The first annual Michael Eichenbaum Tournament was held June 12 at the Stratford Road School in Plainview. The tournament was established in memory of Michael Eichenbaum. Michael was a Plainview resident, son of Linda and Lee Eichenbaum. Michael died suddenly earlier this year. Michael's passing is a sad situation that brought the community together. Coaches and parents from the Plainview PAL lacrosse team and the team Michael played with last year decided a tournament/scholarship would be a nice way to remember him. Harry Jacobs and I proceeded to put together the tournament. Ron Hamel, the police officer and director of our unit, did everything he could to help and encourage us. From start to finish Ron was there to help. Thank you, Ron.
The day started with the coaches setting up the fields, tables, and tent. With the help of the parents, we were setting up for a busy day. Even the players jumped right in to get things done.
The day consisted of competitive lacrosse games. A shooting cage/radar challenge provided by Brooks Sweet of STX, and MVP Lacrosse Camp was a big hit with the players. There were eight teams involved in the tournament. Plainview, Deer Park, Hicksville, Rockville Center and Bethpage towns were represented.
The Plainview third and fourth-grade team coached by Harry Jacobs played very well. Assistant coaches Paul Rut, Lee Eichenbaum and Jerry Lester had the players raring to go. The midfielders for the Hawks are Jimmy Doyle, John Bastone, Mat McDonagh, Gregory Lester, Anjelo Austria and Doug Rossi. They were rough and tumble and lightning fast.
The attack of Eric Eichenbaum, Logan Rubinstein, Todd Levine, Paul Rut, A.J. Lee and Philip Eslick was quick, agile, and dangerous around the cage. The defense by Aaron Lewis, Evan Siegel, Andrew Carcich, Sean Kampfer and Randy Brachman was tough on opponents.
The goal was secured by the talent of Jason Passafiume and Josh Allen. Harry calls them "The Stone Wall." The Hawks finished the morning session capturing first place. Well done.
The morning session ended with the dedication of the tournament by Ron Hamel, and I. Ron presented Linda and Lee with a plaque, from the Plainview unit.
The day went forward with the assistance of just about all the parents from both teams from Plainview. The raffles were handled by Debbie Passafiume and Janet Lee in the a.m. session and Roni Green, Cristy Bordeaux and Edda Utkovic in the afternoon. Theresa Hopkins was the counter cashier all day. Ray Zajac and Mr. Carcich and Brachman did ice runs. Lee and Linda's friends Stephanie Regensburg and Sharon Hirschorn and children were on hand to do their part. Parents Allan, John Dario and Donna coordinated fields, ran errands and just kept everything running smoothly. I know I am leaving some people out of the kudos so thank you all.
The afternoon session of the tournament featured the fifth and sixth-grade teams. I am pleased to coach the Plainview Hawks team in this division. My assistants Dan Fernandez, Allan Klausner and Adam Weisman had the players in "game time huh" form. The team is coming off a regular season in which they were undefeated. This is a major feat for a program that is only two years old. I consider it a source of great pride that the players have represented the town in such a distinguished manner. The attack was led by Jordan Klausner (six goals), Dan Green (one), Colleen Hopkins and Matt Weisman. Opposing defensemen have a hard time running with these players. Justin Siragusa was not present, but had a good year. The middies were Ben Green, Jeremy Bordeaux, Robert Eslick, Justin Battino, David Valuch, and a very pumped lacrosse dude, Joe Heney. The defense of Matt Zajac, Luke Utkovic, James Bird, Chris Hudson and Adam Friedberg was tough on opponents. All of these guys had great moments during the day. Our goalies were David "Leg It Out" Valuch, and our standout Brent Herbst. These players were noticed by all. Talent.
The day was officiated by volunteers from the Nassau County Lacrosse Officials Association. Brendan Wallace sent the letter asking, and they responded. Nassau County PAL Lacrosse President Jim Howell made a generous donation and lent a tent for the event. Harry Jacobs, president of DJJ Sales Associates, head coach of the third and fourth-graders supplied tables and chairs. Harry and Noreen also made a very generous contribution. We also received a very large semi-annonymous donation. You know who you are. Thank you all!
The first annual Michael Eichenbaum Tournament was a complete success. I know the nice things that the parents say to me about their children's lacrosse experience are true. The parents and kids showed us. The proceeds from the tournament will fund the Michael Eichenbaum Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship will be given to a college-bound lacrosse player from Plainview. This will be awarded starting in June 2000.