MADISON – The 17th annual New Jersey Lacrosse Jamboree was held Sunday afternoon at Madison High School, and a large number of players from Morris and Sussex counties came together to play in their last high school lacrosse game.
The Jamboree consisted of a number of all-star games, including the 37th annual Gil Gibbs All-Star Games for high school and eighth-grade players. Gibbs was a coach at Montclair High School from 1967-1978, and the games honor the memory of the legendary coach.
Along with showcasing lacrosse players from across the state, the 2015 New Jersey Chapter US Lacrosse Boys High School All-American Team was announced, along with the Academic All-American Team. Delbarton’s Emmet Cordrey and Connor Kirst, Morristown-Beard’s Teddy Hatfield, and Mountain Lakes’ Brad Smith were all honored as All-Americans.
John McDonald of Morristown-Beard was named an Academic All-American.
“It feels great; it’s an awesome accomplishment. I had a bunch of great teammates, definitely Thomas (Rago), who whenever I fed it he would put it in, so I have to thank him and the rest of the team for that,” Hatfield said. “It’s definitely bittersweet because I really enjoyed high school lacrosse, but it’s fun to play with these kids. I’m sure I’ll see them along the road, so overall it was a lot of fun.”
The New Jersey Lacrosse North Chapter Individual Awards were also announced, and Smith was given the Toni Bristol Award for Player of the Year.
“It’s such an honor. It feels great. It’s a great way to end high school lacrosse, and I’m really honored to win this award,” Smith said.
Matt Sefcik, the goalie from Morristown-Beard, was given the Bob Scott Award, which “recognizes a player who goes above and beyond in service to his team, school and community and exhibits true passion and love for the game.”
“It’s nice — I wasn’t expecting it,” Sefcik said. “I wasn’t really expecting to get anything at the end of the year, so it’s always nice to be recognized for something, especially when it’s not just on the field but off the field. It’s nice that people take notice, and it’s just a good feeling.”
In the first boys game of the day, the Iroquois Nation defeated the Mohawk Nation 17-13. Madison attack AJ Schmitz scored twice, and teammate Vince Sapio also scored. Mountain Lakes had seven players participate, and Brad Landry, Smith, Zander Kotsen and Jake Schuckman all scored. Goalie Kevin Beimfohr made six saves.
“This game is great, playing one last time with my boys and some of the best players in New Jersey,” Smith said. “It’s really fun, and the game is awesome, playing with a bunch of guys that I grew up playing against, playing with, so being able to do that one more time before we go away to college is a fun way to exit.”
For Mohawk Nation, Mendham goal Nik Hedengren made three saves while teammate Chandler Avallone scored. Delbarton’s Cordrey had one goal and one assist, and teammate Andrew Ford had an assist.
In the second game, Cayuga Nation beat Onondaga Nation 15-12. McDonald had one goal and one assist along with Thomas Rago of Morristown-Beard. Chatham’s Evan Bernard also scored, and Sefcik made two saves and took a shot on goal.
Mountain Lakes had five players from the girls team participate in the Jamboree, and their team, the Gladiators, defeated the Vikings 11-7.
Morristown had five players, Villa Walsh had three players, and West Morris had five players participate in the Jamboree. Mendham had five of its seniors play, while Madison, Mount Olive, Kinnelon, Montville, Jefferson, Morristown-Beard, Sparta, Kittatinny and Morris Catholic were also represented.
“It felt really great, and I’m not playing in college so it was my last hurrah, my last good game, and I really enjoyed playing with my fellow teammates from Mountain Lakes,” the Lakers’ Hannah Cronk said. “I played pretty well, so I think it was a good last game to end my lacrosse career.”
Staff Writer Lauren Knego: 973-428-6674; firstname.lastname@example.org