Jack Moran wanted to put a face on the game this past Saturday. With an enlarged photograph tucked under his arm, the head lacrosse coach strolled into the home locker room under the stairwell leading to Ott Field.
“We were all sitting in the locker room getting ready for the game, listening to some music but Coach Moran walked in, we turned the music off and without saying a word he comes in, puts the picture down and we all sit and he walks out and we all… it’s just such a humbling moment,” Ryan Lukacovic said. “You see it and it’s so serious because you don’t really understand about what a big loss it is to Coach Regan and Coach Moran who knew him that once you finally see it, it just brings you to a whole other level to get ready to play.”
The photo was of , a Manhasset native and member of the Chaminade Class of 1998, and who perished in Iraq during his fourth tour of duty as an Army Ranger.
“We’ve brought that out for the other games too,” Moran said of the photograph, “but it’s like ‘here’s a name, this is him.’ You can connect to a picture now, you can connect to who this person is. Because Jimmy graduated in 1998, this is 2012. Look at him, he’s got the same kind of uniform you’ve got on sitting in the same locker room you’re sitting in. This is life is reality.”
Sgt. Regan could have literally done anything that he wanted to, with a Duke education, all-American credentials and a job on Wall Street who chose to enlist in the special forces after feeling the affects of September 11.
“He worked with us in 2003 and we went downtown in September and in January he knew he wasn’t going to do it,” Moran said, describing a conversation that took place one day after practice over burgers and drafts at the . “He’s like ‘I’ve always wanted to be an Army Ranger and if I go OCS, I’m an economics management major, the Army puts you where you’re best suited and that’s going to be like Washington. So he goes in the Army enlisted, finished the number one enlisted guy in his class, goes to Ranger school, finished the number two guy in the Ranger school and he’s killed on his fourth deployment and just a wonderful kid.”
Regan’s father James Sr. had established the “Lead the Way” fund in honor of his son’s memory and Chaminade and Manhasset – usually two of the top lacrosse teams in the state, if not the country – have for the last 5 years played a game that also acts as a fundraiser for the foundation, with Manhasset after the Flyers took home the inaugural match in 2008.
“I love the game not only because it’s great competition, great lacrosse community, there’s a big crossover with Manhasset kids at Chaminade but it makes us take pause,” Moran said.
While much of the game in only ancillary to the backdrop of the day, Saturday, the Flyers were able to take home that black slab known as “Reg’s Rock” for the second time, a 13-5 drubbing with the Flyers scoring the opening volley simply 11 seconds into the game.
Apropriate then that the player scoring it was also the one wearing Regan’s old number 19, Matthew Graham.
“It’s a great honor,” the senior midfielder said. “When I heard at the beginning of the season that I got to wear the number I just wanted to wear it the best I can and I’m doing everything I can to represent him well.”
Graham along with fellow captains Greg Rhodes and Ryan Lukacovic were cradling the trophy after the final seconds ticked off
“It’s such an emotional game and so much behind it that you just put an extra effort in the game just to get the win and this one is special especially after losing last year’s,” Lukacovic said. “I just think it’s biggest for Coach Regan, just because you bring such a smile to his face for us to win – he’s from Manhasset, he loves to see them win – but for us to take down his hometown, I know it’s special for him.”1 2 3 4 F Manhasset 0 1 3 1 5 Chaminade 3 4 3 3 13 Chaminade Scoring Statistics Player Position Goals Assts Shots Ryan Lukacovic Attacker 4 2 6 Brendan Caputo Midfielder 2 2 3 Dan O’Connell Attakcer 2 0 2 Tom Zenker Attacker 1 1 7 Paul Urbank Midfielder 1 0 7 Gregory Rhodes Midfielder 1 0 7 Matthew Graham Midfielder 1 0 3 Kristopher Clarke Midfielder 1 0 0 Chaminade Goalkeeping Saves Daniel Fowler 7 Joseph Faria, Jr. 2
Manhasset Scoring Statistics Player Position Goals Assts Shots Dino Lavalle Attacker 2 0 6 Quinn Mororey Attacker 1 2 7 James Clarke Midfielder 1 0 2 Trevor McDonald Attacker 1 0 2 Bobby Young Midfielder 0 1 0 Ryan Matthews Midfielder 0 0 3 Tom Lavelle Attacker 0 0 2 Sean Grimm Midfielder 0 0 1 Kevin Katzmann Midfielder 0 0 1 Tom Wenk Attacker 0 0 1 Christian Zanetis Midfielder 0 0 1 Manhasset Goalkeeping Saves Evan Molloy 9