If you followed boys’ high school lacrosse in 2016 like I did, then the thought of this past season should leave you with a smile on your face. It was an exciting season, one in which a national record fell, several state records were broken and upsets determined state championships.
Here’s a quick look at some of the stories that made the 2016 high school lacrosse season memorable with our High School Lacrosse Year-in-Review.
One More Onto the List
Summary: Henry Hunt of Old Lyme (Conn.) became the 64th player known to score at least 400 career points in his high school lacrosse career. The attackman finished his career as No. 19 on the list with 489 career points. LaxRecords.com has an interview with the newest member of the 400-point club, which will debut as the first podcast of 2017.
Michael Sowers becomes the first to 400
Summary: The 400-point club is an elite club, with just 64 players known to have reached that plateau. But the 400 assist club is even more elite, with only former Upper Dublin (Fort Washington, Pa.) star Sowers being the member. The Princeton Tiger broke the previous national career assist mark early in the 2016 and finished his career with 402. Sowers was the 62nd player to reach at least 400 career points, finishing with 594 for his career.
Best In State
Rambo’s Record Falls
Summary: Current Maryland attackman Matt Rambo was one of Pennsylvania’s most prolific scorers during his high school days, but his record of 276 career goals was broken by not one, but two players in 2016. Lewisburg (Pa.) attackman Matt Fedorjaka and Upper Dublin’s Michael Mullen put a season-long assault on Rambo’s record as well as which one of them would finish as the Keystone State’s all-time leader. Future Fairfield Stag Fedorjaka finished with the record, becoming the only known player in Pennsylvania history to surpass 300 career goals (302). Fedorjaka also became the 63rd player to amass at least 400 career points. to Mullen finished his career with 297 and is second all-time in state history.
DeMaio And Wolfe Set New Highs
Summary: Anthony DeMaio from Coronado (Calif.) became California’s all-time points leader. The future Boston University attackman capped his high school career with 391 career points, which broke Nate Marano’s record of 361. DeMaio finished his career with 232 career goals and 159 career assists. While DeMaio was busy setting the points record, Noah Wolfe from Aptos (Calif.) was quietly setting the state record for the most career assists with 168.
No I In Team
Summary: Bullis (Potomac, Md.) had a magical season in 2016, finishing the year 21-2 with a 19 game winning streak and an IAC championship. Over the course of the season, Bullis turned in its best season as a program – winning its first outright IAC regular season championship, winning the IAC postseason championship and becoming the first team since Georgetown Prep in 2006 to go perfect in all IAC regular-season and postseason games in a year. The Bulldogs also defeated Landon (Bethesda, Md.) for just the second time in program history. The Bulldogs posted victories over MIAA A Conference champion McDonogh (Md.), MIAA A runner-up Boys’ Latin (Md.) and Class 3A/2A champion Linganore (Md.), in addition to conference opponents Landon (Md.), Georgetown Prep (Md.) and St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.).
The First Time Is The Sweetest
Summary: Dallas Jesuit (Texas) defeated Highland Park (Dallas) 9-4 to win its first Texas High School Lacrosse League championship on May 15. The Rangers led 3-1 at halftime on the strength of goals from sophomores Grayson Hassell and David Sprock (Virginia). Senior Garrett Munck scored three goals in the championship victory. The Rangers finished the year with a 17-2 record and avenged an April 7 loss to Highland Park. They finish the season on a six-game winning streak. Dallas Jesuit reached the state championship game in 2011 and 2012.
Summary: Farmingdale (N.Y.) head coach Bob Hartranft became just the third known boy’s lacrosse coach to reach 700 total wins with a 14-3 win over Carey (N.Y.) on April 8, 2016. The Dalers are now 6-0 this season. Hartranft started coaching at Farmingdale in 1969 and has led his teams to 41 consecutive playoff appearances. He won a New York state championship in 2011 and was a state runner-up in 1978 and 2003. He now has 708 career victories.
Summary: Norfolk Academy (Norfolk, Virginia) head boys’ lacrosse coach Tom Duquette won his 500th career game with a 22-2 win over Hampton Roads Academy (Newport News, Va.) on May 10. Duquette has been the head coach at Norfolk Academy since 1982. He started coaching high school lacrosse in 1975 with St. Anne’s-Belfield (Charlottesville, Virginia), where he spent four years. He finished 2016 with 503 victories.
500 and Counting
Summary: Pinkerton (Derry, New Hampshire) head coach, Brian O’Reilly, won his 500th career game with an 11-9 win over Longmeadow (Longmeadow, Massachusetts) on May 7. O’Reilly completed the year with 508 victories.
You Will Be Missed
There were several notable coaching changes and/or moves after the 2016 season ended. One of the most notable changes was Upper Arlington (Columbus, Ohio) head boys’ lacrosse coach Ted Wolford announcing his retirement. Wolford coached the Golden Bears for 25 years, winning 16 Division I Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) championships. He is the all-time wins leader in Ohio.
Also stepping down this year, Fairfield Prep (Fairfield, Connecticut) head coach Chris Smalkais announced his retirement. The 29-year head coach is among the nation’s all-time leaders in wins. He is fourth among all known Connecticut head coaches. He trails only Howard Benedict (551), Jeff Brameier (549), and Guy Whitten (410) for the most wins in the Constitution State.
Also, St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Massachusetts) will have a new boys’ high school lacrosse coach for the first time in 22 years. John Roy won 264 games as head coach of the Eagles. He led the team to three consecutive Division I championship games, winning it all in 2010. The Eagles defeated Duxbury (Massachusetts) 14-13 in overtime to win that title.