Marist Lacrosse Player Reflects on Fall Ball Shootout

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POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – Upper classmen from the Marist men’s lacrosse team posted entries to a team blog to give fans an inside look into the fall 2015 season. We wanted to share this post as it relates to the team’s participation in the Fourth Annual Edward Taylor Coombs Fall Ball Shootout, which was held in October 2015. 

Entry 2 (11/2/15): #21 Tyler Vallie; Senior; Midfielder, Orange, Connecticut

The fall can seem like a long season for many of the guys on the team. With our intense workouts in the gym and hard work down on North Field, the wear and tear on our bodies was beginning to grow. For a month and a half we practiced and scrimmaged against our own teammates and tensions were running high. However, we all knew we were working toward a common goal, which was to prepare for our first outside competition at the Eddie Coombs Fall Shootout Tournament.

Eddie’s tournament is something all of us on the team look forward to all fall. It is our chance, after about 25 practices, to finally compete against a team who doesn’t wear red and white. It also gives us the opportunity to show the Marist community how hard we have been working. Most importantly, it is our chance to travel to Horsham, Pennsylvania and see Mr. and Mrs. Coombs, who do so much in order to put together a great tournament. This year the tournament featured 13 teams, all of whom our program is incredibly grateful to, as their participation helps promote the Edward Taylor Coombs Foundation in such a special way. As we got off the bus this year to head over to the stadium our entire team lined up one by one to hug Mrs. and Mr. Coombs.

Before we hit the field for our first game we made our way over to the youth clinic that the tournament hosted and provided some pointers to the young kids. The tournament in Horsham means so much to our guys, especially my teammates from Philly, Dillon Walker and Jimmy Murphy. Jimmy was fortunate enough to attend Hatboro-Horsham High School with Eddie. For our seniors the trip was a bit extra special because it would be the last time we would play at Hatboro-Horsham High School. After two great games and a long fall we were able to spend some much needed time with our families at the tailgate. The Coombs family is such an important part of Marist lacrosse, and to be able to spend some time with them and the Horsham community really meant a lot to the guys.

In 2014  Joseph Radin and Assistant Coach Mike Gongas started a volunteer program for the team at the Poughkeepsie Children’s Home. In fall 2015 we sent a group of 8-10 players over to the home to play sports with the kids. It’s really awesome to see the smiles on their faces as our guys pull into the home. After a quick hello we will break up into some very competitive pick-up games of basketball. It’s at this point we are able to see which of our teammates aren’t afraid of driving to the paint on a 10-year-old. Our entire team decorated a pumpkin of their own to donate to the Children’s Home for their annual Pumpkin Walk. The team provided over 40 pumpkins in 2015, which was really awesome.  

After a special season in 2015 it wasn’t a surprise that the 2015 brunch was packed. A number of our Marist Lacrosse alumni were present to hand out some much-deserved awards to members of the 2014 team. It is not only great to see some faces the 2014 senior class such as Dave Scarcello, Karl Kreshpane, and Patrick Eaker, but it is also a reminder to our current team of how hard we worked in order to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship.

Coach Wilks started the brunch with some stories and jokes from past years which had the current players, coaches, and alums reminiscing on all of the hard work we all gave to the program last year. After some poorly attempted trash talk at brunch from the alumni, the game began and it was nothing but fun. It was really special to see the entire starting defense from 2002 go out on the field to play together at one point during the game. After a convincing win from the current Marist team, everyone got together one last time for our last tailgate of the fall.

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