Sunday, October 7, 2012

Allan Hodish and Hempstead Lacrosse

Click this image to enlarge and read this 1980 article on Hempstead Youth Lacrosse. That's coach Allan Hodish  in the photo on the left. Guest blogger Aaron Jones reflects on what Hodish brought to Hempstead many years ago. Jones went on from Hempstead to play at Cornell in the late 1980s where he appeared in a National Championship game against John Hopkins.
[Guest blogger Aaron Jones] My relationship with this game started from unique circumstances. Let me give you a little insight into my background so you can understand what I mean by “unique circumstances.” Hempstead, Long Island in 1975 was not unlike most communities of its time, very homogeneous in its makeup. In Hempstead, there were people of similar backgrounds that lived together side by side to form a close nit community. Hempstead was almost entirely an African American community. It was a proud community of modest means but deep in its history of athletic prowess at every level. Year after year football, basketball, baseball and track teams from youth levels all the way up through high school varsity sports were successfully competing on their athletic playing fields throughout long island and beyond. The Salvation Army youth basketball team was famed around the world for its dominance. The varsity basketball team was a feature story in the local and regional news seemingly every year for its accomplishments on the court. The football team was as successful as the others, always fairing very well in league competition. I think you get the point, in Hempstead athletic excellence was the norm year in & year out! Around that time a new gentlemen came into the Hempstead community with an eye on bringing a new sport to the town. He was very different from the normal Hempstead coach, Jewish by faith, outspoken by nature, and caring to his core! Alan Hodish began touring the Hempstead streets with his Toyota Celica hatchback encouraging Hempstead youth to make their way to the local park. There Hodish demonstrated a new sport called lacrosse and influenced scores of boys to give the game a shot. I was one of those young kids picking up this foreign sport for the first time and through it I earned an opportunity to attend Cornell University where I played lacrosse in the 1980s.

Navy’s African American All American Syd Abernethy:

Hobart’s African American All American Ed Howard:

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