- First Posted: 2021-10-25
- Updated: 2021-10-25 12:09:01
Hall of Fame Dinner on November 5th
On Friday, November 5th, the Rochester Chapter of USA Lacrosse will install its 27th class. The event will take place at the RIT Inn and Conference Center (5257 West Henrietta Road) with a social hour beginning at 6:00 pm.
The 2021 class includes four individuals, and one team as follows in the press release from Craig Rybczynski for the Chapter.
This year’s class features some of the greatest names in the sport of lacrosse. Jake Coon is one of the headliners of the group. Since he arrived on the campus of RIT, he reestablished the school as a national power.
In his 12 seasons on the sidelines, the Tigers have won 11 Conference Championships, made 11 straight NCAA tournament appearances, and appeared in seven Final Fours. In 2021, RIT’s winningest coach finally captured college’s biggest prize, as the Tigers won their first Division III Men’s Lacrosse National Championship. The Homer, NY native has amassed 206 wins, while earning 2011 and 2013 USILA Division III Coach of the Year and 2013 MCLA Division III Coach of the Year honors along the way.
Prior to coaching at RIT, Coon spent five years at his alma mater, Nazareth College. From 2001-05, he worked directly with the goalies and defense, helping guide the Golden Flyers to four NCAA tournament appearances, including the 2004 National Championship Game. Following his stint at Nazareth, Coon spent four years at UMass as the defensive coordinator and worked closely with the goalies, helping guide the Minutemen to the 2006 National Championship Game.
Coon made the transition to coaching after a stellar playing career. Nazareth’s only four-time All-American, the goalie backstopped the college to a 51-10 record, helping the Golden Flyers to the NCAA Division III title in 1997. Coon earned First Team All-American and USILA Goalie of the Year honors in 1998 and 2000. He was inducted into the Nazareth Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. Coon also played professionally for the previous Rochester Knighthawks (National Lacrosse League) from 2000-03, and the Rochester Rattlers (2001-05) and Boston Cannons (2005-09) of Major Lacrosse League. Coon was inducted into the Upstate New York chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2018.
JOHN GRANT JR.
John Grant Jr. stands as one of the greatest athletes to ever play in Rochester, NY, bringing a pair of championships to the Flower City.
In the box game, he spent 11 of his 18 years (2000-10) in Rochester after the previous Knighthawks organization made him the first overall pick in the 1999 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. The Peterborough, Ontario native took his talents to the professional ranks after starring for the hometown Lakers and the University of Delaware Blue Hens.
During the 2000 season, Grant began his future Hall of Fame career with a bang, leading Rochester in goals (37), assists (40) and points (77). He was voted the 2000 NLL Rookie of the Year for his exceptional play and became the first rookie since 1991 to earn First Team All-Pro honors. He also helped the Knighthawks return to the NLL Finals.
Grant's inaugural campaign was a sign of things to come. While wearing the Purple and Teal, he was a five-time First Team All-Pro (2000, 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and a two-time Second Team All-Pro (2002, 2003). He was also a four-time team MVP and the 2007 league and Championship Game MVP.
Grant completed his stint in Rochester as the previous franchise's all-time leader in goals (433) and points (894). The highly-touted forward also posted 461 assists to finish second in that offensive category. He also resided at the top of the list for postseason goals with 47 and was second in playoff points with 82.
In July of 2017, Grant officially retired from the NLL, concluding his career as a two-time NLL MVP and nine-time All-Pro. He wrapped up his playing days with the Colorado Mammoth to finish with the second-most goals (668) and points (1,446) in league history while placing fifth in assists (778).
But talking about his box lacrosse exploits is only half of his story. Grant was equally as accomplished in the field game. He joined Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in its inaugural season in 2001 with the Rochester Rattlers. Grant later played from 2005-16 and returned as the Denver Outlaws’ player-coach in 2019. He ranks second among career leaders in combined regular season and postseason points (634). He won five MLL Championships as a player (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013 and 2014) and one as a coach (2018) with the Outlaws.
In 2001, he led the Rattlers to a berth in the MLL Championship Game, finishing second in the league with 59 points (41 goals, 3 two-pointers, 15 assists). Grant was rewarded with Offensive Player of the Year honors. In 2007, he smashed the league's single-season points record with 71 points enroute to his second straight Offensive Player of the Year award. He also captured the first of two consecutive Major League Lacrosse MVP awards. In 2008, Grant garnered MVP accolades after leading the league in scoring with 64 points. He also helped the Rattlers win the MLL Championship.
His list of accolades in the Canadian junior and senior ranks are too numerous to list, but he finished as a five-time Senior “A” Mann Cup champion. In addition, he helped Canada to the 2006 FIL World Lacrosse Championship and the 2003, 2007 and 2011 FIL World Indoor titles.
Bob Menz has given everything to the game of lacrosse, as a player, a coach, and a referee.
For the last 40 years, he has remained on the field as an official which has kept him involved in the sport he loves.
He continues to advocate for officials, which he stressed during a June interview on News 8 about his induction.
“If you like to run, if you like to help out kids, it’s a great way to get a little get activity, pay for your gasoline, and stay in the game of lacrosse,” he said.
Two of his greatest moments as a referee were officiating his brothers’ Marty and Michael's JV game on a soggy Rush-Henrietta field on a cold and rainy afternoon and reffing his brother Jimmy's game at Pittsford.
Prior to joining the Genesee Valley Lacrosse Officials Association, he played lacrosse at Webster Central School District, Monroe Community College, and Cortland State. He also suited up for the US Navy Academy in 1974 with the likes of Terry Corcoran, Jeff Long and Tom McKee. That season, the Midshipmen advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
Sarah Queener joins her parents, Patty (2012) and Harry (2004), as a member of The Greater Rochester Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse. As the daughter of local lacrosse royalty, she has certainly carried on the family name.
Sarah played high school lacrosse at Penn Yan Academy and helped the Mustangs win the first state championship for a Section V team in 1998. After departing Penn Yan Academy as the school’s all-time leading scorer, she earned All-American status during her collegiate career at Yale University. With the Bulldogs, she was a four-year starter, a two-time All-Ivy league selection and a North-South Senior All-Star. During her senior campaign in 2003, she led the Bulldogs to an Ivy League title and an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Like her mom and dad, Sarah made the successful move to coaching. In fact, she helped her parents coach the 2004 state championship team at Penn Yan, which included her little sister, Sylvia. Sarah eventually began her collegiate coaching career at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where she served as an assistant coach from 2004-06. She also assisted at Yale University during the fall of 2006.
In 2007, the Penn Yan native accepted her first head coaching position. In three seasons at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (2007-09), she led the Athenas to a 40-7 mark and three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.
Queener’s next stop in her coaching career took her to Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, Calif. During her two seasons at the helm, she guided the Sailors to back-to-back playoff appearances.
In 2012, she returned to the college ranks by joining Pomona-Pitzer College in California. In her stint with the Sagehens, she has taken the program to national prominence. During the two-year run from 2014-15, her teams went a combined 31-9, which included the first two NCAA Tournament appearances in program history and the first SCIAC Championship in 2015. Her record at Pomona-Pitzer now stands at 102-55, while her overall collegiate record is 142-62 in 12 seasons.
1972 IRONDEQUOIT TEAM
1972 Irondequoit Boys Team was a powerhouse. The squad roared through its competition with a perfect 19-0 record, culminating in a 9-3 victory over Fayetteville-Manlius in the Upstate Championship Game.
Irondequoit was loaded with talent as it featured five future high school All-Americans: Bill Duford (attack), Jeff Long (attack), Dave Richardson (defense), Bob Van Slyke (goalie) and Rory Whipple (midfield). The team was also coached by legendary bench boss Ernie Lisi, who in 17 seasons compiled a record of 211-19 and won 20 league or regional titles.
In 1972, Irondequoit also boasted defensemen Ed Tschetter, Gary Passer and Richardson. The starting attack, on opening day, featured Duford, Bartram and Long. Long would go on to earn All-American status three times at Navy and represent the United States at two World Lacrosse Championships. He eventually transitioned to the coaching ranks and has five Empire 8 Coach of the Year awards and one Division III Coach of the Year honor. In 2009, he was inducted in the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
The midfield also featured another future star in the lacrosse world in Rory Whipple. Whipple played collegiately at Cortland State and helped the Red Dragons win the 1975 Division III National Championship. He parlayed his success on the field into a Hall of Fame coaching career. After 37 seasons, he retired as the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division II history. Whipple recently completed a 10-year stint as the head coach at the University of Tampa.
During the 1972 season, Whipple headlined the starting midfield line, which also featured Gary Bollinger and Steve Woodward. The second unit consisted of Jamie Taylor, Jeff Neese and Bob Becker. Other members of the team included Dave Rogers, Paul Klinger, Craig Mackey, Larry Rabinowitz, Tony Gormican, Dave Biernbaum, Tony Ciaccia, Brad Closen, Dave Eissenstat, Bob Oldshue, Mike Turula and John Young.
Irondequoit won its third straight Monroe County Lacrosse title in 1972, knocking off Webster 13-3 in the championship game. The win was the teams’ 15th straight of the year as the offense was powered by two-goal efforts from Bartram, Taylor, Duford and Whipple.
Irondequoit’s toughest test came three games later against rival Corning East in the Upstate Lacrosse League Western Division Championship Game. It was a classic lacrosse game between two lacrosse titans. Once again, however, it was Irondequoit who emerged victorious as Long scored three times, including one in the fourth quarter, to go along with a pair of tallies from Bartram and Duford.
The Trojans could not keep Irondequoit at bay despite taking leads of 2-0 and 6-4 in the first half. Irondequoit erased the final two-goal deficit with a 4-0 run late in the third quarter. Whipple started the rally by scoring with just 3:20 left in the third and then set up Duford for the game-tying marker. Bartram helped Irondequoit regain the lead by burying a shot with five seconds to play in the third to make it 7-6.
Long and Bartram netted fourth-quarter makers and Van Slyke (17 saves), and the defense did the rest in a 9-7 Irondequoit victory. The win set the stage for the eventual title game win against Eastern Division champions, Fayetteville-Manlius, in the Upstate Championship Game.
The 27th Annual US Lacrosse, Greater Rochester Chapter, Hall of Fame Dinner will take place on Friday, November 5th at the RIT Inn and Conference Center (5257 West Henrietta Road) in Henrietta.
The cost is $50 per person in advance or $65 at the door. Children ten and under are $12.00 and under five are free. The social hour begins at 6:00 p.m. with the welcome and dinner scheduled for 7:00 p.m.