Friday, 17 July 2009 00:00
The Nassau County Sports Commission recently held their Hall of Fame dinner, honoring both professional athletes and high school athletes who have made significant contributions to sports in Nassau County. North Shore High Schools’ Robert Grabher was selected to receive the James J. Regan Award as Nassau County’s Top Scholar Athlete.
“The James J. Regan Award is presented in memory of Sergeant James J. Regan, who gave his life in Iraq protecting our freedom and our way of life,” said a spokesman. “Regan lived his life as a champion and was a 1998 recipient of the Nassau County Sports Commission High School Outstanding Achievement Award while attending Chaminade High School.”
After graduating from Duke University as a standout Lacrosse player and achieving a top LSAT score, Sergeant Regan turned down a law scholarship and offers to work in the lucrative financial markets to follow his calling to the military. He became an Army Ranger and served two tours in Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq. Sergeant Regan was 26 when he was killed by a roadside bomb in February of 2007 while serving with his unit. He has been awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart as well as other medals for valor.
This award, established in 2007, is presented annually to an exceptional male scholar athlete that stands out amongst his peers and who best exemplifies Sergeant Regan’s love for sport, academic excellence and commitment to his community. While presenting the award, James Regan’s father noted the similarities in his son and Robert, both natural leaders, both being top face-off men on the lacrosse field and both making Nassau County’s “Top 25” on the Empire State Lacrosse team.
Attending the dinner with Robert was Don Lang, athletic director for NSHS, wrestling coaches Mike Emmert and Craig DeNicola, Robert’s parents as well as his aunt and several uncles.
Rob Grabher’s athletic accomplishments would be impressive for just a single sport. But to excel and dominate in three is extremely rare. Grabher has been a starting varsity athlete for all four of his years at NSHS in soccer, wrestling and lacrosse. In addition, he was the varsity place kicker for the Football team during his junior and senior years. He will graduate from North Shore High School as its only fourteen-letter varsity athlete.
A 2008 All County soccer player and a two-time All County Honorable Mention selection, he was a three-time team captain and three-time team MVP and was in the top six scorers in Nassau County three years in row. He has led his team in scoring all four years. He was selected to the Empire State Soccer team as a sophomore and has captained his premier travel soccer team for four years leading them to the 2007 East New York Premier Championship. He finishes as North Shore’s second all time leading scorer.
As a wrestler, he is a two time team captain and two time team MVP, finishing with an astonishing 131-31 career record and setting the benchmark for wins at North Shore. A two-time All-Conference wrestler as a freshman and sophomore, he is also a two-time All County wrestler. He finished his senior year by winning the Division 1, 160 lb. Nassau County Championship title, a feat that was last done by a North Shore wrestler 28 years prior and only the eighth in school history.
On the Lacrosse field, he has been the team’s starting Face-off man since he was a freshman and has led the midfield in scoring and ground balls since his sophomore year. He has a career face off percentage at well over 70 percent. A 2007 All County Honorable mention and a 2008 and 2009 All County Midfielder, he was selected to Nassau’s “Top 25” for the 2008 Empire State team versus Suffolk County as a junior. As a senior team Captain this year, he again lead the midfield in scoring and had a career high 161 ground balls while going 75 percent on the face offs.
Off the field he is in the top 6 percent of his class, a member of the National Honor Society, Foreign Language Honor Society, and an AP Scholar. He is a member of 12 New York State Scholar Athlete teams, a News 12 Scholar Athlete and the 2009 “Viking of the Year” as NSHS’s Outstanding Athlete. In his spare time he helps the Youth Soccer and Lacrosse programs in his town. He was sought after in all three sports by Division 1 college programs. He has chosen to play lacrosse at Colgate University in the fall of 2009.