When Ray Hurd passed away in 1987, his obituary noted that he was the founder of the Syracuse Lacrosse Club. That’s like saying that Guttenberg was a printer, or that Michelangelo painted ceilings for a living, because Ray Hurd was personally responsible for keeping a very dim ember of high school lacrosse alive and fanning it into a flame that made our community the hotbed of high school lacrosse.
Hurd played the game at Central High School, a lax powerhouse that once ran roughshod over opponents’ forty-nine games in a row, and that string included wins over several college freshman teams. When state school officials complained that some coaches were not regular faculty members, and that high school teams should not be competing with college teams, the plug was virtually pulled on the sport as schedules became impossible to fill. Interest in the sport waned until Ray Hurd, together with some other diehards, including Larry Abbott and Bob Durland, formed the Syracuse Lacrosse club in the mid-1950’s.
Hurd and his disciples made pilgrimages to nearly every high school in the area, preaching the gospel of lacrosse and converting high school principals and athletic directors to the game. By the end of the 1960’s, high school lacrosse was again alive and thriving in Central New York where over 700 games are played each season. Behind it all was the dream and dedication of tonight’s inductee, Raymond C. Hurd, a Great Contributor to Lacrosse.