Like many student athletes around the country, the Briarcliff Boys Varsity Lacrosse team has had its share of heartbreak and disappointment over the past year or so. Their spirit and strength of character, however, carried them through to their current season, which found them more determined than ever to succeed.
“We did not have a season last year, and this year we only played a little in the fall and winter, so that put us behind schedule,” said Coach Alfredo Meola, who is 2019 Section’s Coach of the Year.
“The student athletes were so excited when we got together in April and we did a lot of team-building activities — they are just happy to be together,” Mr. Meola said. “I was also excited to get back on the field, it felt great.”
Team Captain Kyle Proctor has had an especially tough comeback as he has been sidelined due to a shoulder injury.
“I hurt my shoulder the day before our first game, which was also our season opener, home opener and our Senior Day. It was upsetting,” he said.
Nevertheless, Kyle, who will be playing lacrosse at Ithaca College in the fall on scholarship, attended the game to cheer on his teammates.
“We had Senior Day, which is a sendoff for seniors where they all come down, and shake coaches’ hands, etc. and it was a very special moment for me,” he said.
Kyle, along with his teammates and coaches, has been embracing those special moments after a challenging year.
“Last year was heartbreaking,” Kyle said. “We wanted to redeem ourselves from a bad loss the year before and after putting in all the hard work, having that taken away from us was hard to deal with. Plus, I couldn’t see my friends and my teammates,” he added.
Both Kyle and Coach Meola are very appreciative of the chance to be on the field.
“What we have been through makes everything now a lot more special,” Kyle said. “We don’t take anything for granted. We know that anything can happen at any time and we are not going to be out here forever, so every time we are practicing and when we are playing a game, it’s really important.”
“We are thankful every day to have this opportunity,” Mr. Meola added