Lacrosse Officials End Season with Awards

Craig Pratt The Genesee Valley Lacrosse Officials Association celebrated fifty years of service at their Year End Gathering last week. Organization President, Jim Malloy led the group as they held their business meeting and the presented a number of awards.

The Frank Mangione Award is given to the GVLOA Member who has demonstrated the high ideals of professionalism, leadership, passion and respect for the game. In order to be considered, a candidate must had been a member for at least ten years and must have, through their efforts both on and off the field, have worked to advance the game of lacrosse.

The 2014 award was presented to Craig Pratt. A charter member of the official`s organization, started in 1964, Craig officiated for thirty-four years. A member of the Western New York Hall of Fame, he held nearly all positions in the organization, including President, interpreter and Assignor. He was an official in the first Section Five Championship game in 1975, and worked numerous Upstate championships including seven State Championships. He worked a National Junior College Championship games and a North-South Junior College game.Jim Maloy and Mike Simon

Section Five Coordinator, Mike Simon was presented with the GLVOA Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations whose work educates people about the game of lacrosse. Recipients are to have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and Mike certainly has such a history in lacrosse. Through more that thirty-five years in education, Mike has been a Head Lacrosse Coach, Section Five Coordinator and Executive Director of the NYS Coaches Associations. He has been a Lacrosse Coach of the Year, and Lacrosse Man of the Year. Over his twenty years as the Boys Lacrosse Coordinator he has seen the growth of the sport from nine teams to thirty-six. In 2009 he was inducted into the US Lacrosse Rochester Chapter Hall of Fame.

Two officials were recognized for the many years of service to the Lacrosse community. John Price, who plans to retire this season, is the current rules interpreter and was recognized for twenty-eight years as an official which included twenty-six at the collegiate level. During his tenure he officiated twenty-two Section Five finals and six New York State finals. He officiated at seventeen NCAA tournament games including tow semifinal games and worked the 2002 World Championship bronze medal game.

Steve LaCrosse was also honored for his many years of service. He started in 1984 and did many college games in addition to the high school games.

LaCrosse recounted, "I had the honor of officiating at Syracuse University for Roy Simmons Jr. in the Dome with our friend Bruce Teague, officiating at Cornell for Coach Richie Moran and Hobart for Coach Dave Urick. All three are legends of the game now and were at the time. It was nerve racking, a little scary but a tremendous amount of fun. After a Cornell game Coach Richie Moran walked up to me, shook my hand and said “Nice job son. Welcome to the bigs.” It was a fantastic honor from one of the games’ greatest coaches."

Mangione, Price, LaCrosse