they really have dropped off.
I have revised my list:
1. Ward Melville
4 Garden City
6 . Huntington
1. Ward Melville
3. Garden City
I agree with Indian J about Wilton v NC. If Benedict was still at NC I would reconsider but since he has left NC has really dropped off (didn’t the lose to New Fairfield by 10? this year)
In no particular order:
Since the mid-1980s:
1) Ward Melville
4) Garden City
A lot easier than the 5 greatest players of all time (was surprised that Tim Nelson didn’t get more “votes”). That one made my head hurt! Maybe the next one should be 5 best region high school laxers of all time. Actually, that would make my head hurt as well.
1) Ward Melville
3) Garden City
1) No brainer Ward Melville 2) Yorktown 6 state titles 12 title games 3) Manhassett History 4) Garden City same 5) Wilton this was hard pick but history wise a power house.. Many other great teams could be on this list..
If we’re talking tradition and all time accomplishments…
1.)Ward Melville – far-and-away #1, far-and-away…
2.)Manhasset – been elite since the stone age
3.)Yorktown – the talent that they have produced is nuts
4.)Garden City – the doc firing shots at his own players!
5.)Wilton – how many other programs in the country have 20 state titles?
Current (and more relevant/meaningful)
Alltime top 5
– Ward Melv
– After the top four the real is a huge drop-off…
Current Top 5 programs
– West Islip
All time I don’t see to many people disagreeing (maybe with the order as Wilton’s 20 state trophys it could be higher?)
1 Ward Melville
Current Strong HS programs
1 West Islip
2B St A’s
HM Ytown and WM
HHM RField, JJ, Wogue, RP
It’s a shame you newbies don’t realize how dominant Wilton has been for so long. Do you realize before last year Ridgefield had never even beat Wilton?