|That's me with the red gloves on and Herkimer Coach Paul Wehrum Warming up Greg Kaplan at the old Coyne Field before the stadium received a face lift , Syracuse University 1982|
After the recommendation of Tim Nelson, coaches Roy Simmons Jr. and John Desko came to watch me when my junior college, Herkimer County Community College played the Syracuse B team. In those days schools who could afford them had B teams which included their new recruits and walk ons. The structure gave rookies playing time in scrimmages against other B teams and junior colleges in games that would not count against their four years of eligibility. Athletic department budget cuts have done away with most B teams. I remember the game well because we played on Coyne Field on astro-turf at night. That was my first time playing on a synthetic surface. I enjoyed playing on turf because it complemented my game which was based on speed and trick moves in which I would roll, flip, and bounce pass on the turf. I remember covering Frank Lanuto (Sachem) who would later go on to run first midfield as a team at Syracuse with future hall of famers Todd Curry and Brad Kotz (both West Genesee products). Frank was a very strong player who protected his stick extremely well. I apparently held my own defensively against him. More importantly I played my game which was forcing turnovers, getting ground balls, pushing the ball up field, and creating scoring opportunities with my stick skills and field vision as former attackman. I also did not come apart under the pressure of knowing a coach had come to evaluate me.