On January 25th, Long Island lacrosse legends gathered up and came together for the 35th annual Long Island Metro Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame Ceremony. The Long Island Metro Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame was started in 1985. The goal of this great foundation is to keep spreading the heritage of this great game and to promote the people who made a difference in Long Island Lacrosse. In 2020, the LIMHOF inducted 12 new members and they also honored Jim Kaspar with the Harold “Whitey Henrickson Lifetime Achievement Award, and Joe Kovar with the Harvey Cohen Service Award. Here is a little more about the people who have made an impact on the game of lacrosse on Long Island.
Jim Kaspar (Harold “Whitey Henrickson Lifetime Achievement Award):
Jim Kaspar has touched so many lives in the Long Island lacrosse world. Kaspar began his lacrosse career at Massapequa High School where he was the captain in 1963. He then went on to play at Hofstra University. 1967 was the year that Kaspar began his historic coaching career, as he was the assistant at Nassau Community College, where he was a part of 8 National Championship teams. In 1984, Kaspar got into the high school lacrosse world as he became the head coach at MacArthur until 1989. The following season in 1990, Kaspar moved on to become the head coach at Baldwin, where he stayed there until 2001. In 2002, Kaspar switched zip codes as he became the assistant at Ward Melville for one season, and he then moved on to Northport to be the assistant from 2003-2005. Kaspar’s longest coaching stint was at Long Beach, where he was the head coach from 2006 to 2017. Kaspar is currently the head coach of Locust Valley, and he will look to lead the Falcons back to the conference C championship game again in 2020.
Joe Kovar (Harvey Cohen Service Award):
Joe Kovar played his high school ball at Uniondale where he was the captain in 1974. Also in 1974, Kovar was named 1st team All-American and he led the Knights to the south shore finals as well. Kovar then went on to play at Hofstra in 1975 and 1976, but then transferred to Adelphi. Kovar had a lot of success at Adelphi, as in 1979, he was the captain of the team, won the division 2 national championship, and was named first team All-American. Kovar was also a member of the 1982 USA World Team that won the title. Kovar also played in the 1984 Olympics and helped team USA win the championship from Canada. Joe has also been a Nassau County Lacrosse Official for the past 8 years.
Dennis Bonn graduated from Sewanhaka High School in 1984 where he was an All-County football and lacrosse player. He then went on to play at Nassau Community College where he helped win a national championship. He won the championship game MVP, and he was also named first team All-American. Bonn then moved on to Hofstra University where he helped win back to back Conference championships in 1988 and 1989. Bonn began his coaching career in 1990 as he was the assistant JV coach at Garden City. In 1993, Dennis moved on to Cold Spring Harbor where he was the head JV coach from 1993-1997. He then became a varsity assistant in 1998 and 1999, and In 2000, Dennis Bonn was named the head coach of Cold Spring Harbor. Bonn has had one of the most historic high school coaching careers in Long Island as he has 295 wins, 11 Nassau County Championships, and 4 New York State Championships. Bonn has also been named Conference Coach of the Year five times, named Nassau County Coach of the Year three times, and the National High School Coach of the year in 2017.
Jillian Byers Matusz:
Jillian went to Northport high school and she was an exceptional three sport athlete. Jillian was a 2 time high school All American, and she finished her high school career wit 282 goals, 133 assists, and 415 points. In 2005, Jillian won the Butch Dellecave Award which is given to the top female athlete in Suffolk County. Jillian then went on to play her college ball at the University of Notre Dame where she was named All-American, Big East First Team, and All Region all four years. In her Senior season, Jillian was a finalist for the Tewaaraton Trophy as she scored 83 goals and finished the season with 111 points. Jillian ranks 4th all time in NCAA history for goals with 262, and 10th in points. Jillian was also a runner up for Female Athlete of the Decade at Notre Dame from 2000-2010. Jillian was a member of Team USA from 2008 until 2012, and she was also an assistant coach at Notre Dame, Yale, Stony Brook, and Ohio State.
Espey started out his lacrosse career at Cortland in 1972. While at Cortland, Espey helped the Red Dragons win the NCAA Collegiate National Championship in 1973. Espey also was an All-American in his junior and senior seasons. Espey’s coaching career began in 1975 at Oceanside, and then coached for a little bit at St. Mary’s high school. In 1987, John Espey was named the head lacrosse coach at Stony Brook where he led them to the America East Championship in 2002. He was also an assistant at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and was an assistant coach for the Long Island Lizards for 8 years.
Scott Gerham started playing lacrosse when he was in 10th grade and joined the Berner high school team with 7 games remaining. In his Junior season at Berner, Gerham was named to the All-Conference team and was named first team All American as a senior. Also in his senior season, Gerham won the Bill Bitch Award for the most outstanding offensive player in Nassau County. Gerham then went on to play his college ball at the University of Virginia where he was a 3-time All American and was selected to the All ACC Team 4 times. Gerham is one of seven players in ACC history and the first player in the University of Virginia’s history to be selected to the All ACC 1st team all 4 years. Scott has also coached the Massapequa PAL and Massapequa Lacrosse Club for many years after college.
Hiller was the leading scorer for East Meadow in his junior and senior seasons, and was also named to the All Nassau County Lacrosse team in 1972. Hiller also helped East Meadow win two Long Island Championships as well. Hiller is East Meadow’s All-Time leading goal scorer and was inducted into the school’s Wall of Fame in 1998. Hiller then went on to be a four year starter at Hofstra where he earned All-Conference his freshman year, and third team division 1 All American honors as a senior. Hiller was the team captain of Hofstra and was the team’s MVP in 1976. Hiller left Hofstra as the school’s career leader in goals with 129, which was a record that was held for 26 years. Hiller was inducted in the Hofstra Hall of Fame in 2009. After his graduation from Hofstra, Hiller was a huge influence in the Wantagh community as he was heavily involved in the youth lacrosse program.
Al Hodish was a teacher in the Hempstead School District for more than 20 years. As the head coach of Hempstead high school, he captured league championships in 1983 and 1985, and he was named coach of the year in 1982 and 1983. Hodish served as the president of the Nassau County Lacrosse Coaches Association in 1984-85. Hodish is currently a director and coach of the Hempstead youth program.
Mike LaRocco played goalie at Smithtown West. While at Smithtown West, LaRocco received All-League honors his Sophomore season, All-County honors his junior season, and All-American his Senior season. Also in his senior season, LaRocco was named an alternate on the U19 USA team, and he also won the Ray Enners award. Mike went on to play goalie at Cornell from 1993-1996, and he holds the school record for saves in a single season by a Freshman with 173, and saves in a single season by a senior with 276. LaRocco is second on the schools all time save list with 699. LaRocco played goalie for the New York Saints from 1996 to 2001, and he is a coach and director for the Harborfields youth lacrosse program.
Cindy Lewis is in her 40th year as the senior associate director of athletics/senior women’s administrator at Hofstra University. Lewis graduated from Hofstra in 1979 and played field hockey and women’s lacrosse for all four years. The following year in 1980, Lewis served as the women’s lacrosse coach for three seasons. In 2019, Lewis was welcomed as an executive board member for the Collegiate Women’s Lacrosse Officials Association. Lewis is also the former president of the Long Island Women’s Lacrosse Association and has served as a women’s lacrosse official on both the collegiate and high school level.
Nora Maguire White:
Nora manged the Varsity lacrosse program at Schreiber High School (Port Washington) as an 8th grader and practiced with the team as well. Nora started her freshman season, and that’s when her lacrosse career took off. After high school, Nora went on to James Madison University, where she was a 3 time All-American.
Jon Marcus was a spectacular goalie at Lynbrook high school. Jon recevied All-American honors in 1991 and 1992, and he won a Nassau County and Long Island Championship while at Lynbrook. Jon was also a member of the Long Island Empire State Team in 1990 and 1991, and he was the captain of the 1991 team which won the gold medal. Jon Marcus then went on to Johns Hopkins where he immediately became a starter. Marcus started all 4 years and he holds the school record as the all time save leader with 877.
Max Seibald was one of the most dominant lacrosse players to come out of Long Island. Seibald attended Hewlett where he earned All-Division, All-County, All-Long Island, All-American, and was named the Nassau County player of the year in 2005. Seibald then went on to Cornell where in his freshman season was named unanimously Ivy Rookie of the Year, First team All-Ivy recognition, and Second Team All-American. Seibald became the first player in Cornell’s history to be named All-Ivy First Team four times, while being named a First Team All-American his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. Seibald won the Tewaaraton Trophy following his senior season and was also named NCAA Division 1 Player of the Year and Midfielder of the year. Max was a five time all star in the MLL, and he played for the Denver Outlaws, Long Islan Lizards, and the Boston Cannons. Seibald also played 4 seasons with the Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League. Seibald was also part of team USA in 2010 when they won the gold medal.
Pat Walsh was the the team captain his Junior and Senior seasons at Wantagh high school. Walsh finished his career at Wantagh with 390 points and he led his team to the New York State Championship in 2001. Walsh went All-County 4 times, All-Long Island 2 times, All-American 3 times, Nassau County Attackman of the Year 2 times, and Player of the year one time. Walsh was also part of the U-19 USA World team and helped lead the team to a gold medal in 2003. Walsh then went on to Notre Dame where he started in 52 games and finished with 192 points, which is ranked 3rd on Notre Dame’s all time list. Walsh was also a 3 time All-American and two time nominee for the Tewaarraton Trophy. Walsh played in the MLL for 3 seasons.