Boys Lacrosse: Lax celebrates

Two Bristol seniors have signed to play lacrosse at the University of St. Joseph. Cole Sciasccia of Bristol Central High School, left, and Riley McKenney of Bristol Eastern High School sign their letters of intent. Behind them are Bristol Central Coach M.J. Gissas, left, and Bristol Eastern coach Jesse Gumpert. The boys are best friends and have played against each other thoughout high school and now will finally play on the same team. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

Before the Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern boys lacrosse teams locked horns on Thursday, May 16, the Lancers enjoyed some senior night activities.

Eastern seniors Noah Piazza, Ethan Matthieu, Konrad Oleszyk, Jason Perez-Ochoa, Aiden Roche, Donovan Carey, Alex Robinson, and Riley McKenney were honored in their final home match at Alumni Field on the campus of Bristol Eastern high school.

But McKenney, and best buddy Cole Sciascia – who just happened to be a senior on the Central squad – officially signed their National Letters of Intent to play lacrosse for the University of Saint Joseph men’s team in West Hartford. The signing came in a brief ceremony before the BC/BE match commenced.

Both athletes, who have been helping to build the Eastern and Central lacrosse teams over the years – and the sport of lacrosse overall in Bristol – have that same honor at the collegiate level as the duo will be on USJ’s first ever men’s lacrosse squad.

Other men’s teams started play on campus at Saint Joseph this season but the lacrosse program will start its first collegiate campaign during the 2019-20 school year.

And, just like in Bristol, the McKenney/Sciascia combo will once again join forces and help to make the Blue Jays a successful program before their four years are up at the institution.

The USJ program will be coached by Andrew Fink, the former lacrosse coach at Mount Ida college in Newton, Massachusetts.

Fink was at Mount Ida, a NCAA Division III program, for 16 years and brings his vast experience to the first-year program from West Hartford.

The veteran coach went 171-91 on the collegiate level – holding the record for most wins as a head coach in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) with 54 since the conference adopted men’s lacrosse in 2011.

Fink led the Mustangs to eight conference championships, six in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) and two in the GNAC.

Expect some big things from McKenney and Sciascia next season at Saint Joseph as the duo will proudly be representing the Mum City.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.