Farmingdale is known around the Island for its great sports prowess, with its teams and players making headlines in and sharing airtime in many of the local media outlets. A walk into the large gym of the high school would reveal to any non-believer the tradition of excellence maintained by Farmingdale over the last century. Banners grip the walls manifesting the greatness of yesterday, showing of past championships in football, cross-country, soccer, golf, swimming, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track and field, baseball, badminton, and perhaps Farmingdale's strongest sport of them all, lacrosse. Lacrosse is deeply rooted in the foundation of Farmingdale High School's athletic past. Every year, the Dalers make an impact in the local, and often the national lacrosse scene, and, every year, Dalers head off to further their careers in the sport at the collegiate level. This year the boys' team made it all the way to the Long Island championships, but unfortunately, they fell short of winning, and were defeated by a good Northport team. However, this recent loss, one of only two of the season, never can, and never will corrupt the greatness of today and tomorrow that exist in Farmingdale sports.
The Dalers met the Northport Tigers on June 4, at Hofstra stadium to play for the Section VIII Long Island Championship. The game was definitely a fast one. Face-off, players scramble, pass-pass, shot on goal ... score! The tempo was almost equal to that of a college competition. Both teams were eager to win and the score of the game reflected their passion, as the first quarter ended in a 2-2 tie.
In the second quarter, early goals by Northport and penalties put Farmingdale down 4-2 early. Their efforts brought Northport within one point, but catching up with the Tigers would also be an ever-fleeting dream on the chilly spring night. Embodying the pride of a lion, the Dalers fought to stay alive in the contest. Goalie Tom "Hizzo" Hind fell into a split at one time in the game, shaft in the air, free hand back, attempting to defend a great shot-on-goal by Northport. Unluckily for the boys in green, the ball itself seemed determined to feel the embrace of the mesh net, as it bounced directly under the groin of the outstretched Hind into the back of the netting. Down 6-3, the Dalers headed into the locker room hopeful still, with their faith intact, ready to play out the last half of the game.
The Farmingdale squad started the half with a seemingly renewed sense of urgency, determined to play their best game possible, running rampant around the brightly lit field. Mark Sweeney's bounce-shot between the legs of Northport goalie Rob Drost personified this seemingly newborn but perpetually ubiquitous sense of pride in Farmingdale athletics.
In the final quarter, the Dalers fell further behind, and despite their valiant efforts, they met debacle by the score of 10-5. They did not play their best game of the season, and were held back throughout the game by a great Northport defense, anchored by goalie Rob Drost.
Farmingdale is a town where it is not unlikely to hear of children practicing sticks skills as young as the age of 3, learning how to cradle and throw the ball. People of the town enjoy watching the games, home or away, win or lose. The kids learn from it, how to be leaders, what it means to sacrifice and how to take responsibility for their actions. In many ways, lacrosse is a large part of the tradition that has built the culture of this town. So, Farmingdale lost the Long Island Section VIII Lacrosse Championship; the lion was beaten. What does that mean? Nothing. One night in the dark cannot wipe away yesterday, today or tomorrow. No, the loss will only make the Dalers stronger. The banners will still grasp the gym wall. The fans will still cheer for their peers and children. Though between the teams will continue to carry on Farmingdale's tradition of excellence. Farmingdale Varsity Lacrosse: not down, only waiting for the chance to rise up. Not defeated, only momentarily drawn back. Not ashamed, still obsessed.