In 1980, Lee Pinney, a local resident and former lacrosse player at Cornell University
, noticed that as many as half of the boys trying out for baseball in the town were cut from the team. In addition, there was no other sport available to them. That's when Lee began the lacrosse program in Somers. That first team was manned by twenty boys. In the early years, the team struggled as the sport expanded in the state. (Lee is now the coach for the new Lacrosse program at Suffield, CT HS.)
From its humble beginnings, the program continued to grow. In 1993, Ken McCarthy
, a young man who had played for Coach Pinney on one of those early teams, took over the reins from his former coach. A former Springfield College
lacrosse player, McCarthy was fresh from starting the varsity lacrosse program at South Hadley (MA.) High School and establishing it as a successful team.
Now a physical education teacher at Maybelle B. Avery Middle School in Somers, he constantly promoted the program to his younger students. The level of participation and the caliber of athletes began to grow.
With the support and dedication of the Somers Lacrosse Association
, Grades 4-6 and 7-8 teams began to flourish as basic skills and principles were taught. The respect for the game and sportsmanship, cornerstones of Lee Pinney's original program were, and still are, emphasized.
Under McCarthy's leadership, along with longtime assistants Culver Modisette
and Wayne Nolan
, the high school team reached a higher competitive level. This culminated with back-to-back Connecticut Divison II state championships in 1996 and 1997.
In 1986, a girl's varsity lacrosse team was created and today there are nearly two hundred boys and girls participating in the program ranging from 4th grade through high school. That's not too bad for a high school with a total four-year enrollment of a little over four hundred students!
"A Commitment to Excellence" are not merely words printed on Somers Varsity Lacrosse literature…it's a credo for all of the student-athletes that have earned the right to carry the stick and wear the name Somers Lacrosse across their chest.