By Danny Schrafel
The female alumni of the Northport Tigers varsity lacrosse program had their chance to roar on the field once again this weekend.
For the first time, the ladies hosted an alumni game Saturday afternoon at Northport High School’s lacrosse fields. Meanwhile, the men were playing their alumni game at Veteran’s Park’s turf fields.
Taylor O’Brien, a 2010 Northport grad who played lacrosse at Oneonta and Dowling, said the idea for the ladies’ game came from the success of the men’s event.
“The guys have a really fun time with it,” she said. “It’s a really great camaraderie. They get the community together, the youth league involved.”
Although it’s been a struggle to get a ladies alumni game going, it certainly hasn’t been for a lack of effort. Previously the organizers of the men’s game tried to organize something, but were unsuccessful. And last year, O’Brien said that she tried to organize an alumni day, but finding alumni to play was a sticking point.
But she didn’t give up, and this year, the game came to fruition. Organizers succeeded in drawing 15 alumni as well as 10 varsity players for 7-on-7 competition.
“We tried it again this year and it was a success,” she said.
Meanwhile, at Vet’s Park, the men continued a tradition that spans over a decade.
Organizer Drew Thompson, a 2003 Northport High School grad, said he used to referee the game when he was in high school. Now, he’s overseeing the game, which attracts athletes spanning four different decades.
“We get everyone together, whoever’s in town, and we usually try to play the odd-year graduates against the even-year graduates,” he said. “It’s just a nice thing we do every year – the best part is catching up with everyone afterwards. You get to see guys you don’t normally see every day.”
After all was said and done, both teams of alumni met up at Napper Tandy’s for drinks and more reminiscing. And O’Brien vowed the ladies will continue to build on the foundation they set in 2014.
“The alumni game is going to be continuing for years to come,” she said.