1980 Henninger Men’s Team
Why did unranked Henninger, a dubious pick to win their own league, win the 1980 New York State Lacrosse Championship? Were they lucky? Was the time ripe and were the circumstances correct? Did they reach their full potential at just the right time? Or were they really that talented?
The answer to all those questions is resounding. Yes, because any team needs these to win any kind of championship. However, Henninger did have an incredibly talented collection of athletes. In this group, there was an average of only two and a half years of lacrosse experience. They were a lacrosse team consisting of football and basketball players, championship competitors in other sports who went out for lacrosse.
The season went well with Henninger losing only to powerful Corning East. Henninger won the Cities league and was seeded. third in Section III. They were seeded behind powerhouses West Genesee and LaFayette. But the momentum they had gained was like a steamroller flattening everything in their path. After getting past the Section III challengers in a dramatic fashion, they had a rematch with the Corning team. They went on to beat them as well as southern tier opponents Vestal and downstate powerhouse Elmont. Yorktown, Section V’s finest, was their opponent in the championship game. A victory was ensured and the bubble never burst. The team that went 24-1 for the season and won the prestigious state championship will always be remembered as a bunch of fierce competitors who had it all come together at the right time while they were having fun.
Many thanks to the assistant coaches, Principal Patrick Spadafora, Athletic Director Tony Galeazzi, and a very special group of parents for all their dedication and support.