By Janee Law
A father, son duo from Huntington is bringing their lacrosse company and program to the village next week.
What started out as one lacrosse team, soon grew to 17 and has since delved into business aspects of the sport, For the Love of the Game Lacrosse plans to open at 345 Main St. on May 25.
Mike Winkoff founded FLG Lacrosse in 2006 after observing the sport’s growing popularity across Long Island. He now serves as CEO of the company and has since brought on his son, Corey Winkoff, in an official capacity as program director.
“It’s a big lacrosse community, not just in Huntington, but in the surrounding towns,” said Corey Winkoff, 28, a Cold Spring Harbor High School grad. And the duo thought it was about time that they opened up a spot in a town they know so well, he added.
Winkoff said they want it to be regarded as “a really nice hub for people within our program and within the surrounding Town of Huntington to come through, learn about what we do and” about lacrosse, a sport that can open doors for middle and high schoolers.
The soon-to-be opened 1,700-square-foot store in the village will sell FLG-branded apparel like hats, sweatshirts, t-shirts and more. There won’t be any lacrosse gear for sale, but the space will also have room for offices and FLG’s line of educational seminars and webinars. They’ll also make use of a green screen and studio space for video interviews with coaches and high schoolers.
Next year, Winkoff said, he and his father hope to take FLG online blog and transition it into a print magazine.
The duo’s come a long way since FLG’s founding, and so has the company itself. In fact, when it was first launched, FLG wasn’t a company at all. Instead, Winkoff, said, it was intended to be a way coach a group of talented teens and help them through the recruiting process as they moved through high school.
“When my dad started that team it really was just for the love of the game. He wasn’t making any money from it, he was just doing it because he loved coaching and helping kids,” Winkoff said. “And then it kind of grew organically by itself into a lacrosse program.”
Over time, it became harder to raise money for the program, prompting the father and son to launch a pay-for-play company as they continued to grow, he said.
Now, FLG fields 10 boys and 7 girls travel teams that are made up of players hailing from across Long Island.
FLG also hosts camps, clinics, leagues, tournaments and events on Long Island, and in Manhattan and Maryland. They also run team and individual recruiting showcases – such as the FLG Boys Premier Showcase that’s set for June 3 at LIU Post – for both boys and girls from the island, country and Canada.
Winkoff, who grew up playing lacrosse, said he loves everything about his job.
“It’s always been a sport that I’ve connected with and it’s really given me a lot of opportunities in my life,” he said. “I saw what it did for me, so I hope that it can do the same for a lot of the players in our program.”