They won’t be able to take the field this spring after Section XI cancelled the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the eight Blue Devil girls’ lacrosse team seniors will always remember the time they’ve spent in a Huntington High School uniform and how much their teammates have meant to them through the years.
The seniors include Megan Agrillo, Lena Annunziata, Emily Cheshire, Caroline Hartough, Abby Maichin, Maya Santa-Maria, Marissa Stafford and Holly Wright.
“Playing lacrosse at Huntington has allowed me to grow as a person,” Maichin said. “It has taught me to overcome adversity and how to deal with it on the field. For a while my mental state on the field was always the biggest obstacle that I had to overcome and playing for Huntington has shaped my mental game and will continue to help me in my collegiate career. Playing with some of my best friends will always be a memory I will cherish. It’s crazy to think I may never step on a field with them again, but I will be forever thankful.”
Blue Devil coaches Beth Vogelsang, Vincent Tannazzo and Carli Clementi are just as disappointed as their players that the season has been cancelled. All three coaches will miss each of the eight seniors as the program moves forward toward 2021.
“Playing for Huntington has meant the world to me,” Agrillo said. “Along with a couple of other girls, I have been playing up at the high school since seventh grade so this team has meant so much to us for so long. We’re all one big family. It’s heartbreaking to have my last season going this way, but we are all holding together. I’m very lucky to have been able to play for Huntington with all my friends. My teammates will always be family.”
The Blue Devils had trained all winter to prepare for the season, but everything was put on hold after less than a week of practice in early March. Section XI cancelled it on Tuesday afternoon.
“Playing lacrosse at Huntington has be one of my best experiences ever,” Santa-Maria said. “The connections I’ve made with the girls on the team and the coaching staff are so strong, I’ve made friends for the rest of my life. The best 15 years of my life and I will miss it every day. I will always be a Lady Blue Devil at heart.”
Six of the seniors plan to play lacrosse in college, including Agrillo (Sacred Heart), Maichin (Notre Dame), Hartough (Youngstown State), Santa-Maria (Michigan), Stafford (Cornell) and Wright (SUNY Cortland).
“For me, being a part of the Huntington lacrosse program, starting with Huntington Village Lacrosse in second grade, has given me some of my closest friends who I know will always have my back on and off the field,” said Cheshire, who plans to attend Lehigh University. “I have been able to play with a great group of girls for so long and make so many memories that have truly shaped the person I am today. I’m definitely going to miss having Huntington lacrosse next year.”
The seniors and their teammates are a very tightknit group. Most of them have been playing together since they were young girls.
“Playing lacrosse for Huntington has been such an honor and I’m so happy to be a part of such an amazing team,” Stafford said. “We had so much talent and potential this year. I’m so sad we weren’t able to display that, but I know everyone will continue to do great things. Huntington lacrosse has taught me so much and I will be forever grateful.”
The Blue Devils had been working hard throughout the off-season with the goal of reaching the Section XI playoffs. With the season being cancelled, they won’t be able to realize their goal.
“Playing lacrosse at Huntington has meant a lot to me,” Hartough said. “I have met some of my best friends through this program and am so thankful for all the memories that I have made.”
This spring has been a surreal experience for the seniors and their teammates. They hoped the season could be saved, but once Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the period of school closure to mid-May it was evident that play would not be able to resume.
“Playing lacrosse for Huntington has just been amazing,” Wright said. “I’m lucky enough to have been able to play on this varsity team for all four years of high school. This program is so strong and I know it will always be there for me. To be a Blue Devil and be able to put on my jersey season after season is something I can’t even describe; it’s an unreal thing. We had our share of ups and downs, but we never stopped. We were always there for each other. This would not have been possible without our coaches. All of our coaches taught us how to be good players, but they also taught us how to be great people. They are truly one of a kind. It’s crazy to think that after three years of saying goodbye to seniors that this year my team will be saying goodbye to me. The future is so bright for these girls. I’m so beyond proud of each one of them and I know every single one of them love this team as much as I do.”
The cancellation of the interscholastic spring sports season really comes as no surprise considering the Olympics have been postponed, professional sports are on an indefinite hiatus and college athletics have ceased. The Blue Devils understand there’s a worldwide crisis, but they are still disappointed they won’t be able to shine on the field this year.
“Playing lacrosse for Huntington has been so much more than playing for my high school team,” said Annunziata, who is headed to Penn State in the fall. “It’s been about being a part of a family that has your back on and off of the field. Through Huntington lacrosse I have made countless friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Although our senior season isn’t what we anticipated, looking back, I’m still very grateful for the time I did have to play as a Blue Devil.”
The Blue Devils hope to be able to recognize the eight seniors in some way before they graduate in late June.