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LI Lacrosse Journal

Rising Star Charles Balsamo Talks Lacrosse Journey

As a Chaminade Flyer, Charles Balsamo has become the next star in one the most highly touted programs in the country. The sophomore has already put together an impressive resume which includes a Co-captain role on the USA U-15 team. Because of this, Balsamo has become one of the most sought of players in the country in the class of 2022. After a stellar track record, the sophomore is looking to celebrate an even better campaign during the new year. The LILJ recently spoke with Balsamo on his journey as a player, what it means to play for Chaminade, and aspirations for the upcoming season: Continue Reading

 
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Coach Dan Spallina’s Take On Coaching and Coming Season

The Miller Place Girls fell under .500 during the 2019 season. With a new era at hand, the team looks to Coach Dan Spallina to make things happen. The Long Island Native has grown up around the world of lacrosse with a playing career that includes two county championships for Rocky Point High School. He graduated from Hofstra University and has accumulated a grand coaching track record since. 2020 will be the Head Coach’s first full year with the team, a year that he hopes to get the program back on track. The 3x Suffolk County Coach of the year has big plans for the Miller Place program in the years to come. The LILJ recently spoke with Coach Spallina on his coaching philosophies and prospects for the 2021 season. Read the full interview below! Continue Reading

 
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Ava Fernandes; A Great Athlete and a Great Teammate

Junior midfielder Ava Fernandes is an absolute force on the offensive side of the ball. She comes from a family of great athletes including two sisters that she loves playing with. After previously playing for the Comsewogue Warriors, she is now ready to begin her new journey as a Longwood Lion. Since the beginning of the school year, Ava has hit the ground running with her new teammates preparing in every way possible for the 2020 season. While she is still going through the recruiting process, it has always been a dream of hers to play at the colligate level alongside her older sister. If the 2020 season does get canceled, Ava’s goals will remain the same and it just means that she will come back even stronger in 2021. Read more about Ava’s lacrosse background in this recent interview with the LILJ.

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George Panagopolous; Physical, Tenacious, and Fundamentally Sound

Friends Academy junior defender, George Panagopolous is all about working hard to continue to get better as a player. Even though the 2020 lacrosse season is in jeopardy of being canceled, it still won’t stop him from putting in the work and developing his skills. Lacrosse is a game that doesn’t just require physical skills, but also a high IQ which is something that George has. He is still currently going through the recruiting process, and is focusing most on the academics. Read more about George’s work ethic and how he views himself as a player in a recent interview with the LILJ:

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Chris Arceri; A Game Changer For Smithtown East

When you think of players who are difference makers, Chris Arceri definitely comes to mind. The Smithtown East senior Faceoff specialist  is all about making those game changing plays that can be the difference between winning and losing a game. Next year, Chris will be looking to be a difference maker at the University of Pennsylvania. Throughout his time as a Bull, he has learned there’s more than one way to lead a team and he is the one to lead by example. Chris remains hopeful that the 2020 season will resume and that he will have an opportunity to play his senior season as a Smithtown East Bull before heading to UPenn. Continue reading about Chris as he reflects on his time at Smithtown East in a recent interview with the LILJ:

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Ashley Gonzalez; A Future Gator Hoping For One Last Run in 2020

After being part of Half Hollow Hills’ varsity team for five years, senior midfielder Ashley Gonzalez will soon begin her new journey down in Florida as a gator. Ashley is an electrifying offensive player that can score on anyone while also getting her teammates involved. As a captain, she has learned strong leadership skills that she will look to take with her to Florida that will help her impact the game from the beginning. Throughout her career, she has had a number of coaches along the way who have helped her get to where she is today. Like everyone, Ashley remains hopeful that the 2020 lacrosse season will resume in some sort of capacity and that she will be given the opportunity to put on the Half Hollow Hills jersey one more time. Continue to read more about Ashley in a recent interview with the LILJ:

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Lax Journal Podcast: Kyle Hayes’s Reflects on Career and Talks Babson Lacrosse 

Ever since accidentally attending his middle school’s lacrosse signup meeting, Kyle Hayes has devoted his life to lacrosse. His career as a player sent him everywhere from Plattsburgh to Ole Miss. This journey has made a clear impact on his life; when he returned to Long Island after graduation, Hayes was determined to pursue coaching. Since then, Hayes has garnered experience and knowledge from A-List group of collegiate and professional coaches. After shadowing names like Coaches Joe Spallina and P.J. Kavanaugh, the Sewanhaka native currently coaches at Babson College, a NEWMAC conference team. Learn all about Hayes’s journey on our latest episode of the Lax Journal podcast.  

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Pat Colleluori of HEADstrong Foundation Visits BYG

It has been almost a decade since the creation of the HEADstrong Foundation. They were created by and in honor of Nicholas Colleluori, a Hofstra University lacrosse player who was diagnosed with terminal cancer during his sophomore year. Since then, his family has devoted their efforts into providing mentorship, family support, and grants hospitality services to improve patients experience. In this time, they have created HEADstrong Lacrosse, a competitive sports club focused on developing student-athletes and coaching them to their greatest potential. The Collelouri family also offers Nick’s House, an extended stay residence offered to families who must travel to seek treatment.

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The Passing of Sayville Native Madison Mergl and Teammate Ann Wray 

Long Island – The lacrosse community received devastating news on March 13th 2020 regarding the passing of Madison Mergl and Ann Wray. The Mount Olive Lacrosse Players were in a jeep with six others when they were struck and killed by an oncoming vehicle. The loss is shocking, sudden, and unbelievable to those who knew them.

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LILJ Top Collegiate Freshmen from Long Island

The College level is filled with so much talent across various teams. While many tend to view the juniors and seniors as the ones who lead a team, every team has a freshman that can show their talents with the upperclassmen. Long Island is well represented with talent in this year’s freshman class. These freshmen boys have earned the honor as one of the top freshman performers  because of the minutes they played and the contributions they have made to their teams.

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