Last year the entire Kent community mourned the loss of 2007 Theodore Roosevelt High School graduate Adam Hamilton, who died in May after his Army unit was attacked in Afghanistan.
What some may not know is that Hamilton was a star on the lacrosse field for the Rough Riders.
This year the high school lacrosse team dedicated its season in honor of Hamilton, and tonight the team will present team jerseys to his parents Nancy Hamilton and Scott and Connie Hamilton at the high school at about 7 p.m. The players also are wearing warm-up outfits beneath their jerseys that were designed in Hamilton's memory.
The lacrosse star scored a total 100 goals, made 104 assists and earned 204 points in his 56-game career at Kent. Here's what high school boys lacrosse coaches John Idone, Adam Ray and Mark Lewis had to say about Hamilton:
Adam was at his best when he was on the lacrosse field, making the unselfish next pass. He made others playing around him better. He led the state and set a school record for assists his senior year with 52 and led the team in winning loose ground balls. He captained Roosevelt in 2007 to their lowest state ranked season earning All America honors. He was also the offensive Player of the Year in Northeast Ohio that year. His junior year he injured his knee and only played in 7 games.
Adam was second on the team in scoring as a sophomore leading Roosevelt
to the State Championship game in Division 1B. He was a natural-born leader and warrior on the lacrosse field. He had a swagger about him that drove opponents crazy, but after the game was respected by all who witnessed his gritty determination.
He was a four-year starter in lacrosse and hockey and played football his senior year. He holds Roosevelt’s career scoring record in hockey netting over 100 goals. In football, in his first season, he was named All PTC Conference as a Tight End and also played outside linebacker. The lacrosse community in northeast Ohio, along with the Kent community mourns the loss of Adam, but hope the legacy of how he competed can be passed on.
Both the varsity and junior varsity teams started the season with a win earlier this week. Scroll down for a preview on the team from head varsity coach John Idone.
The Kent Roosevelt Boys Lacrosse team looks to improve on last season's 10-5 record with a senior laden squad that returns 18 varsity letter winners after graduating only four seniors. In 2011 the Rough Riders finished the No. 4 seed in Division 1 Northeast section and lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual State Champion Hudson 7-2. In addition, Roosevelt was ranked in the top 40 in the Midwest out of 481 teams.
The Rough Riders are a veteran squad this year with 14 seniors, six juniors and 11 sophomores. Leading the way for Kent is Senior Midfielder Troy Haren who earned second Team All Region honors in 2011. Troy is a captain and led the region last year in assists as a Midfielder with 22 along with 23 goals. His quickness often draws slides from nearby defenders and Troy’s vision enables him to find the open player. Also returning is Attack man Senior Captain Pat Valerius (32G 12A) who earned All Region Honorable Mention in 2011. Junior Kyle Manning (16G 8A) has moved from Midfield to Attack this year along with Junior James Strange. Sophomores Zach Grooms, Cole Heim and Shane Hendrix will split time on JV and Varsity at Attack. Nate Grootegoed plays at midfield.
At the midfield Roosevelt has great balance in scoring and depth which makes it very difficult for other teams to shut off one player. With so many offensive weapons it is pick you poison with who to cover. Senior face-off specialists Bobby Danner (19G 3A) and Brady Weber (7G) are both back this season and dominate at the face-off position winning key possessions. Bobby earned the team Most Improved Player award last year along with Honorable Mention All Region. Seniors Kevin Rodgers and Tommy Fisher, both 6 foot 3 inches tall, are big targets on the crease and set excellent picks. Newcomer Senior Aaron Stainbrook is developing at offensive midfield. Sophomores Colin Abell, Tony Safford, Jon Blank and Junior Jake Schmauch round out the midfield unit and will split time between Varsity and JV.
The defense is led by Senior Captain James Breiding and Junior Michael Ruller. Sophomore Matt Sommers, who is recovering from ankle surgery from an injury suffered in Roosevelts playoff victory last fall in football, should be cleared for play in the next two weeks to solidify the close defensive unit. Matt is one of the top defensemen in Ohio and earned first Team All Region as a freshman last year. At long stick midfielder are Senior Captain Eli Kepner, who is developing into an offensive-defensive threat, along with Senior Gannon Lavins. At short stick defensive midfield are Seniors Eric Davilla and Gabe Bogan and Junior Kevin Shreckenghost. Senior newcomer Sterling Alexander is a pleasant surprise defensively who is using his football skills at strong safety to develop into a solid defender. Junior Drew Bowman is playing many roles and is our utility player as he plays close defense with a long stick and both offense and defense with a short stick as needed. Rounding out the defense are sophomores Noah Haislah and George Vadaj who will split time between JV and Varsity.
Defensively the rough riders are very good in settled play and communicate as well as any defensive unit we have had at Roosevelt. We have excellent size and physically can exert our will upon our opponents. Returning between the pipes this year is Senior Goalie Tyler Gallagher. Tyler kept us in many close games last year and was voted the Team Heart and Soul winner last season. Backing up Tyler in the cage is Sophomore Jared Fischer who is splitting time with Varsity and JV.
The Rough Riders have high expectations for the 2012 season and should be ranked among the top teams in Ohio. That does not come without hard work as many players have participated in Summer League and Winter Box League with Greater Cleveland Lacrosse. Several players have gone to tournaments with the Cleveland Demons All Star team last year in New Jersey and Maryland. In addition this year's Varsity team attended the University of Notre Dame Team Camp in North Bend, In last July. Our season slogan this year is “RIDE TOGETHER” and is being dedicated to former High School Lacrosse All-American Adam S. Hamilton, who was killed in action in Afghanistan last year.