By Connor Beach
Two local high school lacrosse players were awarded the James C. Metzger Leadership Award and the James C. Metzger Outstanding Player Award for the important roles they played in their respective team's success this season.
Cold Spring Harbor High School senior defender Nolan Hinphy received the James C. Metzger Leadership Award on May 29 after the Seahawks 10-9 victory over Wantagh in the Nassau Class C championship game.
The Metzger Leadership Award is presented to one player on each of the teams that compete in the Class A, B and C Nassau championship games.
Hinphy was an important part of the Seahawks 16-2 season that saw the squad capture their fourth consecutive Nassau title on the way to a tightly contested 8-7 defeat to Islip in the Long Island title game.
Metzger, a former All-American lacrosse player at both Half Hollow Hills East High School and Hofstra University, personally presented Hinphy with the award on the field at Hofstra University. The award recognized Hinphy’s tenacity, honesty, commitment and positive attitude as well as his ability to inspire his teammates on and off the field.
Earlier this month Half Hollow Hills East senior defenseman Mike Gomez was also honored with an award that bears Metzger’s name. The five-year varsity player received the James C. Metzger Outstanding Player Award, which is named for the Hills East alumnus.
During his senior season, Gomez scored 11 goals, recorded nine assists, recovered 80 ground balls and was often tasked with shutting down leading players on opposing teams. Gomez is committed to play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University next spring.
Gomez’s leadership helped propel the Thunderbirds to a 15-4 record and a spot in the Suffolk Class A championship game, where they lost to Ward Melville.
“This was a special team,” first year head coach Paul Benway said. “The student leaders of this team kept the group together at its level of excellence, and all of our athletes worked to advance their individual games and the team’s play.”
Metzger, who set the single season record for assists at Hills East with 82 in the late ’70s, also had his number retired on the school’s “fence on honor.”