Letter to the Editor: Parents Praise PAL Lacrosse Coaches

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to give the kids the true attention they deserve.

Dear Editor,

The parents of the fifth grade East Meadow PAL Lacrosse team would like to acknowledge the outstanding dedication of our coaches.  

For the third year in a row, our boys have had the unique experience of being the only PAL team coached by current and former members of the high school LAX team.  

Head coach James Skinner and Rick Piket (EMHS alumni), along with Nicholas Marinello, Lenny Volpe and Collin Skinner (current EMHS students and varsity lacrosse players) volunteer their time to teach these young boys the basic mechanics of lacrosse as well as help build their self-esteem and character. The coaches go to school, work, play lacrosse and also fit in time to coach three days a week.

These young men work to instill invaluable qualities in "their" boys; good sportsmanship, respect for themselves and others and the ability to win and lose gracefully. In their interaction with referees and adult coaches from other towns, they never fail to set a good example for our team. The boys on the team say that they don’t mind working hard because the coaches make it fun.  

The parents say that their kids lookup to the coaches, like big brothers. Over the past three years the boys have recruited additional teammates and the coaches have enlisted additional high school LAX players in an effort to expand the program. Certainly that is testimony to the fact that the experience is truly rewarding for both the players and the coaches.

As parents, many of us put our children in sports to help them develop athletically, emotionally, and intellectually. We want them to learn to be team players. These young men go above and beyond in helping our children grow by being such positive role models both on and off the field. In a day and age where everyone seems so busy—it is refreshing to see our young people giving back to the community. We are thankful for their time and effort-they are an incredible asset to the East Meadow lacrosse program. 

This letter was written and submitted by Laurie Osbern and Tara Smith. 

Bill Alderman May 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM
This is a great article . Very positive and supportive . However Laurie and Tara wrote that their boys had "the unique experience of being the only PAL team coached by current and former members of the high school LAX team" . Which is innaccurate. As an assistant coach of the 6th grade Pal team last year under head coach Marty Daly and this year under Head coach Ed Moskowski , the PAL has almost incorporated using past and current high school players to help coaches coach lacrosse. Last Year our PAL boys even visited EMHS Varsity lacrosse Alumni Jim Mule at the Long Island Lizards training camp at Hofstra University. It is a great thing , and Coaches James Skinner and Rick Piket are fantastic, but it is hardly unique for East Meadow PAL Lacrosse. We all stick together.
Laurie Osbern May 17, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Thanks for clarifying Bill. I guess we were unclear in the wording- the reference should have been to East Meadow as the only PAL organization we know of that does this. At least that is what we have been told. I know that we have never played against a team with high school coaches from other towns. It really says a lot about the sense of community service and passion for the sport that the East Meadow boys have. I'm glad my son is a part of that.
Nicole Marinello May 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM
This team is unique in the fact that they are the coaches. They are not assistants to the adults. They go to coaches meetings, arrange the practices, and handle anything that comes up involving the team. The other teams we have played against have high school lacrosse players helping out but not running the team as head coaches.
Patti Rau May 18, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I can't say enough about the coaches of the 5th grade PAL team. As Nicole stated, unlike other teams, these high school/and college students take on ALL of the responsibilites normally tended to by the adult coaches, and do so without question or complaints. When my son started playing with these coaches in third grade, he as well as many other members of the team, had never even held a lacrosse stick before. After the intial season, in which although they lost almost all of their games, and endured the growing pains associated with starting up a new team, the perserverence of these young coaches paid off. Last year, the team lost only 1 game, and as a result moved up to a division 1 team this year. I think I can speak for so many of the parents in saying that my son's love of this game has been a direct result of the relationships and friendships he has made with his coaches. They are wise and mature beyond their years in so many ways, and have been such positive role models for these young boys who will hopefully follow in their footsteps someday.


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