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Rochester Chapter Installs 20th HOF Class
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The Greater Rochester Chapter of USLacrosse held their 2013 Hall of Fame dinner Friday night at the Burgundy Basin Inn in Pittsford. Hall of Fame

Over one hundred lacrosse fans and celebrities gathered to honor the twentieth Hall of Fame Class.

The evening started with Chapter President Nate Snyder welcoming the hof fans and families. He made a number of announcements about the programs sponsored by the Rochester Chapter and invited everyone to join the other Chapter volunteers in the promotion of lacrosse.

Master of ceremonies, Mike Riorden started things off with some light-hearted comments about the inductees and about playing in the "double knee-brace" division of "Old Men's tournaments". He then welcomed the class of 2013 and their families, friends and the large group of lacrosse "dignitaries" that included many former Hall of Famers.

After Dinner former Rush-Henrietta Coach Jim Cox started off the celebrations as he presented his former player and current hunting buddy, Bill Coons. Friend and college colleague, Bob Condon introduced legendary Gettysburg Coach Hank Janczyk. Women's official and friend, Don Smith introduced long-time women's official MJ Vrooman for her award and Terry Cotton presented former Victor resident David Wilbur.

hall of fame 2013

 


 

Bill Coons
Bill Coons

Former Rush-Henrietta Coach Jim Cox (HOF Class of 1997) introduced his former player Bill Coons. He presented a long list of accolades for Coons as a player at R-H and later as a player for the first team at Nazareth College where, he stated, Bill still hold team records. Included in that list are Assists in a Game (11), Assists in a Season (71), Career Assists (171), Points in a Game (13), Points in a Season (112) and Career Points (312). Cox then spoke of his life-long friendship with Coons and his family.

Bill then took the podium and started his remarks by thanking each member of his family and reminiscing about how his father fabricated a six-by-six goal at work and how he and his brother Ed would break the neighbor`s siding tile. "and they never made us pay for any of them."

Bill then thanked a number of coaches in attendance, remembering how they helped when he was in high school. He remembered going to Hobart's Camp and receiving instruction from Hank Janczyk. He remembered how Penfield Coach Mark Rice helped get him a goal that went through a hole in the net. He thanked Fairport Coach Randy Garrett for nominating him for high school All American. He then remembered and thanked Nazareth Coach Scott Nelson for "helping me become a complete player."

He thanked all his former teammates and ended his remarks by talking about being a life-long "under dog".

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • High School All-American at Rush-Henrietta.

  • High School North-South Game (1985).

  • Member of first ESG Western team where he led team in scoring.

  • Member of the first Nazareth College team where he led the team all four years in scoring, was named offensive MVP three times. A two time captain, he finished with 312 points.

  • Inducted into Nazareth Hall of Fame (1995) and Rush-Henrietta Youth Hall of Fame.

Jim Cox
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Hank Janczyk
Hank Janczyk

Long-time friend and fellow coach at Gettysburg, Bob Condon, introduced Hank Janczyk for his award. He spoke about Hank's many records and accolades, citing that his first induction was into the Hobart Hall of Fame and stated that the Chapter Hall of Fame "would not be his last one."

Bob finished his introduction stating that for Hank, it is always going to be about the "big picture". "His vocation is coaching lacrosse, his calling is growing people."

An animated Janczyk then took the podium and demonstrated his ease as speaking and working the room. He told a couple of stories about speaking and his friendship with Condon. He regaled the room with a "hunting story" and then went on to talk about his faith and his belief that "all things work together for good."

He spoke about going to Ben Franklin High School in the city and eventually being able to move to Irondequoit high school where he worked after school with Coach Ernie Lisi. With the help of many adults he was able get to Hobart College where Dave Urick encouraged the then football player to play lacrosse for the first time. "I was the biggest drill killer in the history of lacrosse. If I could send [the ball] to the same zip code I was happy."

He thanked the many coaches in his life including Schmidt, Urick, Terry Corcoran, Joe Abraham, Bill Stiles, Ernie Lisi. "How could not know about lacrosse [being around those people]."

Working the room, he thanked his family and the people in attendance. "I remember you. I think about my past in Rochester...how blessed I have been."

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Entering his 27th season as Head Coach at Gettysburg College where he has a record of 332-98. He places second on the NCAA list with a career record of 377-122 after also coaching at Salisbury and Colgate.

  • At Gettysburg made NCAA Playoffs 22 times and made finals three times.

  • He has won 11 Conference Championships.

  • Named Babe Kraus D-3 Coach of the year and the USILA Howdy Meyers Man of the Year.

  • Defenseman at Hobart College where he played for three D-3 Championships (won one in 1976) and was inducted into the Hobart Hall of Fame in 2010.

Bob Condon

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MJ Vrooman
MJ Vrooman

Fellow official, Don Smith, introduced MJ Vrooman. He started his talk acknowledging that MJ is the first women's official to enter the Rochester Hall of Fame. He then explained that after being "appointed" girls lacrosse coach at East Irondequoit his first game was officiated by MJ. "She was coming across the field and the ground shook [as she measured the lines]. She introduced herself and then said, We`re not playing this game today. Your marks are all wrong." After spray painting out the old lines and adding new ones the game was played. "That was my first meeting with MJ."

After retiring from coaching, Don became an official and worked with MJ for seven years. "She works harder than anyone and she has touched everyone`s lives."

MJ then took over the podium to deliver what she called later "the shortest acceptance speech ever." Generating laughter, she said "Everything Don said is true, he was the worst coach there ever was. He didn`t know the rules. He complained about everything and to this day I don`t know why I never gave him a Red Card." Now, on the "same side of the whistle", she stated how nice it is to work with him.

"I fought playing lacrosse for a long time, but seventeen years ago I gave in and it was the best thing I ever did. I didn`t plan it, but in retirement, I have the best job there is. I am blessed. I have the perfect life."

"Thank you all for the honor. I appreciate it."
  

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Played on first Brockport College team in 1973.

  • Currently serves as umpire, traveling all over the country to officiate games.

  • Member of the Rochester Board of Women`s Lacrosse Officials where she has been in many leadership roles including Assignor, Rules Interpreter, Training Coordinator and Clinician.

  • Taught physical education from 1974-2007. Also a field hockey official.

  • Played on club teams from 1979-1983.

  • Member of the Brockport College Hall of Fame (1983), awarded RCSD Don Lander Memorial Award in 1993 and was named Central Western Zone NYS A.H.P.E.R.D Secondary Teacher of the Year Award in 2004.

Don Smith
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David Wilbur
David Wilbur

"Roommate" and friend, Terry Cotton introduced David Wilbur. He reminisced about playing with Dave at Rush-Henrietta and then losing track of him. They were reunited when Dave and Margaret were trying to start lacrosse in Victor. They then began to travel together to play men`s lacrosse and continue to do so today.

When Dave took the podium he stated that it was totally unexpected when Mark Rice called him to tell him he had been selected to enter the Hall.

When he started playing in the early years at Rush-Henrietta he played defense, midfield and attack. Then he played goalie when the usual starting goalie was arrested during a Viet Nam peace demonstration in Rochester.

After graduating from R-H he attended Johns Hopkins University to earn his medical degree. After being recommended by a former teammate, JHU Head Coach Bob Scott called him and asked him to play for the Blue Jays. "I started for the freshman team that year."

Thinking about his speech beforehand, Dave came across a small newspaper while on a trip to Alabama. There, in the Trucksville Tribute, among the many football articles, was an announcement about a new lacrosse club being formed. "I bet there is someone in this room who knows [the guy who was starting the team]". He stated that in his experience there is a closeness among players and that everyone helps each other.

He ended his remarks by thanking his family and friends.

 

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Played on first Rush-Henrietta team in 1969 and played defense, attack and in the goal.

  • Played goalie at Johns Hopkins University (1971-1975) and earned his MD degree.

  • Played club lacrosse for Rochester (1971-1974), Montgomery, Md (1975-1976) and Penfield (1977-82).

  • Founder of Victor Lacrosse Boosters and helped get school sponsorship.

  • Served as Modified Coach. Junior Varsity coach and then Varsity Coach at Victor where he won Section Championships twice and was named Finger Lakes Man of the Year.

Terry Cotton

 

Chapter President Nate Snyder ended the gathering by introducing Bob Lord, who is the newly appointed Northeast Regional Manager for US Lacrosse. Nate then announced that after much discussion, there will be an area at the Blue Cross Arena for the Rochester Hall of Fame.

More biographical information is available in this story on the Knighthawks web site. A copy of the dinner program is also available. For more pictures, check out the Gallery.