We recently met a young man by the name of Brandon Bertone, who plays lacrosse at C.W. Post (NCAA Division II) on Long Island. Brandon came out to Tahoe to join the Woozles for some lax and since then we’ve been talking more and more. He’s a GREAT kid who has one of those sunny dispositions that makes having him as a teammate a ton of fun. He’s also a really solid fogo, and is a graduate of Connetquot High School, which is also on Long Island.
And each year, Connetquot’s lacrosse community comes together to play a game for a great cause. Brandon filled me in on some of the details, pointed me in the right direction for some photos, and even got me a brief write-up from one of the event’s coordinators. Marianne Candito. Check out the copy below and tell me this isn’t a great event.
Angels on the Field Lacrosse was founded in 2009 after three Connetquot Lacrosse players lost their lives in 2008.
The Connetquot Lacrosse community came together to find a way to honor their lives and memories. Ryan Barresi was lost to cancer while Stan Hartnett and Jayson Giles died in two separate car fatalities. All three players had one thing in common; their love of the game and their teammates. Angels on the Field was created and developed by the players, for the players(and future players to come).
A memorial scholarship was established to help future students, while an annual Alumni game is played each year in May at Connetquot High School. In 2011, over fifty alumni came out to honor the memory of these three young men, and play lacrosse before a jam-packed crowd from the community. Each player paid a nominal fee to participate while the community made donations to support the Scholarship Fund.
T-Shirts are sold each year with the statement “Connetquot Lacrosse, We play with 13 on the Field”. Scholarships have been given out to three players since 2009 and the fund is hoping to grow and expand for many years to come. Each recipient of the Scholarship must display good team work, spirit and support, and submit an essay reflecting those values. Lacrosse Unlimited has been a strong supporter of the Angels on the Field Scholarship, as have numerous other local and community businesses.
We don’t have anyone to promote here, no companies or profitable ventures. And this game isn’t just around the corner, nor did it just happen. But it’s a great story, and a great example of a community coming together, and getting stronger in the face of adversity and loss. We put this up for one reason: positive stories don’t get enough play in the media, and we’d like to help change that. Tip of the hat to Connetquot’s Lax community! The two Connetquot kids I’ve met in my life (Brendan and Jay Spatafora) are both known for their easy-going nature, and their ease with a laugh. Add in this Scholarship Lax Game, and Connetquot is 3 for 3 in my book. Well done to all who are involved!