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West Genesee Wildcats, 2002 New York State Lacrosse Champions

Rep. James T. Walsh

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Mr. Speaker, I rise to celebrate a victorious day for West Genesee High School as both the men's and women's lacrosse teams captured the New York State Lacrosse Division 1, Class A Championship titles. It was a memorable day that will go down in history for the Wildcats, as both teams soared triumphantly to the top.

The day began as the women's team traveled to Cortland, New York to defend their state title, and this is exactly what they accomplished. The team ended their undefeated season with a 15-11 win. Later that afternoon at Hofstra University, the men's lacrosse team regained the State title with an exciting 10-9 victory. As Coach Mike Messere stated ``It was one of the most exciting games I've seen.''

West Genesee Lacrosse has always had the reputation for a stellar program, and as displayed this past weekend, the program continues to generate gifted athletes. These students work year-round to master the sport, and because of their relentless hard work, dedication, and passion for the game, they came out true champions.

I am proud of these devoted athletes, and I commend the coaching staff, parents, and entourage of supporters who traveled this long road with them. This type of outcome does not happen overnight, nor is it a result of just one season. It takes years of dedication to get such results, and this entire team should be proud of their accomplishments.

I would like to acknowledge the athletes and coaching staff who brilliantly represented their school, county, and state this past weekend: For the women: Chrissy Zaika, Eileen Gagnon, Vanessa Bain, Shannon Burke, Meghan Burgoon, Katie Donovon, Lindsey Moore, Jackie Griffin, Kendall Tupper, Lindsey Shirtz, Kelly Fitzgerald, Colleen O'Hara, Nicole Motondo, Katherine Kenneally, Juilie Fabrizio, Kelly Kuss, Katherine DelPrato, Beth Elmer, Lindsey Hamann, Meghan O'Connell, Katie Kozloski, Keelin Hollenbeck, Eileen Flynn, Head Coach Bob Elmer, and Assistant Coach Erica Gerber.

And for the men: Mike Malfitano, Dean Mancini, Jake Bebee, Zack Forward, Jeff Murphy, Jed Bebee, Alex Cost, Kevin Hennigan, Matt O'Connell, Andrew Hanover, Rob Lemos, Mike Conklin, Cheney Raymond, Mark Conklin, Pat McCormack, Chad Clark, Drew Dabrowski, Devin Burgoon, Kiel Moore, Mike Solamon, Jim Mullaley, Andrew Sugar, Bill Gleason, Casey Rotelia, Chris Bulawa, Brian Cummings, Matt Woolsbiager, Brian Calabrese, Bob Toms, Mike Malone, Andy Zysk, Matt Cassalia, P.J. Burns, Head Coach Mike Messere, Assistant Coach Bob Deegan, and Scorekeepers Melissa McCarthy, Shadia Nesheiwat, Monica Macro, Kim Fischmann, Danielle Wood, and Jessica Lebduska.