Has Any Country Won Back To Back World Cups US Lacrosse Vets Give Back to the Game – Help German Team at World Games

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US Lacrosse Vets Give Back to the Game – Help German Team at World Games

The USA lacrosse community is a tight-knit group. Almost everyone who has played or coached the game welcomes opportunities to continue to be involved in the sport by helping to improve the level of competition and by encouraging young players to excel.

At this year’s World Lacrosse Championships in Great Britain, the German men’s team benefited significantly from a number of US lacrosse veterans with ancestral ties to that country. Their participation helped the team reach an exciting fifth place. They also spurred growth for the game across Europe and Asia, and helped establish lacrosse camaraderie among a new generation of players.

The German Team was coached by Jack Kaley, who spent a significant part of his life playing or coaching the game in New York. He played the game at Hofstra University from 1957 to 1960, and then coached at East Meadow Long Island High School for 18 years. Kaley spent 17 years, until 2009, at the New York Institute of Technology, where he delivered four national championships and the best winning percentage among all Division I and II schools.

“At this stage of my life, I’m America’s Von Steuben going to Germany,” Kaley said, referring to Baron Von Steuben, the military officer from the German-controlled area known as Prussia who arrived America to help win. the Revolutionary War. “Instead of coming here to fight a war for independence, I went there to help train lacrosse players and raise the bar in international competition.”

Lacrosse in Germany is still in its infancy. This year’s team included players aged between 19 and 34. They competed against some of the best players in the world as part of the ever expanding tournament which included 30 teams.

“Lacrosse is not only the fastest growing game in America,” said Kaley, “it’s the fastest growing game in the world. This year, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan were new to the tournament .”

Long Island Supports German Lacrosse

All the support for the German team this year had ties to Hofstra. Assistant coach Richie Donovan was an assistant coach at Hofstra (1986-1995) and the only member of the group without German roots. Chris Bergersen played at Hofstra (1993-1996).

The key financial supporter was James Metzger, who earned All-America honors at East Long Island’s Half Hollow Hills High School, where he won the 1977 Ray Enners Award for Outstanding Lacrosse Player in Suffolk County.

Metzger went on to play at Hofstra during the 1979 and 1980 seasons. He was named to the 1980 Division I All-American lacrosse team following his sophomore year. During that season, Metzger established a school sophomore record of 4.9 points per game that still stands. That record also ranked second-highest in points per game in Hofstra lacrosse history at the time, and is currently fourth-best all-time at Hofstra.

As the coaches volunteered their time, Metzger’s financial support eased budget concerns. Metzger, along with the others, is about giving in to the game. As the successful business owner of the independent insurance brokerage Whitmore Group in New York, James Metzger’s financial donations recently completed the renovation of the Hofstra men’s lacrosse locker room and established a new lacrosse office suite for the program. He also funded a permanent exhibit that celebrates the history of Hofstra’s men’s and women’s lacrosse programs along with the school’s football program.

With a history of supporting the game he enjoyed at school, Metzger couldn’t deny Kaley’s request for help for the German team. Kaley told Metzger that his name was already popular throughout Germany and was appearing in every town (“Metzger” means “butcher”). Upon hearing this, Metzger felt it was meant for him to help grow the game in the country where he could trace his paternal origins.

“Anyone involved in lacrosse as a youth or young adult is told that when they are done playing the game they need to find a way to give back to the game,” said Kaley. “Some of us can do this with our time as coaches. Others may not have the time as they have found success as business owners, doctors, or in other professions. But they can still help’ r game to grow through their generosity.”

Germans Successful on the Field

At the World Lacrosse Championships, the German team accepted the offer to move up in the seeding to play in the very top competitive division. The opportunity arose when a more experienced team, the Native American Iroquois team from the US, ran into passport issues and never made it to the UK The Germans took advantage of the offer to play against some of the best teams in the world – Canada, the USA , Japan, England and Australia – and they did very well. They finished in fifth place.

“This was the chance of a lifetime for the German players,” said Kaley. “Now, the German lacrosse family has experience competing at the highest level and they have started their preparations for the next tournament in 2014. Now that they have the experience, they will work hard to develop and train to become more physically and mentally prepared for future competition.

A large part of the German team’s success now and in the future is due to those who joined Kaley this year.

“Metzger, Bergersen and Donovan gave back to the young players of the sport,” said Kaley, “and these young players, when they are successful in their chosen fields, will remember their contributions and want to continue the tradition through help the next generation. of lacrosse players.”

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