Coach Earns Prestigious Post

By Janee Law

Hills West boys lacrosse coach Tom Rooney has been selected as a representative for the prestigious Warrior National Prospect Invite. Photo by Gail Manginelli

Based on his knowledge, expertise and distinguished reputation in lacrosse, Tom Rooney, head coach of the Half Hollow Hills West High School lacrosse team, is the only high school coach on Long Island selected to be a Long Island and Hudson Valley region representative for the inaugural Warrior National Prospect Invite, an event that showcases uncommitted boy and girl lacrosse players for coaches of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

To be recognized by Legacy Global Sports, the host of the event, and to be one of eight coaches chosen in the eastern region, is an honor, Rooney said.

The tournament, to be held July 19 and 20 at the River City Sportsplex in Richmond, Virginia­­, will highlight 430 uncommitted freshman and sophomore lacrosse players who have been selected through public nominations and a coach referral process based on athletic acumen, personal character and academic excellence.

“What makes the National Prospect invite so exciting is that it provides NCAA lacrosse coaches with a terrific opportunity to scout uncommitted ‘best in class’ players that have met a rigorous selection criteria,” said Chris Boland, general manager of the National Prospect Invite. “We’ve made it easier for coaches to find outstanding talent for their colleges and universities by prequalifying the student athletes and giving them a two-day lacrosse forum in which to demonstrate their skills.”

As a representative, Rooney reached out to more than 150 high school coaches in the eastern region to select the 40 athletes who will have the opportunity to showcase their skills to college coaches.

“My job is to make sure that we’re going to bring the top 40 kids to represent our area because that’s who the college coaches want to see, top level kids,” Rooney said. “We can make some matches and these kids can find a home with some colleges, get an education and play lacrosse.”

The 40 athletes selected will team up to face other regions, such as a teams from Maryland, Pennsylvania, upstate New York, New Jersey and Virginia, Rooney said, adding that those chosen athletes will be announced in late May or early June.

“I’m excited for the event,” Rooney said. “I think it’s going to be one of the best showcases in the lacrosse community this summer.”

Before coming to Hills West high school, Rooney led many lacrosse teams, including Syosset High School as the defensive coordinator, head coach for Port Washington High School and head coach for the Bermuda National Team. He currently teaches social studies at the Syosset High School.

For more information on the National Prospect Invite or to nominate a player, visit