Welcome back to another episode of The Long-Stick Podcast, where this week we dive into all the happenings in Connecticut lacrosse beginning with host Sean Patrick Bowley’s 300-mile road trip to see New Canaan defeat Glastonbury, 11-6, then over to Newtown to watch Guilford hang on to beat Newtown, 8-7, and then to St. Anthony’s on Long Island for the inaugural High School Lacrosse showcase where Darien lost a barnburner, 11-9, to the Friars.
After rapping about those developments, and some of the other games and milestones reached, we bring in our special guest star, first-year McMahon head coach JOEY SMITH, who’s program has been rallying around assistant coach and McMahon alumnus Ty Guarente, who broke his back in an auto accident two weeks ago and is currently paralyzed from the waist-down.
Smith, one of Guarente’s best friends, talks about how his team has dealt with the news of their coach’s injury (they won two straight games) and how the community — in Norwalk, the FCIAC and acrosse Connecticut — has offered to help with Guarente’s recovery.
To donate, you can visit Guarente’s GoFundMe page, you can buy #TyStrong T-shirts for $20 (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or support him at a scheduled fundraiser at the Blind Rhino restaurant in Norwalk the night before Memorial Day, the day before McMahon’s annual alumni game.
Smith also talks about how he’s trying to revive the program that gave him so much as an athlete and person and some of the people who have helped him along the way — including former McMahon coach Mike Epstein and former baseball coach and outgoing AD Joe Madaffari, who kick-started Smith’s lacrosse career by cutting him from the baseball team.
We also talk about a fundraiser at Saturday’s New Fairfield-Newtown game for longtime lacrosse referee Lew Socci’s daughter, Mary, who is fighting brain cancer.
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0:00 – 22:51 — Northern Exposure; Sean’s 300-mile road trip and other happenings from the week.
22:52 – 46:42 — Interview with McMahon coach Joey Smith
55-39 – End — Mary Socci fundraiser, New Canaan vs. Fairfield Prep, and wrapping up.
Episode I — Ludlowe coach Chris Parisi
Episode II — Darien coach Jeff Brameier reflects on win No. 600
Episode III — Fairfield Prep coach Graham Niemi