Year after year, the Shoreham-Wading River lacrosse programs funnel athletes into college. This year is no different.
Nine Shoreham lacrosse players — six boys, three girls — signed National Letters of Intent during the Early Signing Period to continue playing their sport in college next year. The nine students were honored at a signing ceremony at the high school library Nov. 13.
It wasn’t just lacrosse, though. Senior Aimee Manfredo was honored for signing with Bradley University to play tennis. Manfredo finished fourth in the state singles tournament this fall, the highest finish for a Shoreham tennis player in more than a decade.
The three girls who signed for lacrosse were: Shannon Rosati (Ohio State), Courtney Rich (Kennesaw State) and Victoria Logan (Mercy). The six boys were: Tyler Anderson (Stony Brook), Hunter Hayes (Seton Hill), Anthony Visintin (Saint Leo), Thomas Tatarian (Saint Leo), Michael Loscalzo (Navy Academy) and Brett Friedman (Dowling).
Manfredo is coming off a season in which she won her third consecutive Division IV title and her first county singles title. She was undefeated this season until losing in the semifinals of the state tournament.
Shoreham coach Debbie Lutjen noted how unlike in other sports, there are no divisions or classifications in tennis. So to finish fourth in the state is to truly be one of the top players.
Manfredo joined the varsity as a seventh-grader and played first singles her entire career, finishing with an 89-21 record.
“As a team captain Aimee is a leader and role model for the younger players on our team,” Lutjen said. “Having Aimee on the team is like having an assistant coach.”
At Bradley, Manfredo will compete in the Missouri Valley Conference, which Lutjen noted is the same conference she played in when she attended Southern Illinois University.
“I’m proud of her and I wish her the best of luck,” Lutjen said.
In lacrosse, Rosati has been a vital part of the Wildcats’ midfield over the past three years, where she’s used her speed to be a dynamic two-way player.
“Her competitiveness is unmatched, and her ability to perform at a high level while maintaining her shot and speed is not something you see in many players,” lacrosse coach Mary Bergmann said in a statement read by interim athletic director Bill Denniston.
Rich will enter this season playing attack for the Wildcats.
“She has worked hard to have a great shot and has a great ability to find corners and the back of the net,” Bergmann said.
Logan also plays attack. Bergmann said Logan has great field vision and is an unselfish player.
“Mercy College will be gaining a player who is always willing to improve her game, while being an unselfish teammate,” Bergmann said.
Boys lacrosse coach Tom Rotanz, who will not be rehired for this upcoming season, spoke about each of the six players who signed.
“It’s a great time and it’s also a sad time,” Rotanz said. “I’ve been with them since they were little munchkins, and now they’ve become very impressive young men. I’m very proud of their accomplishments and where they’re headed.”
Friedman plays defense for Shoreham and “no one is tougher on the field,” Rotanz said. If Friedman was 6-foot-3, Rotanz said, he’d be in the NFL.
Hayes was one of the top scorers for Shoreham last year during the Wildcats’ Long Island championship season. He scored 63 goals and was an all-county selection.
Loscalzo is a face-off specialist for Shoreham. As a sophomore he stepped in during the state championship game for an injured player and excelled on the face-offs to help Shoreham win the state title.
Visintin played midfield and attack for Shoreham last year. Tatarian, a goalkeeper, will join Visintin at Saint Leo. Rotanz said Tatarian should anchor the defense this year.
When Tatarian was in ninth grade, Rotanz said, he made saves that wowed his coach.
“I said that was like Stevie Wonder making that save, because I just didn’t know how he saw it,” Rotanz said. “He looked at me and I said, you have no idea who Stevie Wonder is, do you? He said, ‘Is he like a superhero?’ ”
Anderson has been an all-county player for Shoreham on defense. Rotanz said Anderson has exceptional speed for his size.
“It’s not normal for someone that big and strong,” Rotanz said.
The Early Signing Period ended Wednesday. Athletes can sign Letters of Intent for most sports again beginning April 16.