SUNY New Paltz men’s lacrosse ended their fall semester with a little nod to the Thanksgiving holiday. The team concluded their fall semester by doing a turkey shootout.
The teams were set up by having five on each team; there were four teams total with no goalies. The tournament was a round robin style where double-elimination was utilized for the teams. Each game would run for 12 minutes or whoever scores five goals first.
“The tournament was at the right time, it reignited the fire in all of us. Because of COVID, we couldn’t practice with any real contact and it was just mostly individual workouts,” said second-year lacrosse player Sean McLaughin.
Due to the pandemic, the men’s lacrosse season, like every other sport, was canceled in the spring, so moving into the fall semester practices and training would be unorthodox.
“I wanted to do this because it was just individual work and small group sessions, and it was about improving skill sets, and the last day we decided to do this that was COVID friendly and it allowed my guys to go out and compete,” said Head Coach Dwayne Stewart.
Coming out on top was the Detroit Neislers led by second-year player Thomas Armetta, whose team took no losses on their way to the finals where they faced the team Jeff’s Angles, captained by Zach Schmidt.
“I thought it was a lot of fun, and it was great getting my team together and seeing them all in a competitive state,” said fourth-year team member of Jeff’s Angles Gregory Gurello. “I have a lot of big expectations for this team moving forward, we have a good team with great work ethic, and have a good chance at going to [the] SUNYAC playoffs.”
The Detroit Neislers team had the following members: TomArmetta, Nate Biblowitz, Tyler Kisby, Elias El, Ryan Stein and Alex Kubik.
Although this irregular semester didn’t allow a complete practice schedule for team members, it still allowed players to individually critique themselves.
“I always want to improve on my stick work. The coach made me a co-captain last year because of my work ethic. I want to improve on my vocal skills and give 100% for my team moving forward,” Gurello said.
Jozef Harven, a third-year member of the lacrosse team, added how this turkey shootout was a great idea brought by the coach, as well as other guys on the team. He emphasized that he looks to individually improve each and every day as well picking up where his team left off in the spring.
The overall goal for these guys is to become a cohesive unit, and moving forward for the freshman that just came into New Paltz, Coach Stewart wants that truly emphasized for every member of the team.
He stated how he wants his team to challenge themselves to not only become better players but become better men in this process, as well as just improving a little bit each and every day.
“I think my guys’ morale was very good and that [the] turkey shootout was a very good motivator for them,” Stewart said. “My guys are very resilient from a mental standpoint when it comes to facing adversity.”
The future looks bright for the men’s lacrosse team. They have a batch of incoming freshmen who upperclassmen on the team described as having a lot of talent and being great to be around. We all can look forward to what this team will do in the spring.